Viennese Cherry Strudel


(Cherries part II)

I came back to London wishing that I could bring few people and a half of the produce that local Saturday food market offers, but because of the few "minor" restrictions imposed by the airline and border control, I had to settle for loads of  memories, some kept in my camera, some in my heart.
This post, the authentic Viennese-style cherry strudel, combines the two. 

I usually make the filling first and let it cool down properly:
500 g of pitted, juicy cherries (sweet or sour, frozen or out of a jar))
300 g sugar
cinnamon stick
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Put all the ingredients, except cornstarch, in a pan and simmer until the sugar has dissolved and thickened a little bit. On low heat it takes about 10 minutes after the sugar has dissolved. When it's almost ready, mix the cornstarch in with a few drops of water and stir in to thicken the cherry-sugar liquid. Set aside.

Now, the strudel dough :

350 g of plain flour
cup  (200 ml)of warm water( pour a little bit at the time, add more if needed)
1 tablespoon of oil
drop of vinegar ( apple cider if possible)
pinch of salt

You will also need: 
70 g of melted butter
cup of fine breadcrumbs 

Mix the ingredients to make smooth dough with elastic texture. Place it in a bowl, lightly oil the surface and cover to rest for at least one hour. 
Preheat the oven to 190 C/375 F/gas mark 5.
Place a clean tablecloth on your table, dust it lightly with flour and put the rested dough in the middle.  At this point you can use dusted rolling pin to stretch the dough as far as you can. Then using your floured hands only, pull the dough from underneath going around the table. It will appear very thin and transparent. Unfortunately, I didn't have the camera with me when this was made, but I will try to document it with an apple strudel.
When it has been stretched as far as it can, trim away the edges and brush the entire dough very gently with melted butter and sprinkle with fine breadcrumbs. Now, gently spoon the cherry filling along one end of the strudel, the lift the tablecloth under that end and roll up the dough loosely. Pinch the edges to seal the strudel and transfer to a baking tray. If it is longer then the tray, curve it, make a crescent or a |S shape.
Egg-wash the top and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, it should reach a golden brown colour. Dust with icing sugar.
It can be stored for 4 days.

Adapted from "Baking with Anna Olson "

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