11 July 2012

Vegan Summer: Mini Apple Strudels



It is officially summer, even in Norway! The heat is on us and not only are we sweating in our flip-flops and shorts but we have reduced our meals to a minimum. A lot of people associate summer with barbecues and grilling but in such high temperatures my family is unable to take any meat whatsoever. 

Summer for us means light vegetarian or even vegan meals and abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Sometimes, when the sun hides behind thick stormy clouds (which happens on a regular basis) I get inspired for a fruit dessert and I thought I'd share with you a recipe I came up with the other day which is my personal variation of the famous Viennese apple strudels. The recipe is easy to follow and you can add a bunch of ingredients to make them a favorite for the whole family.


Mini Apple Strudels
makes 40

Dough:
  • 2 tea cups (400 gr/14,11 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tea cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tea cup soya/rice etc. milk
  • dry yeast

Filling: 
  • 5 - 6 apples
  • 2 tablespoons sugar/honey
  • a tablespoon of margarine
  • a handful of raisins
  • a handful of chopped black chocolate

Before I continue I have to let you know that I am one of those cooks who don't use accurate measurements. Whatever happens in my kitchen is more a matter of emotions moods, cups and spoons than of correct measurement tools.

:-: Having said that, I owe you a clarification: When I say "tea cup", I mean the type that is rather called "mug". It holds about 400 ml/13,52 oz of water and about 200 gr/7,05 oz of all-purpose flour. :-:

Instructions:
Mix the appropriate amount of yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and the cup of milk (at room temperature) in a slightly bigger bowl to let the yeast rise and let it sit for 10 - 15 minutes. Call me old-fashioned but I always do that, just to make sure the yeast is working.

Combine the dry ingredients (flour and salt) in a large bowl, make a well, pour the oil, add the milk and yeast and, using a wooden spoon, mix until you have a smooth batter. You might want to continue kneading with your hands. If you think the dough is too soft you can always add a pinch or two of flour. 

After 5 minutes of kneading, let the dough rest for about an hour.

In the meantime prepare your filling: Peel your apples, core them, shred them coarsely. Try to squeeze them a bit so you take out part of the juice (which I highly recommend you drink right away!).

Put a small saucepan on the hot plate and add the shredded apples after the margarine has melted. Add the sugar and raisins, and mix lightly. The idea is to soften the apples enough so they don't need to cook in the oven. After they have achieved a level of softness to your liking (in about 10 minutes on medium heat) take them away from the hot plate and let them cool. 

Can you see the shy banana? I put a slice in some random strudels, together with the apple filling and the result was great!

By that time your dough should have risen well enough and you can pin it out in a circle. You can use a similar tool to the one on the photo, or a glass to cut off circles which you will fill with the apple mixture (and possibly add chocolate chips, which I love) and fold to get crescent shape.

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.

Arrange the mini strudels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. To avoid egg-washing (and keep the vegan spirit of the dessert) lightly brush them with oil.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. Set aside to cool on a wire rack or eat while still warm!


What have you been baking these days?