We just arrived in Vienna after a nearly 18 hour trip from Lima.
Now I'm still a bit Jetlaged but happy to be in my home town again and with lots of plans to see family and friends and to visit concerts, operas, museums... there is such a huge variety of cultural events going on that it's not hard to find something you are interested in but it's hard to choose which one to take.
A baroque fountain at the town center
One of the most characteristic culinary highlights of Vienna is the sweet side of the city.
It's baked in nearly every Pastry shop of the city with passion and dedication and every place has its own secret recipe.
In Vienna they say that the dough of the Apple Strudel should be stretched so finely that a love letter may be read through it.
The oldest hand written Strudel recipe dates from 1696 and can be seen at the Viennese City Library.
The dough is not so difficult to prepare but takes a lot of patience and most people nowadays buy it at the Supermarket and only prepare the filling and bake the Strudel at home.
The best is to use Strudel sheets but Filo sheets will do as well.
This traditional recipe is an adaption from a recipe published by the Austrian Tourist Office.
In case you want to prepare the Strudel and dough yourself, here is what you need:
For the Strudel:
1/4kg (2 cups) very fine flour
1 tablespoon salt
1-2 tabelspoon oil
about 1/8 (1/2 cup) luke-. warm water
Some melted butter to brush the dough
For the filling:
3/4 cups of bread crumbs
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2-2kg (31/2 -4 1/2 lbs.) chopped baking apples (Granny Smith or Gala)
4 teaspoons freshly pressed lemon juice
3/4 cups granulated sugar
3 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/4 cup yellow raisins (optional)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
melted butter for brushing the dough
powdered sugar for decoration
For the dough:
Mix together flour,salt,oil and enough luke-warm water to make a soft dough.
Knead very well until it becomes silky and smooth but not sticky.
In case you need to add flour, only add a little bit at a time.
Form the dough into a loaf, cover and let rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
For the filling:
Brown the bread crumbs in butter until golden brown, stirring constantly.Let cool.
Peel ,core and finely slice the apples. sprinkle with lemon juice and season with sugar, cinnamon an cloves.
Roll out the dough to about 9 inches to 13 inches on a table covered with a floured cloth.
Place out your hands under the dough and , using your thumbs and the back of your hands gently begin pulling and stretching the dough until wafer-thin (remember the love letter !!)
Trim away thick edges.
Brush the dough with melted butter and spread the bread crumbs over it.
Spread the apple mixture evenly over the dough, eventually adding the raisins and walnuts.
Using the cloth to help lift the dough,rool up the strudel as you would roll up a jelly roll.
Place seam side down on a buttered baking tray, brush generously with melted butter and bake at 180C (350F) until golden brown.
Let cool down, cut into 1 1/2 inch wide slices with a bread knife and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
According to our choice the strudel may be served with whipped cream, vanilla cream or vanilla ice cream ( the last option tastes best when served when the strudel is still warm)
See you by the beginning of October, when back from my vacation :)
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