Apple Strudel

My Nanny’s Jewish Apple Strudel (Sarah Bassuk)

This recipe is about as close as I could get to my amazing grandmother’s famous Apple Strudel.  She came from the Ukraine and what was amazing about her was that she came to America with my grandfather aka Papa ask Isidore Bassuk and landed in Brooklyn like most Ashkenazim Jews from that era.  After Nanny & Papa’s had grown and had children of their own, (my brothers and me) etc.  Nanny was riddled with rheumatoid arthritis and she was in wheel chair from falling down at my parents wedding (Oy).  But man oh man she could roll out the best strudel and rugelach dough this side of the universe.    Of course none of us who worshiped her cooking and baking were able to save her incredible recipes, so as her beloved youngest granddaughter, I have tried my best to honor Nanny here.  I hope you try it because it does actually resemble, taste and smell just like hers and I know you will love it!  Enjoy Gazigizent

Dough

  • 2 cups – All Purpose Flour and extra for rolling out
  • 1 tbl vegetable shortening or vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • dash of salt
  • 1 egg beaten or 1/4 cup of egg beaters

Filling

  • 10 apples (Granny Smith is best)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of Challah bread crumbs or cake crumbles
  • zest of 1 orange
  • dash of salt
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 3-4 tbl pineapple jam
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Melted butter for brushing
  • 1 egg or 1/4 cup of egg beater for brushing

Directions

Sift the flour into a bowl, add salt. Break the egg in a measuring cup, beat and then top up with water.

Pour into flour, add oil and quickly mix everything together. Take out on a floured surface and knead until smooth; use flour all the time. Dust with flour on both sides and cover with a clean cloth. Let it rest for 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare surface for pastry and filings.

Cover large surface (dinner table) with a clean cloth, dust with flour.
Chop up or slice apples in a bowl and add pineapple jam, walnuts & raisins with cinnamon and sugar, set aside
After 1/2 hour of resting, dust dough with flour and roll out to 50-60 cm in diameter. Spoon 3-4 tbs of melted butter (not hot), and spread with your fingertips.
Now, with your palms (or backhands) try to stretch the dough as much as possible – a little at a time, going around all the time. Don’t worry if the dough breaks a little bit.
On one side of the dough spoon the apples, which you have slightly squeezed out from excess liquid. Spoon sugar and cinnamon, sprinkle with challah crumbs. Pour some more melted butter all around the pastry and filing. Start rolling (lifting the cloth) to the other end. Place strudel in an buttered dish, brush some melted butter and egg wash on top and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Nanny always served it a room temperature with whipped cream and vanilla ice cream.  Love you and miss you Nanny always!

Advertisements

Hello world!

I grew up a reform Jew in Manhattan (94th & CPW) during the 70s & 80s with an artistic genetic brand running through my household. My mother a previous ballerina with the NYC Ballet company, worked with Balanchine and Fosse. My brother followed his MFA in Theater and has directed stage pieces from Shakespeare to Kafka. As for me, I was accepted into School of Visual Arts, but went the business route instead. I sold my artwork on the streets of Greenwich Village while in HS during the hot city summers. I studied fine arts one on one with one of the best private tutors Hunter College could offer at the time, Arthur Stein. I went to work for Donald Trump in 1983 and experienced the world of glitz inside NYC real estate. After three marriages and one son, who was conceived through a mix of confused marital bonds with his father who is from Jordan. With much regret and adversity, I am blessed to have a handsome and brilliant son who beautifully completed his Bar Mitzvah in 2013 to his father’s chagrin.

I have always throughout all my privileged and adverse years found my solace in cooking and baking. I guess you can say I turned my kitchen into my long forgotten and missed canvas. Being married to my beshert (soul mate) from Israel we live a humble kosher life where I stretch the noodle so to speak by created and reinventing dishes from scratch. All to which brings much applauds and personal satisfaction. As my social network continues to grow through appreciation of my food, this blog shall serve the purposes for that medium and more.

I will share recipes as I continue to fullfill my dream of writing and finishing my cookbook “Breaking Bread In the Biblical Lands” (Sharing authentic cuisine recipes that span from the Middle East to Israel and European Jews” How food unites us all as one in a land of disparity and dreams of peace.

Most recently I will share my new connection with Vegan-ism due to my connection and deep love for animals. As I educate myself if more of what is happening in the world around us through my devotion to food, it is difficult for me to ignore how we are mistreating our live cattle and others. For me it is not the question of which G-d has created animals for us to eat, but the question begins with how just and humane (kosher) do we treat them. Even kosher processes become largely questioned when it comes to mass production. Dairy products and how unfairly the mother and calf are separated for our own mass consumption. Hence, I choose other methods that keep me kosher and humane while not sacrificing in flavor or gourmet outcome.

So join me on my journey through Kosher/Halal and Veganism/Vegetarian means of enjoying the best of what I can give you from the heart of my kitchen canvas!