When fall arrives, fortunately apples come with it, and in Washington State, we are talking a lot of apples, all shapes, colors, and varieties. Growing up I was never too fond of apples desserts, but the older I get, the more I like them. I remember my grandmother’s apple crisp – I loved the crisp topping, but never wanted to eat any of the apples.
The first time I really enjoyed an apple dessert was when I was studying abroad during college. We had two weeks off for spring break to travel, and that’s exactly what we did. We probably went to 10 countries in 14 days, and it was awesome. The motto for the trip was to experience all the “specialties of the region.” Mostly that meant food, although it included activities as well. It was on that trip that I had my first apple strudel, and it was amazing – the crust was so flakey, and the apples were so cooked that they almost melted in my mouth. The strudel was warm, and just incredible, especially for someone who wasn’t fond of apple desserts. It was not served with ice-cream, unlike the american apple pie.
The other week we were invited to a traditional October-fest, and the host asked me to bring something Bavarian. I went to Epicurious, and this was what I chose. It was pretty easy to make, and came out delicious. The dried cherries were a really nice addition. It was not as good as I remember in Austria, but definitely worth making – especially if you are not fond of apple desserts…yet.
- 6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 6 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
- Vegetable-oil cooking spray
- 1/2 cup amaretti cookie or graham cracker crumbs
Heat oven to 350°F. In a 12-inch nonstick pan over medium heat, cook apples with dried fruit, sugar and cinnamon until tender, about 10 minutes. Let cool, reserving liquid for optional sauce. Layer 2 phyllo sheets on top of each other. Coat top of phyllo layer with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1/3 of cookie crumbs. Layer 2 more sheets of phyllo on top, coat with cooking spray, then crumbs; repeat once more. Spread apple mixture on top; roll up from the shorter end. Coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Place strudel on sheet and bake 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool. Cut into 8 pieces. Place a slice on each plate;
Optional sauce: Mix yogurt with reserved liquid and drizzle over slices.
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