ABOARD AMADEUS SILVER II – I could get used to this afternoon tea thing. Every day at 4 or 4:30 on the Silver II, we have tea time in the Panorama Bar.
Of course, it is much more than tea. Coffee is also served, plus there is a huge buffet of fresh pastries and sandwiches to enjoy while pianist Slavi plays lovely easy-listening music.
Today’s tea time was made even more special when program director Lorelay announced that the Silver II pastry chef would be making apple strudel topped with hot cherry compote. Hotel manager Andras Maszar also would be serving some kind of hot alcoholic drink.
If the ship is docked when tea time happens, I’m often on an afternoon shore excursion. Or sometimes I’ve headed off into town on my own so I miss the tea gathering. But on this day, I made sure to attend the afternoon tea and it looked as though other passengers did, too.
We weren’t disappointed. The apple strudel was scrumptious and whatever Andras was serving was mighty fine, too. Plus Amras Cruises generously shared the apple strudel recipe to try at home.
A layered pastry with a sweet or savory inside filling, strudel is a variation of the German word for whirlpool or vortex. It’s easy to see why the dessert got the strudel name. The dough is rolled and the center of the pastry is very swirly like a whirlpool.
Said to have originated in Austria during the 18th century, the pastry is also popular in Germany and other European counties. Slices of apple strudel are traditionally served warm with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or fruit compote.
Here is the Amras Cruises recipe if you would like to try making it at home:
12 ¼ oz. flour
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon melted butter
3 ½ oz. water, lukewarm
A pinch of salt
1 ¼ lb. tart apples (peeled, cored and sliced)
3 ½ oz. melted butter
1 ¾ oz. light brown sugar
3 ½ oz. cookie breadcrumbs (Ladyfingers)
1 tablespoon. cinnamon
½ cup raisins
½ cup chopped Hazelnuts or Walnuts
Dash of Lemon juice
Dash of Rum (optional)
Mix flour, salt and lukewarm water and knead together with the kneading hook on the mixer or by hand for about 10 minutes until the dough has become smooth and elastic. Roll the dough into a ball and brush with butter. Using a knife, cut a cross at the top of the ball of dough. Leave it to rest at room temperature for at least one hour, covered in plastic wrap.
Peel apples and cut into thin slices. Gently brown the cookie crumbs in butter. Combine all ingredients for the filling together and mix it gently.
Sprinkle a silicon mat or parchment paper evenly with flour. Roll the dough out as thinly as possible on the mat, forming a rectangle.
Continue rolling the dough thinner and thinner, sprinkling with flour if needed to keep from sticking. You know the dough is ready when you could read newspaper print through it.
Put the filling on the first third of the dough. Fill and roll the strudel together, using the mat or parchment to help you by raising the end with the filled dough just enough that the strudel begins to roll on its own accord.
Brush the apple strudel with egg yolk; then bake it in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Serves 6.
Photos by Jackie Sheckler Finch