Having had a long layover (I’m a flight attendant in my other life) in Columbus, Ohio, at a hotel about a mile and a half from German Village, I was excited to go once again to Schmidt’s, a German restaurant with fabulous homemade German-type sausage dishes as well as schnitzel (my favorite) that is very close to the schnitzel served in Mainz and Frankfurt, Germany. Schmidt’s side dishes are great too; their red cabbage, green beans and spaetzle, and crisp potato pancakes are favorites. I have always been disappointed, however, because Schmidt’s doesn’t serve good German bread with their meals; rather marshmallow-textured day-old cheap bakery rolls, which are certainly not worth eating, but I’ve never worried about it since there has always been enough good stuff to eat; I’ve never left hungry.
On previous visits to Schmidt’s, I’ve been too full and have skipped dessert, but this time, I wanted something authentic to take back to my hotel for later. I had doubts, however, when I saw the dessert menu and German Chocolate Cake was listed first. Apparently the pastry chef missed the memo: German Chocolate Cake is not German – it is an all-American creation using a type of chocolate developed in the US by a man named Sam German. H-e-l-l-o! The dessert menu did, however, include Apple Strudel which is always my pièce de résistance (that’s French - not authentic German either) when I’m in Germany, so I ordered a piece to go, and returned to my hotel room. Later, when it was time to eat dessert, I opened the carton and found a piece of soft, less-than-fresh European-style apple pie. Huh? I know I ordered apple strudel. If I had wanted apple pie, I would have ordered apple pie. Apparently Schmidt’s is not the place for authentic German desserts – and obviously their pastry chef is not really a pastry chef and probably orders stuff from bakeries around the area; he (or she) apparently doesn’t know the difference between German and American. Shame on you Schmidt’s - even in famous German Village, it’s not possible to get an authentic German dessert!
It is, however, possible to get authentic German Apple Strudel at my house, and if you’re not able to stop by, I’ve included my recipe which I adapted years ago from a recipe found in Better Homes and Gardens Famous Foods From Famous Places from an authentic German restaurant in Milwaukee, WI, Ratzsch’s. That restaurant, incidentally, is still in business after over 100 years, probably in part because their strudel is fabulous and authentic! The dough takes some time rolling and stretching so that it is paper-thin, but the final result is absolutely worth it.
1/2 cup butter
3 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup warm water
1 cup melted butter
6 tart apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup currants
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl; add the butter and cut in as for pie.
- Stir in the water and egg; mix well and turn out onto a lightly floured pastry cloth.
- Knead about 5 minutes or until smooth.
- Cut the ball in half, cover with a non-terry towel, and let sit 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough on a lightly floured pastry cloth to a rectangle 24" x 24".
- Lift the dough with the back of your hands to stretch it to a rectangle approximately 36" x 36".
- Cut off the thick edges with a pair of scissors.
- Brush 1/4 cup of butter over the surface of the dough.
- Pile half of the apples six inches from the edge of the dough; sprinkle half of the sugar and half of the cinnamon over the apples.
- Sprinkle half of the currants and 2 tablespoons of the bread crumbs over.
- Fold the 6 inch piece of dough over the apples.
- Carefully roll the dough tightly, jelly-roll style, folding in the ends.
- Place the roll seam side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet, bending the ends to form a horseshoe.
- Brush the top liberally with butter.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Bake 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and dust with powdered sugar.
- Serve warm or at room temperature, plain, with ice cream, or with whipped cream.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 368 Calories from Fat 164
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 45% Protein 4% Carb. 52%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 18 g
Saturated Fat 11 g
Cholesterol 60 mg
Sodium 265 mg
Total Carbohydrate 48 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sugars 13 g
Protein 4 g
Vitamin A 14% Vitamin C 8% Calcium 0% Iron 5%