Daring Bakers Challenge, Fruit, Lookie at my Cookies by Whitney, Pastry
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May’s Daring Bakers Challenge: Apple Cream Cheese Strudel

The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.
It’s that time again! Time for this month’s Daring Bakers Challenge. This month Linda of Make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks chose a recipe for Apple Strudel. We were given creative rights for the filling of the strudel we just needed to make the strudel dough from the recipe provided. I had such a great time with this challenge! I put it off until I got home so I had a big enough surface to stretch out my dough on and because I was also a little nervous about it. I have never stretched pastry dough before and considering I am prone to accidents, I was expecting the worst. Shockingly, the strudel went off without a hitch! Stretching the dough was a lot easier than I thought and I had fun doing it. It also tasted delicious after it was all done baking! I chose to fill my strudel with apple and cream cheese. I love apple and cheese together and I also love the cheese that fills danishes, you know the sweet cream cheese that almost tastes like frosting-yummy. So I filled my strudel with that and apples! It was delicious! Don’t be scared off by making your own strudel dough, if you have 3 hours to spare try this, it’s really fun!
Here is the strudel all rolled up before it went in the oven to bake! The specks you see are the bread crumbs, these are necessary to put air between and create space between the layers.
Here is the strudel when it was finished baking! Some of my cream cheese spilled out the side…oops! But you can see the horseshoe shape here.
Strudel Dough
From “Kaffeehaus–Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafes of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague” by Rick Rodgers

1 1/3 cups unbleached flour
1/8 tsp salt
7 tbsp water, plus more if needed
2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for coating the dough
1/2 tsp cider vinegar

Combine the flour and salt in a stand-mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix the water, oil and vinegar in a measuring cup. Add the water/oil mixture to the flour with the mixer on low speed. You will get a soft dough. Make sure it is not too dry, add a little more water if necessary. Take the dough out of the mixer. Change to the dough hook attachment. Put the dough ball back in the mixer. Let the dough knead on medium until you get a soft dough ball with a somewhat rough surface.

Take the dough out of the mixer and continue kneading by hand on an unfloured work surface. Knead for about 2 minutes. Pick up the dough and throw it down hard onto your working surface occasionally. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to a plate. Oil the top of the dough ball lightly. Cover the ball tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to stand for about 30-90 minutes (longer is better). 

It would be best if you have a work surface area you can walk around on all sides like a 36 inch round table or a work surface of 23×28 inches. Cover your working area with table cloth, dust it with flour and rub it into the fabric. Put your dough ball in the middle and roll it out as much as you can. Pick the dough ball up by holding it by an edge. This way the weight of the dough and gravity can help stretching it as it hangs. Using the back of your hands to gently stretch and pull the dough. You can use your forearms to support it.

The dough will become too large to hold. Put it back on your work surface. Leave the thicker edge of the dough to hang over the edge of the table. Place your hands underneath the dough and stretch and pull the dough thinner using the backs of your hands. Stretch and pull the dough until it’s about 2 feet wide and 3 feet longs, it will be tissue thin by this time. Cut away the thick dough around the edges with the scissors. The dough is now ready to be filled.

Apple Cream Cheese Filling

1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
3 tbsp butter melted plus more for coating the strudel
16 oz cream cheese softened (2 sticks)
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar
2 pounds tart cooking apples (I used Granny Smith) peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices

Heat 3 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bread crumbs and cook whilst stirring until golden and toasted. This will take about 3 minutes. Let cool completely.

Put the rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Make the strudel dough as described above.

Soften cheese. Combine cheese, lemon juice, 3/4 cup sugar, vanilla, egg yolk in a food processor. Mix until fluffy. Set aside. 

Spread more butter over the dough using hands. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top of buttered dough. Mix the apples with the cinnamon and remaining 1/3 cup of the sugar.

Spread the cream cheese filling on the strudel dough about 3 inches from the short edge of the dough in a 6 inch wide strip. Spread the apples evenly on top of the cream cheese layer. Fold the short end of the dough onto the filling. Lift the tablecloth at the short end of the dough so that the strudel rolls onto itself. Transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet by lifting it. Curve it into a horseshoe to fit onto the baking sheet. Tuck the ends under the strudel. Brush top with remaining melted butter.

Bake strudel for about 30 minutes or until it is a deep golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Use a serrated knife and serve either warm or at room temperature. It is best on the day it is baked.

Enjoy! Thanks so much for another great challenge! Can’t wait for next month

Bon Eating,
Whitney

5 Comments

  1. Mary says

    This looks wonderful. My husband loves strudel. Me not so much but only because it is a bother to make.

  2. Lauren says

    Yum! Your strudel looks amazing =D. Awesome job on this challenge!

  3. Whitney says

    lk- Healthy Delicious- thanks! It was pretty good, I was very happy with the way it turned out.
    Mary- yes the dough process is time consuming but I actually didn't mind it too much, except I may have broken my back from leaning over to stretch the dough haha. thanks for the nice words!
    Lonnie- unfortunately I don't think strudel mails too well…but if you would like any other baked goods I am happy to mail them your way!
    Lauren- thank you so much, I was nervous about it but all the hard work paid off!

    Thanks all for stopping by!
    Bon Eating,
    Whitney

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