Apple strudel della Nonna Daria is a post that has been sitting in my drafts for at least 4 years but finally I have a photo I am happy with and I can finally write it up and hit publish!
Who is Nonna Daria?
Nonna Daria was an exceptional lady, she was my Italian mother in law and when I first met her we didn’t even speak the same language plus she was lying in her bed having just undergone a kidney stone operation, not your regular first meeting. I was 19, it was 1986 and I was visiting my boyfriend in Italy for the first time. It was a very exciting period in my life and one that was to change my life forever.
I was part of nonna Daria’s family for 18 years and she left before I did, leaving us a very sad family in 1998. She had very humble beginnings, was 1 of 6 children and started working very early in life. She was a grafter and she was also an intelligent woman. She knew how to make people feel welcome and she had a great business acumen. She married her husband and on his death ran the family hotel, taking it through a complete renovation in 1988 to stay with the times and make sure her children had a future in front of them.
On top of all of this, nonna Daria was also a great cook and a highlight of our out of season periods was being invited to nonna’s for lunch. She put on a fantastic spread and apple strudel is just one of the many recipes that I learnt from her. Apple strudel is also the dessert that transports me back to my time in Italy in Folgaria.
This puff pastry delight is incredibly easy to prepare, quick to bake and everyone who tastes it will love it. If you ever visit north Italy, look out for it on the menu or visit a pasticceria and enjoy a slice with a cup of coffee or tea. It’s a simple recipe that uses apples, pine nuts and raisins, a touch of cinnamon and sugar and wrapped in puff pastry. You can serve it on it’s own or offer custard or ice cream to go with it.
When visiting Folgaria you can see families carrying their strudels home for lunch or afternoon tea form the bakery or pasticceria. Laid on a cardboard tray and wrapped in paper with bright red ribbons curled over the top.
- 1 packet of puff pastry (500g)
- 5 medium sized cooking apples
- Juice of ½ lemon (optional)
- ¾ tbsps sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 100g raisins
- 1 egg beaten for brushing the pastry
- Icing sugar to dust
- Preheat the oven to 200C Gas 6
- Butter a baking tray or line with baking paper
- Peel and core the apples, chop into bite size chunks. Add lemon juice to stop discolouring if desired
- Add the sugar and cinnamon to the apples and mix well, add raisins and mix again to distribute evenly throughout your mixture
- Roll out your pastry to a large square the width to fit on your baking tray.
- Spread the strudel mixture over evenly keeping 2 cms from the edges
- Roll the pastry over itself until a long ‘sausage’ is obtained
- Brush the egg mixture down the remaining flap and seal the strudel
- Place the strudel on the baking tray with the join of the pastry underneath and brush the egg mixture all over
- Bake in the oven for about 20 mins checking to make sure it browns all over
- Leave to cool for about 20 mins, dust with icing sugar and serve warm with ice cream, cream or custard
- Buon appetito!
Enough of my reminiscing, I would like to toast the lady who taught me how to be a mother, how to be part of a wide Italian family and who will be in my heart forever. Please enjoy her delicious apple strudel, the only difference I have made is using ready made puff pastry but I’m sure she would be ok with that.
Here is one happy taster