Here’s a delicious sweet bake for afternoon tea - German Apple Strudel (Apfelstrudel). Apple pie filling in a crispy layered phyllo dough crust. You can assemble this strudel in 10 minutes and then bake them golden brown in the oven. Meanwhile, prepare a delicious homemade warm vanilla sauce (Austrian Kanarienmilch), which completes this delightful homemade apple strudel. Not only great in the holiday or apple season. This recipe is excellent throughout the year.
German Apple Strudel (Apfelstrudel)
Apple strudel (or apfelstrudel) is a German pastry, also very famous in Austria. Unlike an apple pie, it’s nothing more than a sweet apple pie filling with very thin phyllo dough crust. The flavored apples are covered with a little bit of seasoning and some breadcrumbs to absorb the released moisture (otherwise, the strudel will become soggy and not crispy).
A traditional apple strudel recipe is made with homemade strudel dough. This is a hand-stretched soft dough until you’ve got a long, thin sheet. It’s pretty time-intensive to make it that way. So I use phyllo dough to make an easy apple strudel, which works great! Some people love to use puff pastry dough, which is also a great option. But I love the crispy feeling of the phyllo dough.
Apple strudel is a very simple dish with a lot of taste. This delicious apple strudel is traditionally eaten with warm Kanarienmilch (vanilla sauce). And I’ll also include this recipe. Because when you’ve tried the combination, you’ll know why this is such a great tradition! Try it yourself.
What do you need for Grandma’s Apfelstrudel with Vanilla Sauce?
To prepare this German Apple Strudel, you need the following ingredients. You can find the correct amounts in the recipe card at the bottom of the blog:
Ingredients Granny’s Apple strudel
- Apples - use firm tart apples like Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Gala, or Golden Delicious for the filling
- Raisins - add a little bit of sweetness to the filling, you could use golden raisins, but any raisin will do.
- Lemon juice - makes sure the apples won’t discolor.
- Rum - for flavoring the filling. I prefer brown rum because it has more flavor and more depth. You could use gold rum or white rum. If you don’t like to use alcohol, replace it with water.
- Sugar - use regular sugar.
- Cinnamon - apples and Cinnamon are an excellent food combination and are also used to flavor the apple filling.
- Bread crumbs - to absorb released moisture from baking the apples, so your dough remains crispy.
- Butter - use unsalted butter.
- Phyllo dough (filo dough) - is a thin flour-based dough. By brushing each sheet with melted butter, you’ll get a crispy layered crust on the outside. Cover the phyllo dough with a damp towel as you work to keep it moist. Otherwise it will dry very quickly.
Ingredients Vanilla Sauce (Kanarienmilch)
- Egg yolks - to make the vanilla sauce thicker and creamy
- Vanilla extract - to give the vanilla sauce its flavor
- Milk - to dilute the yolk mixture and make a sauce.
How to prepare Apple Strudel with Phyllo Dough?
You can find a printable recipe with a step-by-step description at the bottom of this blog.
- Combine the raisins, dark rum, and butter in a saucepan and add the lemon juice. Bring to a boil and when the butter is melted, turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature (the raisins will absorb the moisture).
- In a bowl, mix the sugar with the raisin mixture, salt, Cinnamon, and apple slices, and mix everything well.
- Put a phyllo sheet in front of you on top of baking paper and brush with butter. Work from the middle to the edge, so the dough won’t tear. Put a second sheet on top. Repeat this until you’ve got five sheets. Take some apple mixture and spread it along the entire length while covering about ⅓ of the sheet (see photo).
- Take the parchment paper and roll the dough over the filling while creating a cylinder form. Brush the outside with butter. Repeat this for the second pile of five sheets. Slice the top of the dough halfway through into small pieces, serving-sized portions. After baking, the dough will crumble, and you’ll get a mess if you do this—Bake for 50 minutes in a preheated oven at 350 °F (180 °C). Make sure to rotate the baking plate halfway.
- While the strudel is baking, make a homemade vanilla sauce: Heat the milk in a saucepan and add vanilla extract and sugar. Whisk until dissolved.
- In a big bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. When the milk is boiling, add it to the egg yolk little by a little while mixing until the sauce is creamy and has bubbles. Serve warm.
Serve a slice of warm apple strudel with traditional vanilla sauce (German Apfelstrudel with Kanarienmilch). And sprinkle the apple tart with confectioner’s sugar. Serve as dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream (or sour cream) or drink this sweet treat with a cup of tea or coffee.
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German Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce
- ½ cup raisins
- ¼ cup Dark Rum
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons butter unsalted
- 4 Apples peeled, uncored, and cut into thin slices
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon ground
- ¾ cup bread crumbs
- 10 sheets phyllo dough thawed
- ⅓ cup butter unsalted, melted
Vanilla sauce (Kanarienmilch)
- 2 cups milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks size L
Ingredients you need per step are listed below the step in Italic
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C). Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- Combine raisins, rum, lemon juice, and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium heat until the butter is melted. Give it a good stir and let it cool to room temperature.½ cup raisins, ¼ cup Dark Rum, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 4 tablespoons butter
- Take a medium bowl and combine apples, sugar, salt, cinnamon, raisin mixture, and bread crumbs. Mix.4 Apples, ½ cup sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ¾ cup bread crumbs
- Take a sheet of phyllo dough and put it on a baking paper. Brush the sheet with the melted butter. Put a second sheet on top. Brush that also with melted butter. Repeat until you get a 5-layer stack of phyllo dough.10 sheets phyllo dough, ⅓ cup butter
- Take the apple filling and put on a stripe of filling on the bottom of the phyllo dough at full length—about 3-4 inches thick.
- Use the baking paper and roll the phyllo dough around the filling. You’ll get a cylinder form. Brush the outside with melted butter.
- Transfer the strudel to the baking plate, and ensure the seam side is at the bottom. Repeat for the other phyllo dough sheets (grease the sheets with butter, fill and roll up), and put the second apple strudel aside from the first one. Slice the top of the dough halfway through into serving-size portions.
- Bake for 50 minutes. Rotate the baking plate halfway to get even baking.
Vanilla sauce (Kanarienmilch)
- Heat the milk in a saucepan.2 cups milk
- Add vanilla and sugar and mix until dissolved.2 teaspoons vanilla extract, ¼ cup sugar
- In a large bowl, add the egg yolks and start whisking until they’re creamy.2 egg yolks
- When the milk boils, add it to the egg yolks little by little while whisking until frothy.
- Take the apple strudel from the oven and cut a slice. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. Serve with some warm vanilla sauce!
- Refrigerator, unbaked - wrap in plastic foil until baking up to two days.
- Refrigerator, baked - Store in an airtight container for two days. Reheat before serving for 15 minutes at 300 °F (150 °C).
- Freezer, unbaked - Put apple strudel in a freezer bag and freeze for one month.
- Not recommended - Freeze baked apple strudel. It will become soggy if you store it when baked and defrost it.
Helen at the Lazy gt says
This reminds me of my grandma. She made apple strudel for every event. Perfect recipe.
I thought Strudels are so difficult to make, but you made so clear and easy-to-follow instructions that I definitely will make it. Thanks for sharing.
This looks like it took all day to make but it was fast and easy! The vanilla sauce is so good. I will be making it for my bread pudding sauce next time!
Thank you! You must have fond memories of your grandma.
Thank you for your kind words!
The vanilla sauce is such a great addition!
This looks perfect with my favorite tea! I'm absolutely trying this at home.
Thank you! I'm sure you'll enjoy it!