My husband’s long-time friend, Timm, came to visit us last fall, and during the visit, we took him to a German restaurant for lunch. When our waitress asked if we wanted any dessert, Timm’s eyes lit up with anticipation when he found out they served apple strudel. Then he found out the strudel had nuts, which he’s extremely allergic to, and the spark in his eyes was gone.
Seeing the disappointment on his face instantly triggered a plan in my head. I needed to make Timm a nut free apple strudel! So over Christmas break, my daughter and I made him this braided apple strudel. It had the perfect ratio of sweetness and spice from the apple filling, a buttery, beautifully braided, flaky crust, but most importantly – no nuts!
You can cut the preparation time by using pre-made thawed puff pastry dough which works extremely well here.
For the filling:
3 Honey Crisp apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1 cup applesauce
4 tablespoons butter, softened
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon all-spice
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
For the dough:
1/2 cup butter, cold
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated
For the topping:
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2) In a medium sauté pan, melt the butter and add the apples, sugar, all-spice, cloves, cinnamon, and applesauce. Cook until the apples are soft and the sugar has caramelized. Remove the pan from the heat to cool.
3) Place the flour, salt, and butter in a large mixing bowl, and using a pastry blender cut the butter into the flour until the mixture is crumbly. Mix in the egg and the sugar.
4) Roll out the dough on a sheet of parchment paper, so you have a large rectangular shape.
5) Cut a two-inch strip away from one side of the dough, and cut that strip into three equal strips. Braid the strips together and set aside.
6) Spoon the apple filling down the center of the dough, then moisten the edges with water and fold the dough closed over the filling. Press the seam gently to seal. Moisten the top of the dough with water using your fingertips and gently place the braided dough on top. Transfer the parchment paper with the strudel to a baking sheet.
7) Beat the egg and water in a small bowl and brush the top of the strudel with the egg wash, then sprinkle the remaining granulated sugar on top.
8) Place the strudel in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the crust is golden browned.