I got a few more Oratia heirloom apples (and a few garden lemons too) from Sue, this is still the season for apples in New Zealand! First I made an apple cake, I like to eat apple cake for breakfast, and I took advantage of the fact that I had a German wwoofer staying with us to indulge: she also liked cake for breakfast, something that in New Zealand is not really done!
Apple and Sultana Cake with Rum
I added the sultana and apples for last, and folded everything. I poured the mixture in a 23 cm round baking tin lined with baking paper, and baked the cake at 180°C for approx. 45 minutes.
Sasa came to visit, I hope she liked it, she must be used to European having apple cake for breakfast!
Dolomiti Apple Strudel
This is my favourite apple strudel, once again from my book Sweet As..., page 20. I learned to make this from my mother, and I like it because it is 'rustic', not fancy like the patisseries' versions, and barely sweet: a real Dolomiti mountain food. In fact I prefer this to any other apple pie or cake or flan!
For the filling peel and slice 4 apples, add 1 tbsp of sultana, a few chopped walnuts (mine were from the South Island) 5 to 10 cloves (according to taste), 1 stick of cinnamon broken into two pieces, 4 tsp brown sugar, and the juice of 1 lemon.
For the pastry mix 200 g of flour with 50 g of butter (cubed, vegans can use margarine), 2 tsp brown sugar and 100 ml cold water. Mix well by hand and shape into a bowl. Refrigerate for 30 minutes then roll out into a large oval, as thin as you can manage. Spread the apples on top and roll up. Pinch both sides of the strudel and turn them in to resemble a gigantic croissant. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake at 180°C for almost one hour.
When the strudel is almost done the juices from the apples will start to come out: remove the strudel from the oven and with a spoon collect the juices and used them to coat the crust. Then place back into the oven for 5 or 10 more minutes (or until you are satisfied with it, I like it not too brown, my mother likes with a really crispy crust). The two little ends are quite dry (just pastry) and possibly I wouldn't offer them to guests, but when I was a child my brother and I used to get one each: we loved them, and we still do (although he is in Italy, so I can eat both ends!!).
Serving tips: my husband (the Kiwi) likes this strudel for pudding, with cream, but for me this is, once again, the perfect breakfast (no cream!).
Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©