In earlier posts, I’ve mentioned my love of old movie musicals. And it’s surprising how often food pops up in these musicals. So what could be better than posting a month’s worth of recipes inspired by those wonderful shows?
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you already know how much I love The Sound of Music. Most of you will know the story of Maria, the nun-turned-nanny who won the hearts of the seven von Trapp children and their father, with her loving nature and beautiful voice.
For my Sound of Music recipe, I considered making a cup of tea (a drink with jam and bread), but that seemed uninspired. Instead, I remembered the scene where Maria comforts the little girls during a thunderstorm. Soon, all of the children end up in the room (either from their own rooms, or from a date with Rolf) and Maria sings about her favorite things to cheer them up. “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,” she sings. And, for the purpose of today’s blog, “crisp apple strudels”.
Apple strudel is the ultimate Austrian dessert, so I chose a recipe developed by the Austrian chef that I know best, Wolfgang Puck, and his pastry chef, Sherry Yard. It has a flaky phyllo crust and is packed with fruit. I’m not sure that my strudel reaches the heights of the one I ate in Mondsee, Austria on the Sound of Music tour. But for a Canadian replica, it ranks right up there with bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens.
Apple strudel (makes two strudels)
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced feather thin
1/4 cup lemon juice (1 lemon)
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cherries or raisins
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 Tbsp butter, melted (for cooking bread crumbs)
2 Tbsp butter, melted (for brushing phyllo)
Optional: extra sugar and cinnamon to brush along the top of strudel
10 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed, about 17” x 12” each
In a medium bowl, toss together the apples and lemon juice. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and cherries or raisins. Add to the apples and set aside.
Stir bread crumbs in butter until coated and golden brown and crispy. Set aside to cool completely.
Place one sheet dough on a piece of parchment paper. With your fingers, gently brush dough with melted butter. (Don’t use a pastry brush as that will rip it.) Repeat until you've laid down five sheets of dough, each with butter.
Spread half the bread crumbs along the long (17”) side, in a two to three inch line, one inch from the bottom of the dough.
Place half the prepared apple mixture on the line of bread crumbs. Using the parchment paper to get started, roll up the dough jelly-roll style. With a knife, trim ends and tuck end of dough. Brush dough with melted butter and place on a cookie sheet. If desired, sprinkle with extra cinnamon and sugar. Before baking, score the top of the strudel about 2” apart to help with cutting it after baked.
Repeat with second half of ingredients.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes. Turn cookie sheet around in the oven and cover with foil. Continue to bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown.