If you don’t know already, this year all the Geek Gear Wizardry boxes has included two or three recipes somehow related to the Harry Potter universe. And let me tell you something about me, I love to try new recipes and cook in the kitchen. I don’t do it all the times, but some days I can spend hours making a dish. Usually I do it while visiting my mum and dad, because I need someone to eat it. Didn’t mean for this to turn into a long story… I don’t even have a point to this anymore. What I was supposed to say – I tried one of these recipes, and now I’ll tell the tale of how it went.
The honour of being the first recipe tried went to Queenie’s Apple Strudel. The thing about many of the recipes from GeekGear is that they have ingredients which aren’t sold around here. I am sure they are easily available in the UK, but not here. Take this recipe; it ask for Filo Pastry. You might get it in a huge supermarket in the capital or something, but you might not. I actually crossed the border to go buy this. Yes, I went to another country to buy ingredients for this. While there I tried to find other ingredients for some of the other recipes here as well, but no luck. Anyway, the other ingredients were available at my local supermarket.
I changed up the order of things a little. First I made a mix of brown sugar, cinnamon and lemon peel and put it aside for later. Then chopped up the walnuts and put it aside as well. The reason why, I wanted to watch the World Championship (soccer), and figured I could peel and chop apples while watching first half. And then at half time I could make the strudel and put it in the oven before second half. It didn’t go quite like that in real life, but alas.
Filo pastry is so thin. I want to say paper-thin, but I think it was even thinner. And it rips so easily. I just pretended there was no rips whatsoever. You take one sheet, butter it up, put on a new layer, butter it up, a new layer, butter and final layer and finish it up with butter. So much butter. So even if I ripped it, there was other layers so there was no place where it was ripped the whole way through. On top of all this I put walnuts.
The recipe then called for the chopped apples, which I were to speas over the lower third. Here I wonder if I made a ‘mistake’? I had the dough like above, and put them on the lower third closest to me. But I may have been supposed to rotate the dough 90°. In the picture on the recipe the strudel is wider than mine turned out. Not sure if it made a huge difference, but it might have made the strudel taller. The apples weren’t as spread out and made a bigger heap. I don’t know. My strudel was a lot darker on top then the one in the picture, but that could be just bacause of the oven and not because the top was closer to the heating element.
Same mistake with the braids. I didn’t cut the strips lengthwise, and here it even say to do so in recipe, so definitly a mistake by me. Don’t really think it made much of a difference, but I could have tucked the ends underneath the strudel. Did I mention that this pastry rips easily? I had so many broken braids by the end of this. The ones I ended up with aren’t good, but they are almost whole at least.
I removed two of the braids, which were charred. Well, all three of them were burnt, but this one were redeemable with a little icing sugar. And here you can see that mine isn’t as wide as the one in the recipe. There you can see six apple roses on top, with braids next to them and still some pastry next to that again. Where am I supposed to have my two other braids (if they were edible)? But that is not the important thing, the important thing is look at that!?
I made an apple strudel! I’ll admit that I did remove the top layer of the pastry before eating, because that tasted like ash. But the rest of it, delicious! I ate the whole thing. Mind you, not in one go. I would actually go as far as saying it actually tasted better the day after. Reheated slices in the microwave and it was heavenly.