Easy Apple Strudel
This easy Apple strudel is a delicious pastry that is made with store bought puff pastry dough filled with a sweet and tangy apple filling. The dessert is often served warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
The key to making a delicious apple strudel is using the right ingredients. Use fresh, crisp apples that hold their shape when cooked. Granny Smith apples are a popular choice (that’s what I use), but you can also use Honeycrisp or Braeburn apples.
You can find my apple pie filling recipe here. This is the same filling that I use for the strudel.
The history of apple strudel dates back to the 17th century when it was first made in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. The dish gained popularity across Europe and eventually spread to other parts of the world. Today, apple strudel is enjoyed in many countries, including Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, and the United States.
Traditionally the dough is made by stretching and rolling a thin layer of pastry until it is almost transparent. This requires some skill and practice. You can by all means make your own pastry, however I use store bought puff pastry for this recipe.
The filling for apple strudel is typically made with apples, sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes raisins or nuts. The mixture is cooked until the apples are tender and the flavors have melded together. Once cooled, add the filling along with any other fillings you may want to use (cream cheese, nuts, raisins), then form into a “roll”, or braid the top to get the traditional look of a strudel. Then bake as directed.
Apple strudel is best served warm, with a dusting of powdered sugar, a drizzle of caramel sauce or baked with decorators sugar. It pairs well with coffee, tea, or a glass of cold milk. It is a great dessert to serve at parties or special occasions, and it can also be a delicious breakfast or brunch item.
Apple strudel is a tasty and comforting dessert that has stood the test of time. Its combination of flaky pastry and sweet apple filling is hard to resist, and it is a dessert that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. Whether you make it from scratch or buy it from a bakery, apple strudel is a dessert that is sure to please.
Tips for easy Apple Strudel:
- Use store-bought puff pastry or phyllo dough: homemade dough can be tricky to make from scratch, so using pre-made dough from the store can save you a lot of time and effort.
- Choose the right apples: Use apples that are firm and tart, such as Granny Smith or Honeycrisp. They will hold up better during baking and provide a nice contrast to the sweetness of the sugar and cinnamon.
- Keep the filling simple: Don’t overcomplicate the filling. A mixture of sliced apples, sugar, cinnamon, and a little bit of lemon juice is all you need.
- If using phyllo pastry then use melted butter liberally: Brush melted butter between each layer of phyllo dough to add flavor and moisture. This will also help the layers stick together. I prefer to use puff pastry in this recipe, but use what you have on hand. Just remember phyllo needs butter between the layers to create that crisp layering.
- Roll carefully: If rolling the strudel, make sure to roll it tightly and keep the edges tucked in. This will prevent the filling from spilling out during baking. If you braid the pastry, make sure to tuck the ends in to prevent leaking.
- Bake until golden brown: Bake the strudel until it is golden brown and crispy. This should take about 25-30 minutes in a preheated oven set to 400°F.
- Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream: Once the strudel is finished baking, let it cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
- 1 sheet pan
- 1 square frozen puff pastry, thawed *all butter if possible
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened *full fat (not spreadable)
- ⅓ cup confectioners sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 2 cups Apple pie filling, cooled *I prefer to make my own
- 1 tsp decorators sugar (for the top)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp water
- on a lightly floured surface or sheet of parchment Roll out the thawed puff pastry to roughly a 16×12" rectangle
- Transfer the parchment and pastry to your sheet pan before you fill it. This will ensure it doesn't bread during transfer. Brush off any extra flour if there is any.
- In a small bowl combine the 4 oz cream cheese, softened the ⅓ cup confectioners sugar and ½ tsp vanilla. Mix well
- Down the center of the pastry, top about a 3-4" line of the cream cheese mixture all the way from the top to the bottom of the pastry, leaving about 1 " on each end so you can close it later.
- On top of the cream cheese spread your apple pie filling evenly down the length as well, leaving the same amount of pastry.
- Carefully and evenly, make a number of diagonal slices onto both sides of the pastry at equal distances, all the way down the pastry, leaving an inch on the end (this is for braiding)
- Starting at the top and alternating sides, cross each strip of pastry over the filling, leaving as little filling showing as possible (like braiding) continue this all the way down, tucking in the top and bottom edges when you're done.
- whisk the egg and 1 tsp water to make an egg wash
- Brush the entire pastry with an egg wash to seal the edges and help the pastry brown.
- Sprinkle the top with the decorators sugar
- Bake at 400℉ for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.