Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Petite Apple Strudel

My maternal grandfather came to America with his young bride in the early 1900's. As a pastry maker schooled in the old country of Austria, he opened a bakery in New York and together they began their new life. I think of them every time I prepare this dessert. This is my version of a classic recipe for the Viennese pastry Apfelstrudel, or Apple Strudel. Adapting it to this petite size is a simple form of portion control so you can grant yourself permission to enjoy the whole strudel without feeling any guilt.

Petite Apple Strudel


3 cups apples, chopped (You will need about two large apples, Fuji, Gala or Yellow Delicious works great, placed in a bowl of cold water with a half lemon squeezed in to keep them from turning brown, technically called acidulated water.)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup Splenda
1 tsp. lemon zest
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, ground
5 sheets Phyllo dough, cut in half from side to side

Melt one tablespoon of butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add apples, cinnamon, Splenda, lemon zest and juice. Saute for 10 to 15 minutes or until the apples are just fork tender and not mushy. The apples will release their liquid. When they are done you'll see that the liquid has thickened and has coated the apple pieces. Remove from saute pan to bowl, set aside and cool.

Preheat oven to 400'

Phyllo dough may seem a little daunting to you if you've never used it before. There are a few simple tips to handling it to help you have good results. First, follow package directions for thawing. Generally, it is thawed while still in its plastic wrapper overnight in the refrigerator. Second, always have everything ready before assembling the strudels. This is called "mise en place" in French, meaning "place the mess." One of the single most important phrases to me in the art of cooking. Third, you must work fairly quickly with Phyllo dough to prevent it from drying out and cracking. You can place the sheets on a flat pan and cover them with a slightly dampened, clean towel. Since this recipe only makes ten pieces you won't have to worry about it too much.

Melt remaining two tablespoons of butter and cool slightly. For each half sheet of Phyllo dough, lightly brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground walnuts, leaving a one inch border all the way around the dough. Spread a tablespoon of the filling in an even line at the bottom of the Phyllo dough, leaving about an inch border. Fold the bottom up first to cover the filling. Then fold the sides in to the apple mixture. Beginning at the bottom, gently roll the Phyllo dough over the apple mixture and continue rolling, jelly-roll style until closed. Seal with a dab of melted butter at the end. Place seam side down on a sheet pan and lightly brush the top with melted butter. Sprinkle tops with ground walnuts. Repeat this process with the remaining Phyllo dough and filling until done.

Place sheet pan with strudels in oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the dough is crispy and lightly golden. Remove and cool strudels on rack or serve warm.
Nutrition Facts
10 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 112.7
Total Fat 7.9 g
Saturated Fat 2.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.8 g
Cholesterol 9.3 mg
Sodium 32.8 mg
Potassium 78.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 11.8 g
Dietary Fiber 1.7 g
Sugars 0.2 g
Protein 1.5 g

Note ~ if desired you can reduce the fat and calories in this recipe you can substitute Butter Flavored Vegetable Spray to lightly coat the Phyllo dough in place of the two tablespoons of butter. By doing this you will reduce the calories by about 17 per serving and the total fat by about 2 grams per serving.


  1. This is a great recipe and I can't wait to try it. I love apple strudel and this looks to be the perfect size--not too much and easy to make.

    I wonder if you have any recipes in the future that would show me how to make Italian cannelloni (SP?) that a diabetic could eat. I love the ones with sweet cream filling, but don't eat them now for obvious reasons. Thanks!!

  2. Sorry, I want to change that to canoli--the pastry dessert with the sweet cream filling. I goofed, but then I'm not Italian so that is my excuse about getting cannellini mixed up with canoli-- LOL

  3. Not to worry! lol! I can see what I can do but the only problem is the shell of the cannoli is a deep fried dough. I haven't had much time yet to experiment with flour alternatives but I am planning on it after I get through the holiday recipes this year. I can aim for doing it for Valentine's Day and post it then. I hope that's not too long of a wait for you. If you like I will be happy to add it to my list of requests. I would be happy to try because I miss them, too!