Rustic Apple Strudel – and why I love my imperfection

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Today I’m bringing you my last puff pastry post for Pepperidge Farm, a flaky and delicious Rustic Apple Strudel. The recipe is based off of one I found on their website, with a few minor alterations, most notably the term “rustic”, which I will explain in just a minute.

I call this my “Rustic” Apple Strudel because, well…You see, I’m not a perfectionist - but my mother is. She never insists that others do anything perfect, she just insists that she does it that way. Mama has always done everything perfectly and we’ve always benefited from it, but I’ve never felt the need to emulate.

The cool thing with me is, I figured from the start that I could never do anything as well as Mama did so I just never tried to, I did it my way – and Mama has always been very supportive of that. I can’t count how many times Mama has finished a quilt top only to find a single square in the center not placed quite how she had intended, then she sets to work taking out stitches and completely reworking it because of a misplaced two inch square. Me, I just tilt my head to the side, squint my eyes until it looks normal, and call it “original”. That keeps the fun in it for me.

I’m much the same way when it comes to food presentation. Cooking is something I truly enjoy. I love “playing” in the kitchen and making meals and treats for people. I have fun with it but if I were to insist that the things I turned out looking like something in a magazine, that would replace fun with stress for me. One thing I’ve never quite understood is why folks want to make homemade food look like restaurant food. Being someone who considers homemade food to be superior (I mean, really…can a restaurant chef’s cooking compete with the cooking of someone who loves you?), it seems that when you take a homemade item and try to make it look “professional” you’re taking a step down. Another thing, in my mind, is that when you focus on trying to make a dish look like a photograph, it takes your eye off the prize – that you are fortunate enough to be able to cook for your family.

So this is where the term “rustic” comes into play ~grins~. You see, Pepperidge Farm had the most gorgeous apple strudel on their website. It really was beautiful. I bet food stylists and photographers fussed over that thing to perfection. I sure do appreciate them going to all of that trouble to offer me up a photograph yummy enough to motivate me to make this.

However, back in the real world here at Bountiful, it was 5:00, the kids were hungry, the husband was on his way home, and my phone was ringing off the hook. While I wanted to serve this delicious dessert to my family, I had precious little time to fuss with it. Fortunately, puff pastry is a workhorse, as I’ve said before. You can be rough with it, it can take it. I rolled that sheet out, paying little attention to the wrinkle here and there I rolled into it. I thawed my frozen apple slices and used them in the original wedges I had cut them in instead of slicing them thinly as the original recipe had done. Tossing it all together, I rolled it up, sealed it, and popped it in the oven. It didn’t look exactly like theirs, but mine was *rustic*. ~grins~

Puff Pastry is perfect for “rustic” desserts as well as polished ones. Whichever you make, I’m sure your brood will enjoy this Apple Strudel as much as mine did and you’ll enjoy that it took me just a little over five minutes to throw the thing together and have it happily baking in my oven.

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You’ll need: Apples (peeled and sliced), sugar, flour, one sheet of puff pastry (two come in a box), cinnamon, and allspice.

This is my modification on the original recipe.

I used apples that I froze this past summer. I thawed them in the microwave and then drained the juice off of them. You can use fresh apples though, just peel and slice them.

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Place apples in a bowl. Add sugar.

I’m gonna use just a teensy bit more sugar than the original recipe called for…

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Add cinnamon

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And whenever I bake apple desserts, I like to add a pinch of allspice. It really makes the cinnamon *pop*.

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Add a bit of flour.

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And stir that up really well.

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Four a surface. I like to roll out a bit of waxed paper to do this on for easy clean up.

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Add thawed puff pastry sheet.

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Roll it out a bit.

This is where mine starts getting “Rustic” as I am not going to measure the size I roll it out to and I’m gonna overlook those few wrinkles I rolled into it while Katy Rose came into the kitchen to talk to me.

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Place all of your apples in the center.

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That juice in the bottom of the bowl looked too good to throw away so…

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Roll over each side.

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Press the ends up as well and press lightly on all seams to seal. If you need to, you can dampen the edges to get them to stick.

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The recipe called for using a beaten egg for this part but melted butter sounded good to me. I also sprinkled the top with a bit of sugar.

Bake at 375 for twenty minutes, or until golden.

Ricky says to serve hot with vanilla bean ice cream :).

Rustic Apple Strudel

Rustic Apple Strudel

Ingredients

  • 1 Puff Pastry sheet (1/2 of a package)
  • 1/2 stick margarine, melted
  • 3 T granulated sugar
  • 1 T all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 2-3 large granny smith apples, peeled and sliced (I used frozen ones)
  • Confectioners' sugar (optional - we used ice cream instead :)

Instructions

  1. Remove one puff pastry sheet from the package and let sit at room temperature until thawed, about a half hour or so. Place on floured surface and roll out just a bit with floured rolling pin. In medium bowl, place sliced apples and add flour, 3 T sugar, and spices. Stir well to coat apple slices entirely. Spoon apples down the center of your puff pastry sheet. Fold over sides and press seams to seal. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with a little bit of sugar.
  2. Place on baking sheet and bake at 375 for twenty minutes, or until golden.
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You cannot do a kindness too soon,

for you never know how soon it will be too late.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Submitted by Bill Gentry. Submit your quote here. (I always need more quotes!)

Hang on to your hats because I’m about to bring you a ton of Christmas gift recipes! To keep up to date, join our Facebook Family page or check back at the headline of Southern Plate often! (The headline is the green part. I’ll be putting last year’s gift recipes up there and changing them out periodically).

Gratefully,

Christy

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Comments

  1. Linda Owens says

    Thanks Christy, I have three boxes of Puff Pastry in the freezer! Love the stuff. I’ve been making “rustic” palmiers. I’ll give your apple strudel a try. Have a Wonderful day!

    • Betty Duck says

      Christy, this looked so good! I just had to make it, but I didn’t have have the indredients it called for.
      I got to thinking, I had a can of apple pie filling and a no-roll pie crust. It is delicious. I can’t wait to make it with the pastry sheet. If it is any better, I probably can’t stand it. Your site is the best site I have found. Your recipes are so simple. Oh yes, I love your Mama’s hints and recipes. The wax paper one brought back so many memories. I still buy wax paper. In fact, I used it to roll my pie crust for the strudel.

  2. says

    Hey Christy!

    I love it, my husband will love it…I mean the whole thing about food photography, even if I did make him buy me a light box…BUT he is always saying “Maria, I don’t care how it looks so long as it tastes good.” And I just shake my head at him, but you put it all right in my head. Love this idea, definitely going to try it this weekend! MUAHS!

  3. Debbie in Texas says

    Oooo, this looks really delicious! I have still never used puff pastry but this looks simple enough that I will make it! My boys love this and I’m guessing you could even used canned fruit (Comstock or something similar)???

  4. Mama Jane says

    sweetie, those wrinkles in your puff pastry are proof that talking to your baby girl is more important than a perfect pastry.
    that means you’ve got your priorities right where they should be. Yay for good mamas!

  5. Cara says

    Mmmmm, those look SO good. And I bet they make your house smell divine. I’ll be trying those out this weekend. They’ll be the perfect treat after we set up and decorate our Christmas tree!

  6. Terri go Dawgs says

    Thanks, Christy, for emphasizing that things don’t have to be perfect to be enjoyable. I like perfection, myself, but often drive myself crazy trying to achieve it. Honeypie hubby loves apples….maybe I will surprise him with this this week. BTW, Ricky is right…ice cream does need to go with this. huggies comin’ atcha!

  7. says

    This looks really good. I wonder if it would work with canned peaches since the dadster is a peachaholic?

    Hmm.. this opens up doors for me. Trying to think what leftovers I could get rid of this way? Roast beef and a little gravy for a little mock Beef Wellington or a pot pie?

    Oh well.. It will have to wait. I’m fighting an epic battle against killer gnats. They multiply very, very fast. My goal is to make them into fractions. HA!

  8. Cathy D says

    I’m adding puff pastry & apples to my shopping list! In fact, I just may make a special trip just for this’ :-)

    And, oooh, I can’t wait to see your posts about the Christmas gifts! <3

  9. nicole says

    OMG- i want a piece NOW…LOL

    ok- how long did you thaw your apples for? I froze mine using the way you said in your previous post (they STILL look fresh as the day i put them in the freezer!)??

    thanks for posting- may do this for new years!

  10. roblovesleo says

    I made the rustic apple strudel..it took about 30 minutes…bottom was a little under done…so I turned the oven up….I also made your cinnabuns…my family loves them…they are better than the ones at the mall…thanks for the recipes…I need to tweak the strudel a little- maybe I didnt roll it out thin enough…????
    thanks Christy- Happy New Year!! loveyou and your recipes!
    robinkwieder

  11. Holly says

    hi this looks so good! I am goign to make it this afternoon. Im wondering, though, how many slices do you think it will make? Im taking it to a dinner party and wonder if I should make 2 ro if 1 will yield at leats 10 slices?

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