Apple strudel is one of those useful puddings that finishes things up.... in this case, half a packet of filo pastry, some elderly apples and part of my breadcrumb hoard that threatens to overwhelm the freezer! This recipe is defined as "quick" because life is TOO SHORT to make proper filo pastry. Have you seen the poor contestants on the Bake Off? The stuff's got a life of its own. The downside is that bought pastry doesn't seem to have the same elasticity, so my attempt to mould the beautiful roll into a beautiful horseshoe didn't quite come off - my horse has very strange shaped feet... But, as I always say, failure tastes as good as success, it's just not as pretty. If your raisins are a bit shrunken, you could simmer them quickly in the microwave with a bit of sugar syrup, it has a magic effect (shame it doesn't work on humans!).
|Quick Apple Strudel|
Quick Apple Strudel
1 pack filo pastry (you only need half)
2oz/50g breadcrumbs (fresh, not crispy)
1 ½ lbs (700g) cooking apples
2 heaped tablespoons brown sugar
2 tsp mixed spice
2oz/50g melted butter
Handful of flaked almonds
1oz icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 190 deg C, then peel, core and cut the apples into chunks. Grease a large baking sheet (preferably one with no edges!) In a large bowl, put the apples, dried fruit, sugar and spice and mixed well.
Lay out one piece of pastry on a large piece of material or greaseproof paper and paint it with melted butter. Add a second layer and brush it with the butter, then a third (plus fourth if you like more pastry). Brush the final layer with the butter, then cover it with breadcrumbs. Put the apple/spice mix on next, leaving a space at the edges. From the long side, fold the first edge, then (very carefully) roll up the strudel, gently clamping it together as you go. You are then supposed to push the roll into a horseshoe shape – good luck with that! – before putting it onto the sheet. Paint on the butter, and cover it with almonds.
Bake for about 35 minutes or so until it is pale golden brown. If you want to eat this hot, remove from the oven and dredge with icing sugar. If cold, allow it to cool and then make up a runny icing, and zigzag it over the strudel. It’s delicious either way.