As a child, Alan’s favorite dessert was apple pie, and even now if there’s apple pie or apple strudel available, one of us usually tries some. We’ve had apple strudel so many times we imagine we’re connoisseurs, but in all the world, we’ve never tasted apple strudel anywhere that we think is as good as our daughter-in-law Gerlinde’s (who’s from Germany and very practiced at this specialty). Today, I’m going to do a show and tell (with two dozen photos), explaining just how to make some the world’s best apple strudel! 🙂
Authentic German Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel)
(I’d say it could serve 12-24, but the 8 of us polished it all off in a day!)
||all purpose flour
Melt butter in a pot. Put flour in a bowl. Mix butter, salt, lukewarm water with a mixer. Boil water in a small pot, pout out the boiling water and dry it out completely. Then put the dough in the hot pot, close the pot with a lid and let stand for 30 minutes.
About 1 kilograms apples (any that are good for pies, like MacIntosh or Honeycrisp)
90 grams butter
100 grams sugar
Generous sprinkling of cinnamon (about 1 teaspoon per strudel ±)
Preheat the oven to 350° F
Prepare baking tray by lining it with parchment paper
Filling:(this will make two strudel)
Peel the apples and cut into small pieces. Melt butter.
Divide the dough in two pieces. Prepare to roll out the dough on a thin dish towel that has a pattern. (Gerlinde told me you know it’s done when you can see the pattern through the dish towel…can you see the butterfly?) Sprinkle flour on the dish cloth to prevent the dough from sticking to it. Roll out each peace of dough into a rectangular shape. Spread the liquid butter on the dough. Then add the apples on top of the butter.
Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top of the apples. Close up the dough, using water to make the dough stick to the sides. Use the dish cloth to transfer the strudel to the baking tray with the dough seam facing down on the tray. After you’ve made both of the strudels, brush them with a mixture of one egg and a little milk. Bake for approximately 50 minutes or until the strudel is golden brown and you think the apples are soft. After the strudel is baked, take out of oven and let cool, or serve warm. You can sprinkle powdered sugar on top of it. (We served it with ice cream and whipping cream, although it’s also superb by itself.) Enjoy! 🙂
“How sweet are thy words unto my taste!
yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103).
After watching an enthralling rendition of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s musical, The Sound of Music, in Stratford last weekend, it occurred to me that I’ve never written a post about Salzburg, Austria, which is the idyllic setting for this immortal tale of love based on the memoirs of Baroness Maria Von Trapp. Alan and I visited Salzburg while on a river cruise of the beautiful Blue Danube aboard (can you imagine?) a lovely riverboat named The Sound of Music! 🙂 Salzburg is on the border of Germany, nestled in the foothills of the Alps along the Salzach River, and it’s actually the fourth largest city in Austria…a thriving, modern metropolis. However, their “Old Town” city center is still romantically quaint. It’s a UNESCO Heritage site filled with filled with baroque architecture, and even in the chill of November, it was bright… with Christmas decorations! Salzburg is probably best known to Americansas the backdrop for The Sound of Music, and we visited some of the favorite sites from the movie, such as the gardens where the children played and the cemetery where the Von Trapps hid from the Nazis. However, Salzburg is also famous as the birthplace of Christian Doppler
(physicist who first described the “Doppler effect”) and Wolfgang Mozart, who to this day remains one of the world’s
most prolific and enduringly popular classical composers. In fact, Mozart is such an icon in Austria that you can buy Mozartkugel
(“Mozart Balls”…dark chocolate, marzipan, and nougat)
as easily as you can buy a Tim Horton doughnut in Canada! One of the highlights of our day was stopping to pray
at the magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica and then enjoying an incredible luncheon at the famous St. Peter’ Stiftskeller, where they’ve been lavishing hospitality on people for over 1,200 years! Actually, it’s the world’s oldest restaurant, established in 803 AD, which is more than 1,000 years older than America’s
Ye Olde Union Oyster House in Boston (just to put things in perspective). Yet another highlight was teatime at the world-famous Sacher Hotel, where I couldn’t resist trying a world-class “Sacher torte” (although Alan couldn’t resist the world-class apple strudel…
second only to our daughter-in-law Gerlinde’s!) Just outside the Sacher Hotel is the Salzburg Makartsteg, which spans the Salzach River and is lined with lockets to commemorate great loves. Sadly, Alan and I hadn’t brought along a locket, but as I examined these cherished treasures, I couldn’t help but think of Sister Maria. Did you know that she really wasn’t in love with Georg when she married him? Beneath the gauze of Hollywood romance was a woman who married out of a sense of duty. She was angry with God on her wedding day, but later wrote in her memoirs: “I learned to love him more than I have ever loved before or after.” I think that’s astounding…and an even happier ending(given the reality of her situation) than what’s portrayed in the musical. I also think Maria’s testimony holds out hope
to anyone who’s struggling in their marriage. God can bless perseverance with true love. For anyone who’s willing! “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart,
and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned” (1 Timothy 1:5).
P.S.—Someone who read this pointed out to me that today is Julie Andrews’ 80th birthday…so it’s an especially good day to commemorate this love story! 🙂
Alan and I just returned from a week of cruising along the Danube River from Nuremberg, Germany, to Budapest, Hungary, stopping along the way to tour the marvelous medieval city of Regensburg, the Melk Abby in Austria, Salzburg (home of The Sound of Music—this is where the von Trapps hid), Vienna in Austria, and the gorgeous countryside near Bratislava in Slovakia. We traveled aboard a river cruiser poetically named The Sound of Music, and every afternoon they served tea and cakes in the lounge. We were huge fans! During the days we enjoyed spectacular views along the Danube River or toured fabulous palaces full of treasures! By night we were treated to delightful classical entertainment (like this night of concert, ballet, and operatic highlights in Vienna), and at other times we enjoyed lively traditional folk music or other fun. We made a lot of new friends and learned so much…tried lots of yummy new (and old) treats and had many memorable experiences! I took a couple thousand pictures and hope at some point to share in more detail, but I’m still (very slowly) trying to recapture our trip on the Baltic Sea, so recounting our trip to the Danube may be a project for the winter months after Christmas while I’m snug at home but in the mood to reminisce about warmer days. Meanwhile, I wanted to share just a few highlights from the trip. Truly, we live in an amazing world, and I am so thankful to be alive!
“You have…clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!”(Psalm 30:11-12)