Apple Fig Strudel with Pistachios from Scratch

Strudel means whirl. It can also mean maelstrom. I always thought I’d end up in one of those if I ever tried to make strudel from scratch. Strudel dough is hard to make, I was convinced. You have to roll and stretch it until you could almost look through it. I thought all I would look through were the holes in the dough. Lots of them. But like with most things, it’s much easier than most people think. This weekend P. came home with some amazing local apples. He had some figs, too. And all I could suddenly think about was strudel.

Apple Fig Strudel with Pistachios

For the dough:
250 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
100 ml ( 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons) water, plus maybe 1-2 tablespoons
3 tablespoons oil
1 pinch salt

1kg (2.2 pounds) apples (Tart baking apples are best. I used Boskoop.)
4 fresh figs
50 g (1/2 cup) pistachios
lemon juice
50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

110 g (1/2 cup) coconut oil, for brushing (or margarine)

To make the dough: Sift flour into a bowl. Add oil, water, and salt. You are looking for a very firm dough, so use as little water as possible. Just enough until you can form a ball. Knead until the dough is elastic and firm, about 5-6 minutes. Make sure the dough isn’t sticky anymore. Cover with a towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

To make the filling: Finely chop apples and figs. Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent the apples from turning brown. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. The dough has to be rolled out very thinly. Usually this is done on a floured kitchen towel, which will make the strudel much easier to handle and it’s a great help when shaping the strudel.

For this method, place a kitchen towel on your working surface. Sprinkle with flour. Since the dough is very firm at the beginning, I found it easier to start rolling out the dough directly on the working surface, which I floured only minimally. But this is just a personal preference.

Start with a rolling pin and roll the dough into a thin rectangle. If the dough is very hard to handle and rolling gets difficult, let it rest for 1-2 minutes so that the gluten can relax again.

Now start stretching the dough with your fingers, until you can almost look through (If you haven’t used a kitchen towel yet, now is the time to transfer the dough.):

Use the back of your hand to stretch the middle section. Be very careful and work slowly. If necessary, let the dough rest again. If your dough tears, don’t worry. You can cut of some dough from the edges and stick it onto those holes at the end.

Place chopped fruit on the dough, leaving a large margin. Sprinkle with pistachios. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the filling. Fold over the edges and start shaping the strudel with the help of the kitchen towel. Again, work carefully and slowly.

You should be able to see the apple pieces through the dough:

Melt the coconut oil and brush the strudel with half of it. Don’t be too thrifty here. The amount of oil is necessary for a crispy crust and it will prevent your strudel from looking like a shrivelled and old tortilla. Trust me on this one. I’ve been there.

Bake the strudel for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown. Brush the dough with the remaining oil while baking. I did this every ten minutes until all the oil was gone. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla sauce or just with powdered sugar. The tart apples will be very prominent, so if you have a sweet tooth, use lots of vanilla sauce.

28 thoughts on “Apple Fig Strudel with Pistachios from Scratch

  1. This recipe brought back memories of my Oma making apple strudel for us when I was small (she was from Austria). I know I copied her strudel dough recipe down somewhere, but most of my things are in storage at the moment, so I appreciate this one! You’ve inspired me to try this delicious looking recipe. Cheers!

  2. Hi! I’m Donatella and coming from Italy (sorry for my poor english..)
    I love this recipe! I’m looking for a good recipe of the dough, and this is perfect (low in fat and easy to handle)!

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  4. Whoa! I love picture tutorials! And even though I’m in love with figs even more than with apples, I’ve never used them together. I must try this soon.
    Happy MoFo, BTW. <3

  5. That dough looks beautiful, so thin and perfect! The process does seem a bit daunting, but maybe with the help of your tutorial I’ll give it a try sometime. the finished strudel looks so good…
    And I don’t think I’d commented on it yet, but I love the new website look!!

  6. I’m so jealous that you have figs, I haven’t been able to find them anywhere. Great tutorial. I always thought that strudels were made with laminated dough, so never bothered to put in the effort, this is much more up my alley.

  7. Mihl, this is beautiful! I wish I had the patience to make something like this from scratch (I do it at work because it’s my job, but at home I get pretty tired). I love the sound of apples, figs, and pistachios together, so I may have to try that sometime soon (maybe scones?)!

  8. So impressed that you made your own dough for the strudel and it looks absolutely perfect. I’m definitely going to have to give it a go following your clear instructions some time..

  9. wow, mihl- your studel looks incredible! i love the addition of pistachios- so unexpected but it definitely makes sense. SUCH a perfect autumn dessert ;)

  10. The strudel looks gorgeous, Mihl! Your strudel-making skills are impressive. :) The combo of tart apples, figs, and pistachios sounds delicious. I tried making apple strudel once a few years back; the dough was a little uneven, but the results were delicious and worth the effort.

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