Rosetta Pizzini is from Alto Adige in the Italian mountains near the Austrian border, and it shows in this recipe. Strudel is not seen as typically Italian, but Rosetta’s sure hands as she made this was one of the most memorable images of the Italian Food Safari series. The strudel is simply perfect, especially if you can source good homemade apricot jam.
- 185 ml milk
- 40 g butter
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 300 g (2 cups) self-raising flour
- 2 medium eggs, beaten
- ½ cup apricot jam
- 10 granny smith or red delicious apples, peeled, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
- 110 g (½ cup) sugar
- 100 g butter
- ½ cup currants
- ½ cup sultanas
- ground cinnamon
- ground cloves
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.
Chilling time 1 hour
To make the pastry, place the milk, butter and sugar in a saucepan and gently heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.
Place the flour in a bowl, make a well in the centre and add the eggs and most of the milk mixture (leave a few tablespoons for a glaze). Stir until the mixture forms a ball, then transfer to a work surface and knead gently until smooth. The consistency should be a little softer than pasta dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Divide the dough into 3 pieces. Roll out the first piece on the floured work surface to an oval shape approximately 26 x 28 cm, and 5 mm thick. Spread the pastry with a third of the jam, going thinly to the edges. Spread a third of the apples over the pastry leaving a 2 cm edge free. Sprinkle with a third of the sugar and dot with a third of the butter. Scatter with a third of the currants and sultanas and sprinkle with cinnamon and cloves to your taste.
Fold the edges of the pastry over the filling to create a rim, and roll the strudel up from one of the long sides of the oval. Pick up the strudel with a couple of wide spatulas or egglifters and lay on a buttered tray. Follow the same process to make the next 2 strudels.
Glaze the strudels with the reserved milk mixture and bake them in the oven for 45 minutes. Baste them intermittently with the buttery syrup that oozes onto the trays to create shiny, golden pastry.
Serve with vanilla ice-cream or rich cream.