Tillie’s Apple Strudel

October 3rd, 2011  |  Fruit, Pies & Tarts, Sweets  |  0 Comments

I didn't know Tillie all that well {she was my aunt's husband's father's second wife [or my cousin's stepgrandmother]} but from the first time she began joining our family for Thanksgiving, back in the 80's, I always looked forward to seeing her in late November because I knew she'd be with apple strudel.  It was something I grew to look forward to as much as my great-grandmother's cornbread dressing.  I should also add that I'm not particularly an apple dessert kind of gal.  There aren't too many desserts I would turn my nose up at, but apple pie is one of them.  I'd rather eat a package of Sour Patch Kids as un-American as that may sound.   I especially don't like futsing around with peeling, coring and chopping apples and that could have something to do with my feelings on the fruit.  This is one of the only apple desserts I've ever had and loved in my life.  Maybe its the addition of crushed vanilla wafers, maybe its the coconut, maybe its the light and crisp crust.... I don't know, but it most certainly makes chopping apples WORTH the effort!  Sadly, Tillie passed away recently.  I will miss her great big warm hugs as well as her most amazing and decadent apple strudel.


6 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup warm milk
1 3/4 cup flour

2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup coconut, shredded
1 cup crushed vanilla wafers
1 cup chopped (toasted) pecans
1/4 cup butter, melted


In a large bowl, mix together melted butter, egg yolk, milk and flour.  Combine well.  Divide dough into two equal parts and place into separate ziplocking bags.  Refrigerate 3-4 hours.  Lay out a smooth dishcloth and sprinkle with flour.  Roll dough out on floured cloth until very thin.

Brush pastry with melted butter to within one inch of the edge.  In a medium bowl, add apples, raisins, cinnamon, sugar, coconut, vanilla wafers and pecans, mix well.  Add half of mixture to center of pastry.  Moisten the edges of the pastry with water just before closing up strudel.  Roll up tightly by picking up cloth and rolling.  Reflour towel and repeat with the other piece of dough.  Baste strudel with melted butter.  Preheat oven to Convection Bake at 325 degrees, or Bake at 350 degrees if your oven does not have that feature.

Bake for about 40 minutes, until golden brown.  Baste again with melted butter about midway through cooking time.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Serve warm---plain or with vanilla ice cream.

If you have any leftover filling, those apples, raisins and cookies will be a tasty addition to the kids' pancakes or waffles in the morning.  That's what I did and my kids gobbled them up!

This recipe was written by Tillie Leick and minimally adapted by me.

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