And for something completely different.

Following blogs I realize I tend to just read one post and move on so many people will read my prior intense post and miss the hilarity of this.

I cook, a lot, on the whim. Which sometimes means you have a sandwich for dinner instead of the venture-gone-wrong. Also I see recipes as more a guideline really, measurements are suggestions and ingredients substitutable at my choosing. Contrast this with my detail oriented engineering partner who believes measurement a decree from the math god, and you hear the following when cooking together:

“Did you measure that?”

“No, it looks about 1/2 a cup”

“But you didn’t measure it!”

“Oh well, don’t worry about it”

“Where’s the <insert item>?”

“Oh, um, we don’t have that, I figured we could just use <this> instead”

“What? How are we gonna make this then? We don’t have xyz! Why bother making it all?” laughingly; “Don’t blame me if our pasta primavera and ends up being tomato omelette”

And so on.

To prove this point I’ve decided to post how I made apple strudel today. Please be kind and remember I’m living abroad and my home kitchen is much better stocked. But I don’t see why I should be deprived the adventure of baking. Last week I made a rather tasty apple upside down cake with no recipe and no butter.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients
  • For the Strudel
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) golden rum
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) raisins
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (80 g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick / 115 g) unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups (350 ml) fresh bread crumbs
  • strudel dough (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml, about 60 g) coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2 pounds (900 g) tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼ inch-thick slices (use apples that hold their shape during baking)
  • For the Strudel dough
  • 1 1/3 cups (200 g) unbleached flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons (105 ml) water, plus more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough
  • 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • http://chefinyou.com/2009/05/austrian-apple-strudel/

Here’s what ingredients I used:

Ingredients
  • For the Strudel
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) golden rum scotch
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) raisins
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (80 g) sugar, about a small pile of it and then to taste
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick / 115 g) unsalted butter, melted, divided  as needed (ended up melting 4 separate times
  • 1 1/2 cups (350 ml) fresh bread crumbs (how can you have fresh bread crumbs?)
  • strudel dough (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml, about 60 g) coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2 pounds (900 g) tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼ inch-thick slices (use apples that hold their shape during baking)  5 royal galas
  • For the Strudel dough
  • 1 1/3 cups (200 g) a nutella cup full of unbleached flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon pinch of salt
  • 7 tablespoons (105 ml) 4 tablespoonsish of water, plus more if needed
  • 1 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough  olive oil because all we have is olive oil in the house
  • 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar I almost used balsamic but decided that’d be gross, so I squeezed some tangerine juice in, its acidic right?

Right then time to make the dough! How I read the instructions, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah (about 2 paragraphs worth of blah, something about paddles, dough hooks, etc). What I surmised, mix dry ingredients, add wet slowly, make a ball, knead the ball a bit, cover and stick in fridge. It took about twice as much water as the recipe asked for, which is why measuring is pointless anyway!

Now for the apples, she had 6 steps for the filling. I did this: melt butter, add bread crumbs, pour in some scotch, pour in some sugar, pour in a bit more scotch, add the apples, add a bit more scotch. Stir.

Now I probably, really truly now seeing what she did, should have read the instructions for rolling out the dough bbuuuuttt whatever. I rolled out the dough with a wine bottle filled with hot water, then realizing that I’d be chilling the dough, rinsed it and filled it with ice cold water. Add more melted butter, add apples, roll, add more butter.

I just went and checked on it, its been 30 minutes. Part of the dough leaked and apple filling is all over the bend in the strudel. Bet it still tastes good though! I added more butter to the top and am currently waiting for it to brown…..wait…..wait….wait…. Perhaps I’ll decide what zumba video I will be exercising to this evening due to anticipated apple strudelness. Yes good plan.

Just checked, still not brown or flaky, maybe I wrapped the dough too tight…The upside of bothering to post this foolishness is that I will likely never be asked to host a family meal.

I’ll post on comment on how awesome it tastes when its done folks!

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