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Hungarian Desserts - Strudels (Retesek)

Updated on October 18, 2012

Hungarian Desserts - Strudels

Apple Strudel
Apple Strudel
Hungarian Desserts
Hungarian Desserts
Apple Strudel
Apple Strudel
Phyllo Dough
Phyllo Dough
Pecan Strudel
Pecan Strudel
Cheese Strudel
Cheese Strudel
Strudel at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna
Strudel at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna

Hungarian Desserts

Cast your vote for Strudels (Retesek)

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Hungarian Desserts – Strudels (Rétesek)

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The Turks invaded Hungary in the sixteenth century and brought phyllo pastry with them. Eventually, the Turks were driven out but their pastry remained. The Hungarians improved upon it by making it thinner and lighter so that a small sheet of it can be blown away with a puff of air.

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Strudel is a village specialty in Hungary and even luxury restaurants will hire a couple of farm girls from the provinces to make their strudel. I highly recommend that you use commercial Greek phyllo pastry when making your strudel as that will eliminate a lot of work and frustration.

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First I will provide the basic instructions for making strudel using phyllo pastry. This should work with any of the basic fillings that follow:

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Difficulty:

Moderate

Preparation Time:

60 Minutes

Cooking Time:

45 Minutes

Baking Temperature:

350 F

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Pastry Ingredients:

1 Package of 12 x17 inch phyllo sheets (or whatever similar size you can find)

1 stick of melted, unsalted butter

¼ Cup of Powdered Sugar

Flour to sprinkle on your work surface

2 Tablespoons of Melted Butter to coat the baking pan

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Baking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F
  2. Grease a Baking pan with 2 tablespoons of softened butter.
  3. Spread a large cloth napkin on your working surface and sprinkle it with flour.
  4. Working with the phyllo dough at room temperature, separate one sheet at a time keeping the rest covered with a damp towel.
  5. Spread the first sheet on the floured surface and carefully coat it with melted butter using a pastry brush.
  6. Add another sheet and repeat the process until you have 5-6 sheets stacked up.
  7. If your sheets are 12 x 17 inches, place the filling on a third of the sheet leaving a two inch border along the long side and slightly larger border on the ends.
  8. Using the napkin, roll the long edge of the dough up and over the filling.
  9. Coat the edges with melted butter and fold them over to seal in the filling.
  10. Then roll the dough over and use more melted butter to seal the final edge.
  11. Bake seam side down on a buttered baking pan until golden brown.
  12. Remove the strudel to a serving dish after it has cooled and sprinkle it with powdered sugar before serving.

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Apple Filling:

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3 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, cut in half and thinly sliced

¼ Cup Chopped Walnuts

½ Cup Raisins (soak in ¼ cup of bourbon or apple juice and microwave them for 30 seconds)

¾ Cup Sugar

½ Cup of Crushed Shortbread Cookies

Juice of ½ Lemon

1 Teaspoon of Lemon Zest

½ Teaspoon Cinnamon

¼ Cup of Melted Butter

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Making the Filling:

  1. Mix the apples, sugar, crushed cookies, butter, raisins with their juice, lemon juice, zest and cinnamon in a bowl.
  2. Use the apple mixture as the filling in the pastry dough described above.

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Poppyseed Filling:

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½ Pound Ground Poppyseeds

1 Apple (peeled, cored and grated)

¾ Cup Sugar

½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

2 Eggs Separated

¼ Cup Raisins

1 Cup of Hot Milk

6 Tablespoons of Butter

1 Tablespoon Flour

Zest of ½ Lemon

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Making the Filling:


  1. Whip the sugar with the egg yolks until smooth.
  2. Add the flour, lemon zest, butter, vanilla and hot milk.
  3. Bring the mixture to a simmer and mix in the ground poppy seeds.
  4. Return the mixture to a simmer and then remove it from the heat.
  5. After it cools down, mix in the raisins and the grated apple.
  6. Whip the egg whites until stiff and then fold them into the filling.
  7. Use in the above phyllo pastry recipe.

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Cottage-cheese Filling:

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1 Pound of Dry cottage Cheese (or drain off the liquid if it is creamed)

¾ Cup Sugar

½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

3 Eggs Separated

¼ Cup Raisins

½ Cup Sour Cream

4 Tablespoons of Butter softened

1 Tablespoon Flour

1 Tablespoon Coarse-ground Semolina

Zest of ½ Lemon

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Making the Filling:

  1. Whip the egg yolks with the sugar and softened butter until it foams.
  2. Slowly mix in the sour cream, flour, raisins, vanilla and lemon zest and let the mixture sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Whip the egg whites until peaks form. Sieve the cottage cheese and gently fold into the egg whites. Combine the two mixtures.
  4. Sprinkle the semolina on the sheets of strudel dough where you plan to put the filling and then follow the phyllo dough recipe above.

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Almond-Raspberry Jam Filling:

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¾ Cup Raspberry Jam

½ Cup Sugar

¾ Cup Ground Almonds

6 Eggs separated

1/3 Cup Melted Butter

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Preparing the Strudel:

  1. Brush the prepared phyllo dough (see above) with melted butter and then spread the jam on top.
  2. Whip the egg yolks with the sugar and add the ground almonds.
  3. Whip the egg whites until stiff and then gently fold them into the almond mixture.
  4. Fill the bottom half of the phyllo dough with the mixture and carefully roll up the dough.
  5. Brush the dough with the rest of the melted butter and gently place it on the baking sheet. Do not pat it down.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes at 350F until golden brown, let cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.

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All of the above fillings are for dessert strudels and there are many other possibilities. In addition, there is an entire series of savory strudels with fillings such as cabbage or mushrooms, but that is the subject of another Hub.

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How to Make Apple Strudel

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    • daisynicolas profile image

      daisynicolas 4 years ago from Alaska

      You gave me more ideas on how to use phyllo dough.

    • claudi1176 profile image

      claudi1176 4 years ago from Greenville, SC

      I love Strudel....that just made me hungry!

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