Mother’s Day is a great time to remember Grandma. After all, we don’t call her “Grand Mother” for nothing! A favorite way that my family remembers generations of mothers is in the kitchen, with traditional treats that every generation loves.
Cooking with Mom–or Grandma–can be fun, but another way to make Mother’s Day even more special for your mom is to find a recipe your grandma enjoyed–or was known for–and make it as a special gift.
This recipe for apple strudel originated in Vienna but became popular in many European countries during the Austro-Hungarian Empire. My great-grandmother worked in Vienna at the beginning of the 20th century and brought this recipe home, then passed it on to her daughter (my grandmother). Although each generation modifies it to fit their own own tastes, both my mom and I love this sweet, spicy dessert. The following recipe for apple mini strudels uses no sugar and less butter so the final crust is not as flaky and puffy, but still tastes delicious. To make it even more healthy, you can use whole-wheat flour and organic ingredients, especially apples.
- 2/3 cup (1.3 stick) unsalted butter or vegetable margarine, melted, divided
- 2 cups unbleached flour
- 2 egg yolks
- 8 tablespoons warm water
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons raisins
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs or ground nuts
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or almonds
- 4 medium-sized cooking apples, peeled and shredded, drain excessive juice (preferably organic)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Dough A: In a medium bowl combine approximately half a cup of flour with butter (either melted or softened) and work into a dough with your hands; make into a bun and refrigerate.
- Dough B: In a medium bowl combine remaining flour with yolks, vinegar, salt and gradually add warm water; work into wet, soft dough with your hands.
- Flour your work surface lightly and roll dough B out as much as you can into a rectangle.
- Roll dough A out as much as you can into a rectangle half the size of B.
- Place dough A on half area of dough B and fold B over A covering it completely. Roll out this dough sandwich as much as you can; then fold all sides in as if making an envelope and fold in the middle again.
- Wrap folded dough with a damp towel and refrigerate.
- Repeat the rolling and folding process every 15 minutes at least three times total.
- Allow dough to stand for at least 30 minutes or for up to 2 days (longer is better) refrigerated.
- Roll finished dough out as much as you can. Cut into about 16 small rectangles (don’t cut if you want to make one long strudel)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper (parchment paper).
- In a bowl mix shredded apples with raisins, nuts, cinnamon and vanilla sugar.
- Powder breadcrumbs over flat dough, then add about one tablespoon of apple mixture to each rectangle.
- Fold both longer ends of dough to completely wrap the apple mixture, then fold short ends over and push down to close each mini strudel. Complete all pieces, place on baking paper and grease each top with melted butter.
- Bake the strudel or mini strudels for about 30 minutes or until it is deep golden brown.
- Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. Serve warm or cold.
Enjoy, and pack one or two into your child’s lunchbox.