This is how I imagine the conversation between you, the reader, and this Baker's Corner blog post:
Reader: "My my my, it's been a while. I've almost forgotten about you, you little Baker's Corner, you. And now you're showing your face here again. You ought to be embarrassed. But...I suppose, if you have something special to share then we can let it pass...just this once."
Baker's Corner: "Oh thank you, thank you! You won't regret it. I promise! And I swear I'll be around more frequently. It's just that it's been busy, you know."
Reader: "I guess so. So, what's so good that you're coming back to these parts?"
Baker's Corner: "It's for the Apple Strudel! It's easy and oh so good. I can't wait to make it for you."
Reader: "Well, get hopping. Maybe you can make it for Easter."
Baker's Corner: "Yes, yes! An excellent idea!"
That was corny. But, I like corny. I am corny. And I like apple strudel. I made this over the weekend since Josh has been asking me to make Apple Strudel for ages. Honestly, I've been complete intimidated by it. But now, now I know, it's actually easy! And it's delicious. Seriously, get in the kitchen!!!
Easy Apple Strudel
1 puff pastry sheet, thawed according to instructions
4 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced*
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon flour
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup raisins
1-2 Tbsp rum
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tea cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Egg wash (1 egg, beaten)
4 tablespoons cinnamon sugar (4 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon combined)
Remove one sheet of puff pastry from freezer and thaw according to instructions. Usually overnight in the refrigerator, or for 2 hours.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Apple Filling: Add apples, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and vanilla in a bowl and toss to combine; set aside for minutes 15 minutes to sweat (or longer, if desired). Add in flour and toss to combine.
Raisins: Soak raisins in rum for 15 minutes, or longer, until plump. (Note: You can totally skip the raisins if you don't like them. But they are soaked in rum, so...)
Breadcrumbs: In a small skillet over medium-low heat, melt butter and add the breadcrumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to coat and cook, stirring frequently as they can burn quickly, until crumbs are an even golden brown and very fragrant. Don’t let them burn. Scrape into a dish (or they’ll keep cooking in the pan) and set aside.
Assembly: Roll out puff pastry to a 12x16 rectangle on top of a sheet of parchment paper, Lightly score puff pastry into three vertical columns, with the middle column being 7 inches wide and the two outer columns at 2½ inches. Cut slits on either side of the center column to 1 inch wide and 2½ inches long.
Place breadcrumb mixture in the center of the puff pastry then the apple mixture (Note: if there is any juices in the apple bowl, leave them out!). Then fold top of puff pastry down by pulling alternating slits from one side to the other, making sure ends reach the edge of filling. Brush egg wash on top and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. For extra crunch, finish with a sprinkling of coarse sugar.
Transfer strudel on top of parchment paper to the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 350. Then increase the temperature to 400 and bake 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before slicing.
Serve with vanilla ice cream and/or coffee!
* Apple Note: I used 3 extra large Fuji apples. It would probably be 4-5 smaller apples. Honeycrisp would also be delicious! Then, to slice the apples, I used a mandolin on the thinnest setting (or just slice it very thin).