Sunday, October 18, 2015

Easy Bavarian Style Apple Strudel (Apfel Strudel)

When my mother passed away, in October 2002, we held an Oktoberfest memorial service for her. To know my Mutti, she loved a party, loved to dance, and thrived at being the center of attention.

 Rather than having a somber service, we had a fully catered German buffet with Bavarian music playing. I think she would have been very pleased with that.

My Mutti, dancing with my, then, one year old son.
Since then, I have hosted an annual Oktoberfest, for my immediate family, as a way to honor our Mutti's memory.  Being the only daughter, it looks like I'm the one to carry on my mother's traditional Bavarian recipes-- that includes her Austrian Goulash, Semmel Knoedel, German potato salad and homemade spaetzle.  
It occurred to me that I had never made homemade Apple Strudel-- the equivalent to American Apple Pie.  I also realized that my Mutti never taught me how to make one. Well, it was high time that I did so!  After researching a lot of internet recipes, cookbooks and Youtube videos, so many versions included bread crumbs and nuts.  I scratched my head, as I clearly don't remember either of these ingredients from any Apfel Strudel that I'd had.

So, I called my mother's first cousin, who is an excellent cook and baker.  She explained that bread crumbs and nuts are ingredients more commonly used, in strudel,  in the northern parts of Germany. In Bavaria, her mother's recipe used fresh apples, raisins, cinnamon, sugar. Making authentic strudel dough can be laborious, because you have to roll and stretch it so thin, that you can read a newspaper through it!  We both agreed that frozen puff pastry would make a perfect substitute.  So, I thawed a package of puff pastry in the refrigerator the night before our Oktoberfest.

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