Disclaimer: I’m going against tradition. This strudel recipe is everything but traditional. Hopefully my Austrian readers will forgive me!
If you’re not familiar with this dessert, here’s the deal. Strudel consists of a paper thin sheet of dough, filled with apples, raisins, cinnamon, and breadcrumbs. Dough and filling are rolled up together in a long, tight log which gets a good ol’ brush of melted butter, and then baked.
This treat was popular during Austro-Hungarian Empire, hence the reason behind the wide area where you can find regional varieties of the pastry. Hungary, Czech Republic and many more countries once annexed to the former Austro-Hungarian Empire all have their version of strudel.
Truth be told, there are a few different filling variations other than the most famous Apfelstrudel – aka strudel with apples. Sour cherry, plums, apricots, raisins, nuts, and sweet soft cheese can be used as a filling for strudel. There are savory varieties of strudel, too.
Traditional strudel dough is thin and unleavened, and it’s made with flour, water, and a touch of oil. Tradition says that you should be able to read a newspaper through it. Pretty intimidating for a home cook I would say. Maybe this is the reason why many do use puff pastry instead?
Making your own strudel dough is not very difficult anyways, especially if you don’t care about reading something through a piece of dough. But since we are already breaking with tradition, why not use pizza dough instead? This recipe calls for pre-made pizza dough for convenience, but you can make your own or use a gluten free one if you want.
I would not reach for storebought pizza dough typically, unless I know I will be short on time. The one I’d buy has to be as wholesome as possible, and my local store fortunately carries a stone-milled, unbleached flour based one.
The idea for this recipe was born rather on the fly. The boyfriend had requested pizza for our saturday supper, and out of convenience I told him to shop for the pre-made and wholegrain pizza dough, that we would’ve taken with us to the summer house. A 600 grams bag was way too much for us two, so I had to come up with an idea to use the leftover dough up before heading home.
This is how this recipe was born. Leftover dough, some random oats and sunflower seeds from the pantry, a little bit of white wine and (unrefined) sugar and voila, dessert/breakfast is served. I couldn’t resist adding in some fresh ricotta from an alpine pasture we passed by during our hike, but I omitted that when shooting the recipe for the blog so everyone can enjoy a piece.
When you’re spreading the filling onto the dough, do not discard the marinating juices. Our strudel is brushed with a mixture of the aromatic liquid, so that you’ll get both a nice golden surface and a boost of flavor – the vegan way!
My favorite part of this recipe was cutting myself a slice straight out of the oven. Heavenly, I tell you! Warm, soft and pillowy dough hugging jammy and slighlty tart apricots, a crunchy bite from the seed and oat mixture… oh, yum!
Sadly this recipe was my farewell to apricots, as they’re sliding out of seasons fast. No doubt my next take on strudel will be closer to the original. Lookin’ at ya apple orchards here in Valtellina!
In the meantime I really hope you’ll give this version a go, because it is totally worth it.
- 400 g pre-made wholegrain pizza dough
- 6 to 8 ripe but firm apricots
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar, more if needed
- a splash sweet white wine
- 30 g sunflower seeds
- 30 g rolled oats
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
Wash, halve and slice each apricot half into quarters. Add them to a medium sized bowl, along with 2 tbsp coconut sugar and a splash of sweet white wine. Mix to combine and leave to macerate for at least one hour.
Heat a heavy bottom skillet for a few minutes. Toast oat flakes and sunflower seeds for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until fragrant and golden brown. Remove from heat.
You can either leave the dust as is, or let it cool and blend to make a finer powder.
Preheat oven to 180 °C.
Place a piece of parchment under the dough ball. Roll pizza dough into a rectangle, about 5mm thick.
Sprinkle the dust mixture all over the surface, leaving an empty border all around the edges. You’ll use this to lock the filling in. Spoon the macerated apricots on top, reserving the juices.
Start rolling the strudel. Fold the sides inwards, making sure to lock the filling in. Now, starting from one of the short sides, gently roll the strudel over itself until a nice log forms.
Place the strudel seam side down on a baking tray. Mix the reserved juices with a bit of plant milk and brush the top of the strudel with the mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Pre-made pizza dough can be substituted with either gluten free or traditional strudel dough.