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This dish is usually associated with Germany and Austria, but in the regions of Italy that border these countries various food influences (such as speck, sauerkraut and goulash) have crossed national boundaries. Although the classic strüdel is made with apples, it can be made with various fillings – such as cherries, apricots, or even peaches – and can be eaten warm or cold, as a pudding, or served at tea-time. You could make a strüdel dough from scratch, but it is fiddly and time-consuming. It’s much easier just to use filo pastry, which you can buy anywhere.
For the filling, put the apples in a pan with the butter, water and sugar, and cook together for 8–10 minutes, until the apples have softened slightly, but still retain their shape.
Remove from the heat, add the cinnamon, raisins and juice and the breadcrumbs and stir to combine – the breadcrumbs will bind everything together. Leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
Brush a suitably sized baking tray with a little of the melted butter.Spread out one sheet of filo on the baking tray, and brush with some more of the butter.
Repeat the process with all four sheets, placing them on top of each other, brushing with melted butter each time.
Spoon the apple mixture along the middle of the pastry and roll up – from the bottom first, then the sides, ending with the top – to make into a parcel, seam-side down. (If you like, you can even scrunch up some extra filo pastry to make a decoration for the top.)
Brush all over with the remaining butter and bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes, or until the top is crisp and golden. Check after 10 minutes; if it is browning too quickly, reduce the heat a little.
Dust with icing sugar and serve with double cream.
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