Okay so this week kind of sucked. There was stress, there was no sun to be seen, there were too many people that asked all the wrong questions, there was a dumping-water-on-my-laptop-incident followed by a my-printer-is-an-asshole-and-won´t print-incident. There were some sparks of hope where I thought that it might get better, for instance sunny walks through beautiful autumn forest, getting my butt kicked at the gym and the newest episode of Jane the Virgin. My summary thus so far? Sometimes life is not so sweet, so I´m just oing to call it a day and hope for a better days. How about you? Better luck than me?
If you look at it with a bit of perspective, this week probably won´t look so bad but sometimes life is at best just mediocre and instead of getting angry and trying to fight it, I´m trying to let go and find joy in the little things. Good thing I can always turn to food when things are going badly. Like apple strudel. A very traditional recipe that I tried to tackle this month as part of my traditional-cake-challenge. You can argue about the question, whether apple strudel is a traditional German dish or whether it originated in Austria but I think we can all agree on the fact, that it is wildly known and popular here in Germany. That count´s right?
For the filling:
1 kg apples
4 tbsp. corn starch
4 tbsp. sugar or honey
100 g raisins or dried cranberries
100 g chopped almonds
1 tbsp. cinnamon
½ tbsp. lemon zest
4 tbsp. breadcrumbs
100 ml milk or heavy cream
1) Heat a pot or a bowl. Place flour, salt, egg, oil and lemon juice in a bowl and mix with your finger tips. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead well for about 10 minutes. Form two balls, brush with oil and place under the heated bowl or pot. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.
2) Preheat the oven to 225°C degrees. Place a fire-proof jar filled with water on the ground of the oven.
3) For the filling, peel the apples, take out the core and cut into little pieces. Mix with corn starch, sugar or honey, raisins, almonds, cinnamon and lemon zest.
4) Roll out the dough as evenly and thinly as possible on top of a floured dish cloth. Melt butter and brush the dough evenly with about ½ of it. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Spread the filling on top of the dough, leaving out the sides.
5) Using the dish cloths, roll the dough. Place on a baking tray, lined with parchment paper. Using a fork, pierce the strudel a couple of times and brush with the remaining butter.
6) Bake the strudel for about 35-40 minutes. If you like, you can pour a little bit of milk or heavy cream on top every ten minutes, that makes the strudel more juicy. Once the strudel is done, let sit for 5 minutes. Serve with confectioners’ sugar.
For the vanilla custard:
1 vanilla bean
250 ml milk
4 egg yolks
100 g sugar
2 tbsp. heavy cream
1) For the vanilla custard, cut open the vanilla bean and take out the core. Heat milk and core of the vanilla bean in a pot until cooking, than remove from the stove and let cool slightly. Stir occasionally.
2) Using an electric mixer, whisk egg yolk and sugar for about 5-10 minutes until white and creamy. Carefully add hot milk while stirring. Place the pot on the stove and using medium heat, carefully cook until the custard starts to become clear and thicker. This takes a while, don´t use more heat though or otherwise the egg will curdle.
3) Pass the custard through a sieve. Right before serving, fold under whipped cream.