The weather has been wild for the past three days - a warmish wind continues to roar in from the west bringing squalls of rain and leaden skies. The sap may be stirring in my veins at the thought of spring but I don't feel inclined to go out and garden when the wind's blowing me horizontal and rain's trickling down my neck. That's right, you've guessed correctly. I'm a fair weather gardener.
So what to do instead? Ironing? Nah. Defrost freezer? Nope. Clean grout in shower? I. Really. Can't. Be. Arsed. The guest rooms are gussied up and a sleeping bag has been found in readiness for our visiting sons and girlfriends; there's a chicken to go into the oven for supper and even the vegetables are prepped. Perhaps I shall make a comforting pudding - something too homely to justify the grander title of 'dessert'. Apple Crumble and custard perhaps, or Apple Pie. Into the corner of my brain reserved for ideas comes the notion of Apple Strudel. It's more complicated certainly than options a and b but like knitting socks on four needles it's the challenge of the thing that makes it so appealing. I have the time, the inclination and all the ingredients. Apple Strudel it is.
Firstly make a nice elastic dough - knead and pummel, pummel and knead. Then bish-bash, slap it down on the counter for 10 or so minutes until little bubbles can be seen. Let the dough rest. Rest yourself.
Gather the fillings. As well as sliced apple and a handful of breadcrumbs fried gently in butter there are walnuts and sultanas, lemon zest, sugar and cinnamon.
Brush the stretched dough with melted butter and spread the ingredients evenly as below:
Our guests arrived, Harry and Sam, Dan and Katy. How lovely to see them all and hear their news and laughter. It is my birthday weekend too so there were gifts to enjoy; some pretty slippers, truffles, a bottle of pink champagne, homemade biscotti and a big bunch of white lilies:
We had a roast chicken dinner followed by Apple Strudel and cream. Hang on.....it got eaten before I could take that final shot. This is all there is left:
PS If you need more apple inspiration hop over to north Wales for Elizabethm's Somerset Apple Cake. It's next on my list.