Breakfast & Desserts/ Other Desserts/ Russian Monday

Russian Monday: “Shtrudel” – Apple Strudel, Perfect Dessert

Strudel is a world-famous dessert delicacy. It originates from Austria where even in the smallest town every morning starts from the smell of apples with cinnamon spreading around. It comes from the bakeries where their caring owners are preparing strudel pastry for the morning coffee of local residents. If you ever try this pastry in one of the local coffee shops, you will always remain a devoted fan of it. The smell of fresh strudel is a smell of home, warm hands, and morning freshness…

Word “strudel” comes from German and means “vortex funnel swirl”. The pastry is named this way for a reason – during preparation, the dough is twisted to a roll into which filling is placed. Apple strudel (apfelstrudel) is considered classic, but cherry strudel is also very common. Austrian bakers came up with this name in the 18th century, however, the first known strudel recipe dates back to 1696 and its manuscript is stored in the Vienna city library. Some researchers also relate the origin of strudel to Byzantine Empire times, but the real popularity it has gotten during the Habsburg dynasty rule in Central and South-Eastern Europe.


Today variety of strudel fillings is limited only by imagination and talent of the baker. Apples and cherry are traditional, but in Europe you can find chocolate, wild berries, nuts, bananas, and pineapple and cranberry strudels. It may also not necessarily be sweet – meat, mushrooms, cabbage, onion, fish, seafood, potato strudel is a commonplace.

Strudel is very popular not only in German-speaking countries but also in Hungarian, Czech and European Jewish cuisines. Sometimes it may taste similar to some eastern pastries such as “baklava” and it is nothing to be surprised by – every dish with time acquires a lot of variations introduced by taste preferences of national cuisines. For example, Germans like to cook strudel with sauerkraut and replace butter with margarine, reduce the number of eggs, and add vinegar. In Balkan countries olive oil is often used instead of butter, in Slovenia cottage cheese is used instead of cream. Local variations of strudel are also made is Moldova and Ukraine.

Apple strudel on a plate with glass of wine

So even though strudel is Austrian dessert and today is “Russian Monday”, nevertheless strudel is a favorite pastry in Russia and very often served with tea and coffee.

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  • For the dough:
  • 1 3/4 cup (250g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 (120ml) water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • For the filling:
  • 4 apples, (peel, core and thinly slice them)
  • 1 cup dried fruits, raisins, apricots, plums
  • lemon zest from one lemon
  • lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup freshly made breadcrumbs
  • 4 Tbsp. butter for breadcrumbs
  • 5 Tbsp. butter melted, for buttering the dough
  • confectioners' sugar for dusting



To make the dough:


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together all ingredients for about 5 minutes. The dough should be very soft but not sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest at room temperature, about one hour.


In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the breadcrumbs and sauté for a few minutes until golden brown. Let cool.


To make the apple filling:


In a large bowl mix together the apples, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, dried fruits, and cinnamon. Set aside.


Cut the dough in a half. On a lightly floured kitchen towel roll out the dough (1/2). Using your hands, gently stretch the dough thinner on all sides, working your way around the sheet of dough. Stretch it until it starts to look translucent in spots. Let it rest a minute and stretch the areas you think are too thick, again. Your dough should be very thin. Brush dough with melted butter.


Preheat the oven to 400F.


Spread the (1/2) breadcrumbs over 2/3 of the dough and pat down evenly. Spoon the (1/2) apple filling on a top of the breadcrumbs, leaving a border all around. Fold in the two shorter sides, then using the towel roll up from one long side, Swiss-roll (jelly-roll) style. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Place the strudels on a lightly buttered baking sheet, seam side down. Brush the pastry with the remaining melted butter. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden.


Remove the strudels from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Dust with icing sugar before cutting into slices for serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream or vanilla sauce.


Note: This classic recipe is made with strudel dough, which is wonderful, but can be tricky and time-consuming, especially for a novice. Filo (phyllo or fillo) pastry makes a good shortcut.

Apple strudel on a baking tray
Apple strudel

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  • Reply
    Rosa's Yummy Yums
    January 13, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    A refined treat! Your strudel look really tempting.



  • Reply
    Elen Smirnova
    January 13, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Your struel looks delicious!! It's one of my favourite desserts..especially with apples..mmmmm^^

  • Reply
    January 13, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    This is one of my favorite temptations! I never made one but I enjoyed wonderful apple strudel in Vienna.

    Your photographs are amazing as always.

  • Reply
    La Table De Nana
    January 13, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    You have made it to perfection..and I am loving the live sous chef action shot ..etc..:)
    lovely set today..I always~

  • Reply
    Shibi Thomas
    January 13, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    I was looking for a reliable phyllo recipe and your's looks very good. I will try this recipe soon.

    BTW, I tried your baked sweet potato chips and was a sure hit in my family. I had made it 3 times already and kids cannot get enough of it. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!!!

  • Reply
    January 13, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    I love strudels and this one looks like it will be wonderful. A bit too hot here at the moment to make it but in about 3 months it will be nicely cooled down and we will be ready to bake this lovely treat. Cheers for the share 🙂

    • Reply
      March 18, 2023 at 10:50 pm

      Useful thanks

  • Reply
    January 13, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    Your strudel looks just perfect! One of my favorite desserts 🙂

  • Reply
    Rebecca Subbiah
    January 14, 2014 at 12:06 am

    wow this looks amazing 🙂 and great to see your boy in the kitchen

  • Reply
    January 14, 2014 at 2:23 am

    What a beautiful dessert, Yelena! I wish I had this beauty at my house! 🙂

  • Reply
    Te de Ternura
    January 14, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Ya lo creo que es un POSTRE PERFECTO y SABROSO y más con el toque que le dió el AYUDANTE
    que tuviste.
    Te felicito por esta receta YELENA
    Un abrazo:)))

  • Reply
    Eric Pepple
    January 14, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    I haven't had a good strudel in forever and this looks absolutely amazing! Fantastic recipe as usual 🙂

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  • Reply
    Spicie Foodie
    January 15, 2014 at 2:27 am

    I love strudel, a warm slice is heaven. They eat it in Czech Republic too!:) Good job Yelena it looks stunningly perfect.

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