White Peach Eton Mess
A twist on the classic English dessert, made with fresh Australian summer stonefruit
For the strudel dough:
80mL lukewarm water
1 Tbs and 1/2 tsp neutral tasting vegetable oil (15g)
1/2 tsp vinegar (or lemon juice)
1/8 tsp table salt or fine sea salt
145g plain flour (1 cup + 2 Tbs)
1/2 tsp vegetable oil for brushing the dough
Flour for dusting
For the filling:
3 Tbs unsalted butter (40g)
80g fine breadcrumbs
65g granulated sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 Tbs rum or lukewarm water for soaking the raisins
900g apples (eg Granny Smith)
1 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs melted butter for brushing the dough (separated)
Icing sugar for dusting
To make the dough:
Mix lukewarm water, oil, vinegar and salt in a big bowl.
Stir in half the flour with a spoon until well combined, then gradually add remaining flour until it comes together and can be worked with your hands.
Knead the dough until smooth for about 10 minutes, either in the bowl or on a working surface. The dough should be moist but not sticky. Slam the dough onto the work surface a few times to enhance gluten development, yielding a very elastic dough.
Shape the dough into a smooth ball. Brush a clean bowl with oil, put the dough into the bowl and brush it with oil with your fingers.
Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and let it sit for 1 hour at room temperature, or save for up to three days if making ahead.
To make the filling:
Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat and add the breadcrumbs. Toast them, stirring constantly, until they are golden. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Mix sugar and cinnamon together, then add it to the buttered breadcrumbs and stir well. Set aside.
Soak the raisins in rum (traditional), or lukewarm water for about 10 minutes to get them softened.
Peel the apples, quarter and core them. Chop every quarter into approximately 0.5cm thick slices and cover them with lemon juice to prevent the apples from going brown. Add the soaked raisins (but not the remaining rum or water) and mix well.
Stretching and filling the dough:
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin on a clean and lightly floured surface. Flour the surface and the dough every now and then while rolling.
When the dough reaches around 35cm in diameter, pick up and use the back of your hands, particularly your knuckles, to stretch it and straighten like a pizza.
Once dough is bigger and thinner, put it down on a lightly floured tablecloth, straighten out the wrinkles in both the tablecloth and the dough. Continue stretching the dough on the tablecloth using your hands.
Gently stretch the dough paper-thin from the inside to the outside, working your way around the sheet of dough. Stretch it until it starts to look translucent
The sheet of dough should be stretched into a rectangular shape, with the shorter edge fitting the baking sheet lengthwise. Thick edges should be cut off.
Brush half the dough with half the melted butter. Spread breadcrumb-mixture over the other half of the dough and pat down evenly. One side is brushed with butter now, the other side is covered with breadcrumbs.
Leave 2.5cm-3cm space to the edge. Spread the apples over the breadcrumbs.
Fold in the side-ends of the dough. Using the towel, roll the dough, starting at the apple-topped end all the way. Then gently roll the strudel onto a sheet of parchment paper with the seam-side down.
Put the dough onto a baking sheet and brush it with the remaining melted butter.
Baking the strudel:
Put the baking sheet in the middle of the pre-heated oven and bake it for half an hour at 190 C.
The apple strudel is ready once the crust appears golden. Remove from oven, let it cool slightly, cut it into pieces and serve dusted with icing sugar.
Photo Credits: Megan