Apple Strudel with Caramelized Walnuts



  1. 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for working with the dough
  2. 1/3 teaspoon salt
  3. 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 5 tablespoons water or as needed
  5. 1 cup golden raisins
  6. 4 tablespoons dark rum
  7. 1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  8. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  9. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  10. 1 cup walnuts, chopped into 1/4-inch bits
  11. 2 small lemons
  12. 3 pounds tart green apples, such as Granny Smith
  13. 10 tablespoons very soft butter, or more if needed
  14. 2 tablespoons cane-sugar crystals
  15. Powdered sugar, whipped cream, or ice cream for garnish (optional)
  16. A rolling pin or heavy wooden dowel
  17. A linen tablecloth or sheet, or other smooth cloth (a yard square or larger)
  18. A halfsheet pan (12 by 18 inches) or a similar large, rimmed baking sheet, lined with baking parchment
  19. A pastry brush


  1. Mix the strudel dough several hours or the day before baking.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the 1 1/4 cups flour and the salt with a fork.
  3. Drizzle the oil all over, and toss with the flour.
  4. Sprinkle the water over, tossing it in a tablespoon at a time, then mix vigorously to bring the dough together.
  5. Incorporate more water in small amounts if the dough seems dry or wont stay together.
  6. Turn the dough out on a work surface, and knead with your hands until the clumps have disappeared and the dough is smooth and elastic, about 3 minutes.
  7. Add flour only if the dough remains sticky after youve been kneading for a minute or more.
  8. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap well in plastic wrap, and let it rest for at least 2 hours at room temperature, or refrigerate for a day.
  9. (Let chilled dough sit at room temperature briefly before rolling.)
  10. Plump the raisins with the rum in a small bowl, until all the liquor is absorbed.
  11. Spread the bread crumbs in a large, heavy skillet, and set it over medium heat.
  12. Stir and toss the crumbs until they begin to color.
  13. Lower the heat a bit, and keep stirring until theyre deep golden brown, then quickly spill the crumbs into a bowl, before they burn.
  14. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon over the hot crumbs, and toss in.
  15. When the crumbs cool completely, stir in 10 tablespoons sugar.
  16. In the same skillet, again over medium heat, stir together the chopped walnuts and 2 tablespoons sugar, until the sugar caramelizes and coats the nuts.
  17. Immediately spill onto a sheet pan to cool.
  18. Rinse and dry the lemons, remove their zest with a fine grater, and squeeze out and strain their juice.
  19. Peel, core, and cut the apples in thin slices, and toss in a large bowl with the lemon zest and juice, the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
  20. Toss in the plumped raisins, mix well, and let the apples steep in the sweetened fruit juices.
  21. Arrange a rack in the center of the oven, and heat it to 425 .
  22. With a pastry brush, lightly coat the parchment in the sheet pan with a tablespoon or two of soft butter.
  23. On a large, lightly floured work surface, start rolling the strudel dough into a rectangular shape, turning it over frequently and dusting the surface with flour as needed.
  24. When it becomes a thin sheet, stretch it with your hands, both on the table and as you lift and turn it over.
  25. Gradually roll and stretch the rectangle until its about 30 inches on the long sides and 20 inches on the shorter sides.
  26. Trim thick edges with a knife or a pizza cutter.
  27. Now arrange the linen cloth on the tableunder the dough sheetto roll up the strudel.
  28. If someone can assist you, hold the dough sheet in the air while the cloth is placed flat and smooth on the work surface.
  29. Line up a long edge of cloth with the edge of your counter.
  30. Lay the dough, long side facing you, on top of the cloth, setting it a few inches in from the edge of the cloth.
  31. (If you dont have a helper, lay out the cloth on another surface, and move the dough rectangle over to it.)
  32. When the cloth and the dough are in place, brush the entire surface of the dough with 4 tablespoons or so of soft butter.
  33. Sprinkle the bread-crumb mixture evenly all over the dough, then scatter the caramelized walnut pieces on top.
  34. Next, lift the apple slices from the bowl, letting excess juices drain off, and heap them in a narrow row, running left to right, set in about 3 inches from the long edge of dough near you.
  35. Make the row straight and compact and slightly shorter than the dough sheet, so there are several inches of bare dough on the left and right sides of the apple row.
  36. To roll the strudel, grasp the edge of the cloth and lift it, bringing the uncovered margin of dough against the apples.
  37. Hold the cloth close to the filling, so you have good control, then lift and push it forward, rolling the entire row of apples over and wrapping it snugly in dough.
  38. Keep rolling to wrap all the dough around the strudel, forming a long, neat log.
  39. Twist the unfilled flaps of dough on the ends of the log, so theyre snug against the filling, then trim and tuck them under the strudel.
  40. Position the long side of the parchment-lined baking sheet against the strudelget a helper again if you canand use the cloth to roll the long log over the rim, onto the pan (the ends will extend out of the pan).
  41. Roll again, if necessary, so the seam of dough is on the bottom.
  42. Slide the cloth out from under the dough.
  43. Gently curve the ends of the log, bringing them onto the sheet, to give the strudel a crescent or horseshoe shape.
  44. Brush the pastry all over with the remaining butter.
  45. With a sharp thin knife, slice several short slits in the top, as steam vents, cutting through the top dough layers.
  46. Sprinkle the cane-sugar crystals over the top.
  47. Put the strudel into the oven, and lower the thermostat to 375 .
  48. After 30 minutes, rotate the baking sheet back to front.
  49. The pastry should be lightly coloredif its already getting dark, lower the temperature to 350 .
  50. Bake another 20 to 30 minutes, until the filling is cooked (the juices may bubble through the slits) and the pastry is deep golden brown and crisp.
  51. Let the strudel cool in the pan for 30 minutes or so, then lift it with two long spatulas to a wire rack or board.
  52. Serve slices of the strudel warm or at room temperature, with powdered sugar, whipped cream, or ice cream.