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MasterChef Australia

Weds - Fri at 7.30pm TVNZ 1

Ep 36: Gary's Apple strudel with cream and custard

Apple strudel with cream and custard

Strudel pastry
225g plain flour, plus extra for kneading
1 whole egg
125ml warm milk
½ teaspoon salt
30g butter, melted

Apple filling
5 pink lady apples
60ml brandy
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup flaked almonds
Zest of 1 lemon
¾ cup (165g) brown sugar
125g fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
60g butter, melted for brushing

Icing sugar, for dusting
Double cream, to serve 

1 Preheat oven to 180°C fan forced.

2 For pastry, place flour, egg, milk and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough paddle and beat at a low speed to combine. Add butter, increase speed and beat to a smooth dough. Turn onto a lightly floured bench and knead until smooth, elastic and doesn't stick. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and allow to rest for 35-40 minutes.

4 For filling, peel, core and quarter apples. Roughly cut into medium chunks. Place in a bowl with brandy, cinnamon, raisins, almonds and lemon zest and toss to combine.

5 Reserve 1/3 of each brown sugar and breadcrumbs and set to one side. Add the remaining brown sugar and breadcrumbs to the apple mixture, toss to combine and allow to sit, covered, for flavours to infuse.

6 Sprinkle bench with flour, roll out dough to a rectangle approximately 40x60cm and very thin. Take a 60cmx80cm piece of cloth or clean tea towel and sprinkle with plain flour. Use a rolling pin to help you transfer the pastry onto the cloth and gently pull pastry by the edges until it is transparent. Ensure thick areas are worked to a similar transparency and dough isn't sticking to the cloth. Trim edges.

7 Sprinkle pastry with reserved breadcrumbs and sugar, then spoon apple mix down the length of the pastry in a rectangular shape 3-4inches wide and piled up high. Sprinkle apple and pastry with reserved breadcrumbs and brown sugar.

8 To roll, use the cloth to fold the ends of the pastry over apples to encase, fold the sides of the pastry over to seal and roll up loosely into a thick, plump and elongated strudel shape.

9 Transfer to a baking paper-lined oven tray and brush with melted butter. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden and pastry is crisp.

10 Allow to cool slightly before dusting heavily with icing sugar. 

Vanilla Custard
300ml pouring cream
200ml milk
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
5 egg yolks
¼ cup caster sugar
25g corn flour 

11 Place cream, milk, vanilla pod and seeds in a saucepan over a medium heat and just bring to the boil.

12 Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale. Whisk in corn flour, pour half of the hot cream into egg mixture, whisking continuously. Pour into remaining cream mixture and return to a medium low heat. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon until mixture is thick and coats the back of a spoon. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl placed over a bowl of iced water and stir custard until cooled to room temperature. Pour into a serving jug.

13 To serve, cut strudel into thick pieces and serve with a drizzle of custard and a dollop of thick cream.