This recipe for Apple Strudel with Phyllo Dough combines crisp, juicy apples, thin layers of delicate pastry with the delectable flavors of rum raisin. Served warm or chilled, this perfect pastry celebrates the best that this time of year has to offer.
WHY WE LOVE A HOMEMADE APPLE STRUDEL
- Easy to make! With only a few ingredients, this delicious flaky dessert can be made in under an hour.
- Great way to use up apples. If you went a little overboard apple picking or just have a few apples laying lonely on the counter, use them in this recipe!
- Perfect dessert for October Fest! Look for great beer pairings at the end of this post. Don't forget to make a batch of homemade pretzels too!
WHAT IS A STRUDEL?
Strudel is a layered pastry with sweet filling. While its origin is attributed to Vienna, strudel is commonly found across central Europe and throughout the world. Traditional apple strudel recipes are quite laborious, with many hours and complicated steps to create the perfectly thin layers of strudel dough. I have heard that some pastry chefs require their strudel dough be so thin that you can read the newspaper through it.
WHAT IS PHYLLO DOUGH?
Phyllo dough is a very thin unleavened dough. Phyllo (or filo) is Greek for sheet, and that is exactly how pre-made think pastry phyllo dough comes packaged. You can buy fresh or frozen phyllo dough sheets that are stacked and carefully rolled in parchment paper in the freezer section of most grocery stores.
If you purchase frozen phyllo dough for this apple strudel recipe, you'll need to allow it to defrost in the fridge for at least 24 hours before attempting to work with it.
Phyllo dough desserts are some of my favorites! From a delicious baklava to a crunchy and flaky phyllo dough apple strudel, there are so many phyllo dough dessert recipes!
- Raisins- I like to use a mixture of regular and golden raisins
- Rum- any rum will work but a good spiced rum adds a ton of flavor
- 3 Sweet Apples-preferably Granny Smith, Jonagold, or Granny Smith Apples
- Brown SugarCinnamon
- Pre-made Phyllo Dough
- Melted Butter
HOW TO MAKE THIS EASY APPLE STRUDEL RECIPE
- Pour rum into a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add raisins and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let raisins cool for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, toss together raisins, diced apples. brown sugar, and cinnamon until apples are coated.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lay the first sheet of phyllo dough onto the lined baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and top with next layer of phyllo. Continue stacking and brushing with butter until you have completed all 8 sheets.
- Spoon filling onto the left longside of the phyllo rectangle. Roll the dough up to enclose the filling and carefully turn so that it is seam side down.
- Brush log with remaining melted butter.
- Bake in preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes or until strudel is golden brown and puffed.
- Cool for 5 minutes before slicing, if serving warm. Otherwise, serve the baked strudel at room temperature.
- Sprinkle the top of the strudels with powdered sugar before serving.
TIPS FOR MAKING AN APPLE STRUDEL WITH A FLAKY CRUST
- Assemble your strudel in the sheet pan that you are making it! Transferring the filo pastry strudel after rolling can cause breakage so it's best not to move it and use the prepared pan as your work surface..
- Have all the components of the recipe ready to go when you begin to assemble. The pastry sheets dry out quickly and can begin to break. Avoid this by working quickly and keeping a damp towel over the sheets that you are not using.
- When you roll the dough to enclose the apple filling, don't do it too tightly so it doesn't crack and burst open in the oven. And be sure the seam is down as indicated in the recipe.
- Don't roll your strudel too tightly as it will cause the sheets to tear.
SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS
- Toss chopped apples in about a teaspoon of lemon juice to avoid browning.
- Add a bit of lemon zest for additional flavor.
- Add nuts! Walnuts and pecans work wonderfully.
- Sprinkle the outer layer of the log with a cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or (if you can find it) cinnamon ice cream!
HOW TO MAKE APPLE STRUDEL WITH PHYLLO DOUGH AHEAD OF TIME
You can make the apple strudel filling in advance, and keep in the fridge until you are ready to assemble at a later date. Just follow these steps:
- Simmer the rum and raisins in a saucepan over medium heat, then allow to the mixture to cool.
- Prepare the apple mixture. I recommend using this tool for quickly coring, peeling, and slicing apples (I then quickly chop the slices for this recipe).
- In a bowl, combine the diced apples with about a tablespoon of Lemon juice, cinnamon, brown sugar and the rum raisins.
- Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
HOW TO SERVE APPLE STRUDEL WITH PHYLLO DOUGH
To serve, you can top apple strudel with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or caramel sauce. I love the simplicity of topping apple strudel with powdered sugar. My kids love to help by manning the sifter and making it "snow". Apple Strudel with Phyllo Dough can get messy, so I recommend slicing it with a sharp knife or a serrated knife. But make sure you get all those buttery crumbs on the plate too!
GREAT BEERS THAT PAIR WITH APPLE STRUDEL
Apple Strudel is a popular coffeehouse offering, and is typically enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea. It is also a fixture at most Oktoberfest celebrations and pairs quite well with beer. Choose a brew with a higher yeast content, like hefeweizens, dunkels, and Belgian abby ales. The maltier profile of brown ales also pairs nicely with the rum raisin flavors in this apple strudel filling.
Can I make strudel with puff pastry?
Yes, but note that you will not have the same level of flakiness from the dough. I recommend tossing the apples with a teaspoon of cornstarch before rolling the pastry to avoid the cooked apple juice making the pastry soggy.
What can I make with additional phyllo sheets?
Cut the sheets into squares and layer a few sheets of dough into a butter greased muffin pan and bake until golden. This will create a delicious flaky crust that is perfect for filling with a cream and top with fresh fruit. Or, use it to make a second strudel!
How do I keep the sheets of filo dough from breaking?
The dough is an incredibly thin pastry and if not kept cold and moist, it will tear. Cover the sheet of dough with a damp towel or tea towel while using.
More Delicious Autumn Recipes
MORE DECADENT APPLE DESSERTS
- 1 cup raisins
- ⅓ cup rum
- 3 apples preferably Granny Smith or Jonagold, peeled, cored and diced into small ½" pieces.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 8 layers phyllo dough
- 4 tablespoons butter melted
Pour rum into a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add raisins and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let raisins cool for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, toss together raisins, diced apples. brown sugar, and cinnamon until apples are coated.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lay 1st sheet of phyllo dough onto the lined baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and top with next layer of phyllo. Continue stacking and brushing with butter until you have completed all 8 sheets.
Spoon filling onto the left longside of the phyllo rectangle. Roll the dough up to enclose the filling and turn so that the seam is at the bottom.
Brush log with melted butter.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until strudel is golden brown and puffed.
Cool for 5 minutes before slicing, if serving warm. Otherwise, serve room temperature.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.