"This is my mother-in-law Rosetta's recipe," says Katrina Pizzini. "She worked with an Austrian pastry chef when she was young, and that’s where she learnt it."
- 160 g (½ cup) apricot jam
- 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
- 55 g (¼ cup) caster sugar
- 25 g unsalted butter, finely chopped, plus extra, to grease
- 1 tbsp currants
- 1 tbsp sultanas
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- double cream or vanilla ice-cream, to serve
- 125 ml (½ cup) milk
- 30 g unsalted butter, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 150 g (1 cup) self-raising flour, sifted
- 1 egg, beaten
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make pastry, place milk, butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium–low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Place flour in a bowl and make a well in centre. Add egg and 60 ml milk mixture, stirring to form a dough.
On a lightly floured work surface, knead dough gently for 5 minutes. If mixture is sticky, sprinkle with a little extra flour (it should be a little softer than pasta dough consistency). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 180°C and grease an oven tray. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 2 mm-thick oval. Spread jam over pastry, right to edges, then top with apple slices, leaving a 2 cm border. Sprinkle with sugar, dot with butter, currants and sultanas, then sprinkle with cinnamon and cloves. Gently roll up one side of pastry over apples, then continue rolling pastry and apples to make a layered strudel. Using two wide spatulas, carefully pick up apple strudel and lay on prepared tray.
Baste strudel with remaining 65 ml milk mixture, then bake, basting twice with the buttery syrup oozing onto the baking tray, for 25 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Basting while cooking will ensure a shiny and golden apple strudel. Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream or rich cream.
Photography Sean Fennessy