Friday, July 5, 2013

A visit to Chelsea Sugar Refinery and Dolomites Apple Strudel with Demerara Sugar




The very first time I came to Auckland, many years ago now, I remember well crossing the Harbour Bridge and seeing this cool looking pink building(s) on the water front. I asked what it was and when I heard that it was a sugar refinery I went "oooohhhh!" with big eyes and drooling mouth!. I dreamed of visit the Chelsea Sugar Refinery ever since. And last month I finally did!


Chelsea Sugar invited a group from the Guild of Food Writers in for coffee, cakes, and a guided tour of the refinery and packaging plant. It was truly interesting, and fun too! 




 We went home with a great goodie bag, and in mine there was also a pack of Demerara sugar, which I used to make a wholemeal apple cake (recipe and photo here), and then my traditional Dolomites Apple Strudel as well (images below). 


Dolomites Apple Strudel

For the filling peel and slice a few apples, add some sultana, a few chopped walnuts (but I didn't have any so I used a combination of almonds, hazelnuts and pecans), 5 to 10 cloves (according to taste), 1 stick of cinnamon broken into two pieces, 4 tsp demerara 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 demerara 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. The sugary juice that comes out from the pastry is a bit like caramel, but with an apple flavoru! 

This is my favourite apple pie ever (and like my Mum's make it in the Dolomites in Italy).



Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©



16 comments:

  1. deve essere stato davvero inreessante!! lo strudel sembra goloso!

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    1. Lo strudel lo faccio spessissimo questi giorni, al momento le mele abbonadano!

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  2. You're so lucky to get to see the inside of the factory! It's a fun building in a great spot and I love it when the big ships come to dock there. Those apple strudels look delicious!

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    1. Yes, the dock is quite something! I think that they are the only company in NZ to have their own international private dock. All the boats and sugar comes from Australia.

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  3. You turn the simplest ingredients into such exotic and delicious looking dishes!! Then I look at the recipe and see that it really IS simple! Have a great weekend!

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  4. The interesting thing about Italian food is that often with the same ingredients of '"British" food we have completely different results. with flour, tomato and cheese instead of making cheese and tomato sandwiches, and Italian made pizza! Here all the ingredients are in most pantries in NZ, UK, Australia, (USA?), yet this looks and taste so different from any apple pie I ever had in these countries.

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  5. The tour must have been really interesting! I love the streudel and have bookmarked your recipe. I hope all is well, Alessandra. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

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    1. You too Mary, have a good weekend, and I think that the strudel is your kind of recipe :-).

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  6. I don't think I've ever been to a sugar refinery! The strudel looks really lovely :)

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  7. You must have a few in Australia Lorraine, with all those sugar canes!

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  8. Alessandra I. love your apple strudel recipe!!
    today at breakfast we ate with toasts your honey you bring us is really delicious I love toasts with honey!:))

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  9. I am glad that you liked the NZ honey Gloria, XXx to the Twins and Hubby!

    Ciao
    Alessandra

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    1. Yes Esperanza love Honey too Im thinking to make a honey bread with your j+honey!!
      xxx to the kids and Peter:)

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  10. You always make great looking desserts Alessandra :)! Your apple cake looks delicious!

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