Cooking with Sun King: Oktoberfest Strudel

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

It may not feel like fall outside, but our taste buds are certainly heading into craving fall recipes!  


October always brings two things to our mind: Oktoberfest beer and sweet treats. Sun King Culinary Director, Steven Unrue, combines the two in today's Cooking with Sun King: Das apfelstrudel



Das apfelstrudel aka Oktoberfest Strudel

Servings: 10-12 / Active Prep Time: 3 hrs / Total Time: Up to 16 hrs





1/2 cup (80 grams) raisins

2 tablespoons (30 ml) Oktoberfest



1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (150 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Pinch of salt

3 tablespoons (45 ml) sunflower, safflower or another neutral oil

1/3 cup (80 ml) Oktoberfest



2 pounds (905 grams) firm apples (about 5 to 6)

Juice 1 lemon

1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated sugar or vanilla sugar (see note above)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

8 tablespoons (115 grams) unsalted butter, divided

3/4 cup (40 grams) crushed pretzels

1 tablespoon granulated sugar or vanilla sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt


Oktoberfest Caramel Sauce:

1 12- ounce Oktoberfest

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon salt


Vanilla Custard:

650 g whole milk

225 g granulated sugar

200 g egg yolks

150 g heavy cream

45 g nonfat dry milk powder

10 g vanilla extract

5 g salt





Combine the raisins and the Okoberfest in a small bowl and cover; set aside for 24 hours. However, should you be reading this and want to make it right now.  TIP: microwaving the two together for 10 to 15 seconds and setting them aside until you’re ready to mix the filling allowed them to absorb almost as well.



Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add the oil and Oktoberfest and mix with a spoon or your index finger until a rough dough forms. Turn it out onto a very lightly floured counter and knead for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, the dough should be soft and silky to the tough. Form it into a ball, place it on the counter and upend the mixing bowl over it. Set aside for 30 minutes.



Peel, halve, core and slice thin in one direction, then halve the slices crosswise, creating thin squarish rectangles of apples. Place them in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon, if using. Add the raisins and any rum left in the bowl.


In a small skillet over medium-low heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter and add the pretzles, sugar and salt. Stir to coat and cook, stirring frequently as they can burn quickly, until pretzles are an even golden brown and very fragrant. Don’t let them burn. Scrape into a dish (or they’ll keep cooking in the pan) and set aside.


Heat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line 1 large or 2 smaller baking sheets with parchment paper. Melt the remaining 5 tablespoons butter in a small dish.


Roll out your dough (these directions are for a full-sized strudel): Cover your work surface with a cleaning linen towel or sheet that’s at least 24-by-32 inches. The long side should be horizontal. Sprinkle the cloth lightly with flour. Place the dough in the middle, sprinkle it very lightly with flour and roll in both directions until it’s about 10-by-13 inches, or about as far as the rolling pin can take it. Make sure the dough hasn’t stuck to the cloth; reflour if it has. Now the stretching begins! Ball your hands to loose fists, put them under the rolled-out dough and gently start stretching the dough using the back of your hands. Alternate with pulling the dough gently with your fingers to continue stretching it, stretching the edges thin too. This is all much easier than it sounds, but be patient. If holes form, pinch the dough back together. Continue stretching until the dough is about 16-by-24 inches.


Brush evenly with about half the melted butter. On the right side of the rectangle, a few inches from the end, spread the pretzle crumbs top to bottom in a thick line, leaving a little more than an inch margin at the top and bottom of the strip. Scoop the apples with a slotted spoon, leaving any accumulated juices in the bowl, and pile them over the crumbs. Gently pull the top and bottom edges of the dough over the apple mixture. Pull the right edge of the dough up and over the filling as far as it will go without tearing. Working carefully, use the towel to roll up the strudel all the way. Place the parchment paper from your baking sheet at the edge of the roll and roll the strudel onto it. Ideally, it should be breadcrumb side-down on the parchment, you can roll it again if it’s not. Use the parchment like a sling to gently place the strudel on the baking sheet.


Oktoberfest Caramel Sauce:

Pour the stout into a medium saucepan and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to a rapid simmer and cook until the stout is reduced by half.


Stir in the brown sugar and vanilla. Heat to boiling, reduce heat to a rapid simmer and let the mixture cook 8-10 minutes without stirring until sauce turns a deep amber and bubbles start to grow and expand. Mixture will be hot like lava, so be careful.

Remove from heat and add the butter, cream and salt and stir carefully until fully combined. Transfer to a resealable glass storage jar and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


Brush the strudel generously all over with some of the remaining butter. Bake for 15 minutes, then brush again and return to the oven in a rotated position. Repeat this once, baking a total of 45 minutes. (Half-size strudels seem to bake 5 or so minutes faster.) The finished strudel should be crisp to the touch and a deep golden brown.


Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before serving.


Vanilla Custard: 

Set an immersion circulator in a water bath to 149 degrees.


Combine all custard ingredients in a bowl, and blend until all the powders are dissolved and everything is well emulsified. We use an immersion blender, but a regular blender works too.

Transfer mixture to a bag or glass jar and cook for 60 minutes, agitating every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking.


Remember, 149 °F / 65 °C yields creamy custard with a clean flavor. Custard cooked at 176 °F / 80 °C will turn out even creamier, with a nice and eggy flavor. Either way, the cook time remains the same, but if you’re cooking at the higher temp, opt for a glass jar or heavy-duty sous vide bag to reduce the chance of leaks.


Make up an ice bath. Once custard is finished cooking, transfer to the ice bath to cool.


Place your custard in the fridge for at least four hours or as long as overnight. This step is optional, but it leads to smoother, more scoopable frozen custard.


In a frozen ice cream maker bowl, churn your custard until set, place in a freezer container and chill until fully set.

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