Friday 27 December 2013

Christmas Day, Mum's Apple Strudel, and the secret of snails shiny shells...

Christmas Day. Time to  leisurely enjoy slow breakfast, exchange gifts and not worry when still clad in pyjamas, peeling potatoes, the phone rings to say they are on their way. Then leisurely be with friends and family, to eat and drink and share stories and laughter...crack, crackers and read silly jokes...

"How do snails keep their shells shiny?"

They use snail varnish of course...

Mum's apple strudel recipe

  • 7oz of puff pastry ( I think mum always used shop bought puff pastry for this recipe and I wasn't going to start making it from scratch, so followed suit)
  • 1/2oz of butter
  • 2oz of sultanas
  • 1 1/2lbs of apples
  • 2oz of caster sugar
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon. You can also add mixed spices if you like
  • Icing sugar to dust the top
Mum's Method:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6. 
  2. Roll out the pastry as thinly as possible.
  3. Slice the apples, add the sugar and cinnamon and fruit.
  4. Spread the filling over two thirds of the pastry.
  5. Roll out as if a long sausage, start with the side with the filling.
  6. When completely rolled over, fold in a V-shape and carefully place on an oiled baking tray. Brush the top with melted butter or alternative, 
  7. Cut little slits in the top.
  8. Bake for about half an hour in the middle of the oven. 
  9. When the pastry is cooked and pale golden brown, remove from the oven. 
  10. Dust with icing sugar.
This is lovely served warm with yoghurt, or cream with a dusting of ground cinnamon. It's just as nice at room temperature with a cup of tea or coffee. 

My method:
I cooked the peeled and sliced apples first in a slow cooker, along with the spices, plus the seeds from my favourite cardamom pods (2), a little vanilla extract, couple of cloves,    a grating of nutmeg, honey instead of sugar plus the juice of a lemon and an orange/tangerine. I didn't add any water but cook them until soft and mellow. Just because we recently got a slow cooker and I wanted to try it out. I then used them in the same way as the recipe, spreading them over two thirds of the pastry. 

Both versions of this recipe are delicious. The first, has a little more crunch in the apples, mine a softer, moister filling. Both have a crunchy pastry outside, then softer inside with tangy fruity filling.

Stage two, rolling out the pastry.

Stage four spreading out the filling. I added a lot of spices to mine. We love cinnamon and vine fruits, hence the dark colour of the apple filling. 

This isn't the most attractive looking desert but definitely up there the tastiest...Very more-ish...

Enjoy the rest of the holidays. I hope you have some time for leisurely breakfast...


  1. Sounds like you had a great Christmas! And how is that giant ring of puff pastry-wrapped apples and sultanas not attractive?! Thanks for sharing your mum's recipe deb ;)

  2. It was awesome thank you Shu Han. You're welcome and good luck with the pop-up...wish I could be there.
    Happy new year,

  3. everything looks heavenly! The snail joke is cute but I'm a simple gal :) I bet you are loving the busy and looking forward to the non busy like me!!!

  4. It was so good we were blessed with beautiful sunny, but cold days and everything just seemed to fall into place so easily. We're off to Sussex to celebrate the new year tomorrow...I hope you have a wonderful one.

  5. oh my goodness, i think that's the most attractive dessert ever! beautiful photos and inspiring recipes - i can't wait to visit again.

    happy new year!

    1. oh thank you Sam, that's kind of you to say. I wish you a very happy new year too.

  6. Hello Debby and happy new year!
    I think you had a very happy evening and I love gifts.
    Humm the apple strudel has to be delicious!
    (We have already returned from London, thanks for your recommendations).

    1. Thank you Montse. I hope that you have an amazing one too. You're welcome about the recommendations. I bet you had an awesome time. I can't wait to read about it.