Shortcut Apple Strudel – Sliced cinnamon Granny Smith apples and golden raisins are wrapped in layers in premade filo dough and baked into a crispy apple strudel
German apple strudel was something that I always wanted to make but the ultra thin dough used in the recipe always intimidated me. To make it from scratch looks exhausting and I honestly don’t think I even have the counter space to roll something out that long and thin.
But then I saw a shortcut used in a recipe that made total sense – phyllo dough! It’s a very thin dough – even thinner than tissue paper! So it would be perfect for use in a strudel.
This strudel is so addictive – I dare you to just have one slice. It’s too hard not to go back for seconds and thirds. My favorite part is the tender apples and plump raisins in the center. They cook just long enough to get soft but don’t veer into the mushy side at all. The key is not slicing them too thin!
Let’s take a closer look at my Shortcut Apple Strudel, shall we?
Making this strudel
I’m not kidding when I say this apple strudel recipe is a shortcut. It takes about an hour, start to finish, with most of the time spent cooking in the oven. Here are the main steps in the process:
- Plumping the raisins – The raisins are placed in apple juice and warmed slightly to get them to absorb the juice and plump up. This will make them taste tender, instead of chewy.
- Prepping the apples – Apples are peeled and sliced (not too thin) and then placed in a bowl with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice. I like using Granny Smith apples because of their firm texture and tart flavor.
- Layering the phyllo dough – Sheets of phyllo are brushed with melted butter and then layered on top of each other to make a thicker piece of dough. Panko breadcrumbs are sprinkled all over the dough. These are so important! They absorb the extra juices that will come from the apples and prevent the phyllo from getting soggy.
- Rolling up the strudel – The apples and drained raisins are added to the phyllo and then rolled into a strudel log. It’s brushed with more butter.
- Baking the strudel – The log is baked until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let it cool before serving, about 30 mins to 1 hour.
Serving the strudel
Honestly, the strudel tastes great all on it’s own. But you can always add powdered sugar, vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream for a pretty presentation. Also, a dash of cinnamon goes a long way.
Tips & Tricks
- Handle the phyllo dough very gently. It’s thinner than tissue paper and can tear very easily.
- Don’t slice the apples too small or thin. Otherwise, they’ll get too mushy in the strudel.
- Let the strudel cool before you cut into it. This will ensure the juices don’t run our of the strudel when slicing it.
- Strudel does not do well baked ahead of time. But you can prep it just until baking and refrigerate. Simply remove from refrigerator and place in preheated oven about 30 mins before planning to serve.
Shortcut Apple Strudel
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup apple juice
- 2 medium Granny Smith apples peeled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 10 sheets phyllo dough
- ½ cup butter melted
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for serving
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place apple juice and raisins in a small microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 10-15 seconds, just to warm the juice. Let sit for 15-30 minutes to help the raisins plump up.
- Peel, core, and slice apples (not too thin, but not into large wedges either) and add to a medium bowl. Add lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix together with apples. Set aside.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper on the counter horizontally. Place one sheet of phyllo onto parchment paper horizontally. Brush all over with melted butter. Layer with another sheet of phyllo. Repeat until 10 sheets of phyllo are layered together. Sprinkle top of phyllo stack with all the breadcrumbs in one even layer.
- Stack sliced apples (without the juice) on the long edge of the phyllo closest to you, covering about 1/3 of the dough. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of the leftover juices in the bowl over the apples. Drain the raisins and sprinkle over the apples. Using the parchment to help lift the phyllo without tearing it, roll the phyllo with apples into a sealed log and end with the seam side down. Center the long in the middle of the parchment. Tuck under the ends to help seal in the apple juices but don't worry if it's not tucked super tight. Brush the log with more melted butter.
- Transfer log and parchment paper to a baking sheet. bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes or until phyllo is deep golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.