Czech Apple Strudel (Jablecny Zavin)

Jablecny Zavin is the Czech name for the well-known “Strudel”. This dessert, common both in both Czech and Austrian cultures, is a layered pastry, usually filled with grated apples, cinnamon, and raisins. Its preparation includes a large plate of puff pastry that is topped with a sweet fruit filling and then rolled in a shape of a “U”. After baking, the roll is cut into large slices that are traditionally served hot with homemade whipped cream and vanilla custard on the side.

Jablecny Zavin – Czech Apple Strudel

People can be found sitting in crowded cafes around Prague every afternoon sipping coffee and dipping this warm apple strudel in cold whipped cream. Puff pastry instead of a thin pie crust separates this version from its Austrian cousin. It is not at all difficult to make and freezes beautifully. Serve warmed sprinkled with powdered sugar with a dollop of whipped cream right next to it.
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Course: Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: Czechoslavakia, Eastern European
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler

Equipment

  • Large baking pan

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Package frozen puff pastry
  • 4 large Apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced (Bramleys, Granny Smiths)
  • ¼ cup Plain breadcrumbs
  • ¾ cup Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Ground cinnamon
  • tsp Vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup Butter, melted
  • ¼ cup Golden seedless raisins
  • ½ cup Chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 large Egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water
  • Confectioners' sugar, for sprinkling

Instructions

  • Make Filling – In a large bowl, combine apples, sugar, raisins, pecans, cinnamon, and salt. Toss until mixed. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Fill Dough – Roll out 2 sheets puff pastry into 20 by 30 inch rectangles (50 x 75 cm). Add vanilla extract to warmed butter. Brush pastry sheets with butter and sprinkle 2 tbsp bread crumbs over. Scoop ½ the apple mixture evenly over the top, leaving 1-inch gap from the edges. Sprinkle a little more bread crumbs, butter and half the pecans all over, Roll it into a log and fold in the ends to make a "U" shape. Brush lightly with butter.
    Move log to the baking sheet, seam-side down. Repeat process on another pastry sheet. Brush both all over with egg wash and bake for about 40 minutes until golden brown and flaky.
    Cool slightly, then dust with confectioners' sugar and serve warm with vanilla iced cream or whipped cream.

Notes

  • To make Austrian Apple Strudel, replace puff pastry with an uncooked pie crust and follow the same instructions.

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