Apple Rhubarb Braided Strudel
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A braided pastry filled with apples, rhubarb, brown sugar and cinnamon, then topped with an almond glaze.
Author:
Serves: 2 large strudel
Ingredients
For the Dough:
  • ¼ cup warm water (115 degrees F)
  • 1 packed dry active yeast (usually about 2¼ teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ cup whole milk, room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, chilled and cubed
For the Filling:
  • ½ cup butter, cubed
  • 4 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 stalks of rhubarb, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
For Finishing:
  • 1 egg, beaten + 1 teaspoon water
  • granulated or raw sugar, for sprinkling
For the Glaze:
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ tablespoons whole milk (or more, as needed)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • slivered almonds, for sprinkling (optional)
  • more powdered sugar, for dusting
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine your warm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar. Let them sit until the yeast is foaming, about 5 minutes. If your yeast doesn't foam, it's probably old and it's best to start over than to try to make this with old yeast. Better safe than sorry!
  2. Once the yeast is ready, add in your ½ cup whole milk, ¼ cup granulated sugar, egg and salt. Whisk until combined and set aside. In a large bowl, add in your flour and cubed and chilled butter. Cut the butter into the flour (you can use a pastry cutter, but I find that hands work best) until coarse crumbs form, but you will still have a few pieces of butter in there - that's fine!
  3. Add the wet mixture into the flour mixture and use a wooden spoon to combine until everything just comes together. Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and use your hands to pat it into a square. Use a flour rolling pin to roll it into a 9x13-inch rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds, like you're folding a letter to put into an envelope, then roll the dough out again and, again, fold it into your envelope thirds. Roll the dough out a third time, fold it into thirds again, and roll it out again into a 9x13-inch rectangle. Finally, fold the dough into thirds once more, but instead of rolling it out again, cut the dough in half, wrap each square in plastic wrap, and chill for a minimum of 2 hours or as long as overnight (I only chilled mine for 2 hours). You can also freeze this dough for up to 3 months.
  4. When you're almost ready to bake, make your filling. Peel and slice your apples and clean and slice your rhubarb. Place your ½ cup of butter in a large pot over medium heat until melted, then add in your apples and rhubarb and toss to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together your flour, sugars and cinnamon and add it to the pot. Toss to combine, and cook for 5 minutes or so, until the juices from the fruit start to thicken. Remove the pot from the stove and set aside.
  5. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. On a lightly floured piece of parchment or Silpat (you will need to put it on a surface so that you can lift it onto your baking sheet later), roll out one piece of dough at a time, into a 9x13-inch rectangle.
  6. Place half of your fruit mixture down the middle of your dough, then cut diagonal strips down each side of the pastry, like you're making a tree (see the photos above). Once you get to the bottom, cut out two small triangles so that you've made a "trunk" for your tree (again, see the photos above). Fold the trunk over the top of your apple mixture, then go back up to the top and start folding each strip of dough carefully over the other, like a braid, until you've reached the bottom (this is the fun part).
  7. Gently lift your strudel onto your baking sheet and brush with a bit of your beaten egg + water, then sprinkle with raw or granulated sugar. Repeat with your other piece of dough. Bake both strudels in your 400 degree F oven for 20 minutes or so, until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool for 20 minutes or so before icing.
  8. To make your glaze, simple whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and almond extract (obviously you can sub vanilla in here and forgo the slivered almonds if you're worried about allergies). Spoon the glaze over the strudel, then sprinkle with slivered almonds and powdered sugar. Serve warm or room temperature. This will keep well, covered and at room temperature, for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 3 months (just warm quickly in the oven or hey, just microwave that sucker).
Recipe by The Crepes of Wrath at http://www.thecrepesofwrath.com/2015/04/29/apple-rhubarb-braided-strudel/