I made this last weekend for part of our Oktoberfest meal. I made it easy by using a pre-packaged puff pastry, but an ambitious individual could certainly make their own puff pastry in addition to making the filling. We served this with plenty of fresh whipped cream, and it only lasted 2 days between the 2 of us!
Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel)
1 puff pastry sheet
3 T. raisins
2-3 T. golden rum or bourbon
3 medium green apples, about 1.25 pounds
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 c. butter, separated (3 T. butter + 5 T. butter)
3/4 c. fine bread crumbs
1/2 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped
Set puff pastry out to thaw according to directions. You’ll want it chilly but malleable when it comes time to roll out.
Combine raisins and rum in a small bowl. Peel, core, and slice the apples into quarter-slices about 1/4 inch thick. Place them in a large bowl and add sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg; toss and set aside.
In a large pan, melt 3 T. butter on medium-high heat. Add the bread crumbs and stir to coat; continue to stir while the crumbs toast, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely.
Heat oven to 400 F. Melt the remaining 5 T. butter. Roll out the puff pastry sheet to approximately 9 x 13 inches. (I did this on parchment paper that was generously floured.) Brush half of the melted butter onto the puff pastry. Sprinkle and pat the bread crumbs on top of the buttered pastry.
With the long edge positioned left to right, sprinkle the walnuts down the center of the pastry from top to bottom, in a column about 4 inches wide. On top of the walnuts, place the sugared apple slices compactly and somewhat stacked. Pour the raisins, rum and all, over the apple slices and distribute evenly.
Wrap the edges of the pastry over the top of the apple column, which may require some flour, stretching, and patience. Pinch the ends closed best you can. Brush the remaining melted butter over the top of the strudel, and make a few slices across the top to vent and for aesthetic.
Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet in the top third of the oven for about 30 minutes, until pastry is golden brown and baked through. Let cool at room temperature for half an hour or longer before dusting with powdered sugar and carefully slicing with a serrated knife.