Nothing says “holiday” better than the enticing smell of dough steadily baking in the oven. And when you know your daughter is going to be the first to try out your creations, you really want to have a satisfied customer, so you try your hardest to please 🙂 This year, we’ll be spending Thanksgiving with my mom, around a dinner table that will be brimming with turkey (brined and roasted as per a Morton Salt recipe I’m trying for the first time ever!), pork soup, manicotti and potatoes au gratin. For dessert, we’ll have banana bread and apple and ricotta strudel.
The original strudel recipe I posted last year called for a seasonal pumpkin filling. For diversification purposes, this year I decided to use ricotta and apples, which are DH and our daughter’s all-time favorites. I too am a big fan of ricotta, a velvety Italian cheese which is deliciously mild and chronically underappreciated. I bought a big container of ricotta from the local grocery store, and I’ll be using half in the strudel and half in the manicotti. An Italian-inspired Thanksgiving, with a touch of Austrian influence – hmmmm, sounds just about right 🙂
Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving!
Delicious Thanksgiving strudel
For the cheese filling, mix the ricotta with the powdered sugar and the raisins in a bowl until homogeneous.
For the apple filling, mix the grated apples with the powdered sugar and the cinnamon in a bowl until homogeneous.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
To make "dough element #1," put 2 cups of flour in a bowl.
In a separate cup combine the dry yeast with about 1 tbsp water.
Add the yeast&water mixture to the flour, then add 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 cup water and the salt.
Mix the resulting dough until smooth and homogeneous. Let the dough “rest.”
To make "dough element #2," put one third of the flour in a bowl.
Add one third of the vegetable oil, and then mix (I used a fork for mixing).
Continue adding the flour and the oil slowly, alternating between the two. The resulting dough must have a sour cream-like consistency.
Take “dough element #1” and roll it on a dry surface with a rolling pin until about 1/4in thin.
Spread “dough element #2” evenly on top of "dough element #1," using a fork.
Roll the resulting dough into a cylinder. Let the dough “rest” for about 15 minutes.
Roll the dough on a dry surface with a rolling pin until about 1/4in thin.
Spread the strudel filling evenly on top of it.
Roll the resulting dough into a cylinder.
Use a knife to make several small incisions in the dough.
Place the dough in a baking tray (I used a glass tray). Note: There is no need to butter or oil the tray!
Using your hands, moisten the top of the dough with a bit of water, then sprinkle granulated sugar evenly on top.
Place the strudel in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until the strudel gets a nice, golden brown crust.
Take the strudel out of the oven and let it cool down.
Cut the strudel into slices and serve it with powdered sugar and toasted chopped walnuts sprinkled on top. If you wish, you can add whipped cream to make your dessert creamy and truly decadent!