One of the thing I love most of Italian food is how a recipe can be focused on only one ingredient and yet can make the most out of that simplicity.
Apple strudel is an example of such a recipe. This is not a Tuscan recipe since it belongs to the Trentino Alto Adige/Sud-Tirol region, where there is an important production of apples. But it landed in my family with my mother who loves to prepare it during winter, I suspect because is extremely easy and can be made by without having to measure the ingredients.
Lots of apple are wrapped in a lovely golden pastry. The recipe can be veganized by using "pasta matta" dough (which literalyl means 'crazy dough').
Cooking is my way to wander through not only ingredients but also my past and present life. Sometimes I feel the urge to explore new ingredients and use them to change up traditional recipes. At other times, like for this Strudel, sticking with tradition feels like the wiser choice.
First make your dough. Mix the flour, egg, oil, water, salt in a bowl. Whisk with a fork and then kead with your hand until you have a nice and smooth dough. Wrap in plastic and let it rest for 1 hour at room temperature.
Toast the breadcrumbs in a pan with the butter for a couple of minutes or until golden. Leave it aside. In a glass soak the raisins with water or rum if you prefer. Peel the apple and chop them finely. In a bowl with the apples add the sugar, cinnamon, pine nuts, lemon zest. Drain the rasin and add it to the bowl.
Place on a working surface a clean kitchen cloth. Sprinkle some flour on top to prevent the dough from sticking and with a rolling pin roll your dough in a rectangular shape until it gets so fine that you can almost see through. Brush the dough with some melted butter from the centre to 1 inch from each edge. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and then add the apple filling.
Helped by the cloth fold the lateral strips and then using the cloth (like to make sushi) fold the dough. Gently trasfer in an oven tray lined with parchement paper. Brush some melted butter on top of the strudel and cook in a preheated oven at 390F for 35 minutes. Sprinkle some confectionner's sugar on top and serve warm.
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Sharing and cooking my recipes is a very important part of this project. I’d love volunteers who can try out some of my recipes, give me feedback, and share their own stories of making and eating the recipes with their families and friends.
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In another three weeks I'll start leading a course at the Amazon Community Center in Eugene called'Eat and Speak the Italian way': Italy conjures up great food and a musicality of language. Learn to express yourself in Italian as you learn recipes with our Italian-born instructor. I'm pretty excited about it. And scared. I'm excited because the idea of...