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!

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