This Berry-Apple Strudel with fresh or frozen berries, apples and an easy homemade strudel dough is a must-try breakfast or brunch recipe to wow a crowd.
This impressive apple strudel is a crowd-pleasing and comforting treat with your favorite seasonal fruit. It’s the perfect back-to-school recipe to bridge summer berries with fall apple season.
❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe: This is an easy from-scratch strudel recipe that has no yeast and no rising time. The filling is perfectly sweet and jammy and full of fresh fruit flavor.
Update: I’ve updated this post with new photos and helpful tips to make your strudel-making easier than ever.
How to Make Berry-Apple Strudel
The first step in this recipe is to make the dough. It’s a fairly straightforward recipe. There’s no yeast and no rising aside from 90 minutes of hands-off resting.
While the dough rests, you can make the apple and berry filling. Feel free to use any of your favorite berries. Fresh or frozen fruit both work well.
Mixed Berry Strudel Filling
The apples in this strudel filling provide a nice tart flavor to balance the sweet. They also have natural pectins that add more body to the filling. Don’t skip drying them well, apples hold a lot of juice. When drying the apples, it’s best to use a kitchen towel. Paper towel will tear once wet.
I recommend leaving half of your berries in larger pieces. This makes a better-tasting strudel since there will be some variation in texture between the puree and fruit chunks.
Tip: Make sure that your berry mixture is completely cooled before adding to the strudel.
The butter-toasted breadcrumbs are a key part of strudel-making. They add flavor and also help absorb excess moisture from the fruit filling. As the filling cooks in the oven, it will release more liquid. The breadcrumbs will absorb this so the filling stays firm and inside the flaky pastry, rather than leaking out.
Stretching Strudel Dough: Tips and Tricks
Something unique about strudel dough is that it needs to be stretched. This is how you achieve those delicate flaky layers. This soft dough stretches pretty easily on its own, and it will get easier to stretch as you continue to work with it.
When stretching the dough, it’s very important to have a pastry cloth or a no-pile French tea cloth (the dough will stick to anything with a pile.) This will stop your dough from shrinking back once it’s stretched. And you’ll use it to roll and transfer the strudel when it’s filled and ready to bake.
Tip: When you’re stretching the dough, choose a space where you can work on all sides of the dough. A small dining table, a card table or a small kitchen island, work well.
To start stretching the dough, use a rolling pin. When it stops stretching with the rolling pin, use your hands.
First, flour your hands, including the tops and knuckles. Then drape the edge of the dough over your knuckles and gently stretch the dough as you move your hands all around the edge. Continue stretching until the dough is transparent.
If you have any tears, you can simply pinch them back together.
Filling and Shaping the Strudel
When the dough is nicely stretched, you can brush it with butter, add the breadcrumbs, and spread the berry filling on one end of the dough.
Then to roll the strudel, lift the left-hand short end of the towel so the dough falls over onto the filling. Keep moving the towel edge left to right to roll the strudel into a neat spiral. Roll until the seam is underneath, then tuck the open ends underneath to seal the filling inside.
Gently and carefully use the towel to transport your strudel over to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Note that the strudel will be heavy and slightly awkward to move into place.
The strudel is done baking when it’s golden brown on top. Remove the pastry from the oven and let it cool for about 20 minutes. When you’re ready to serve, sprinkle the top with powdered sugar or drizzle with a glaze if you like.
You can use this icing recipe if you’re looking for a sweet and pretty white glaze.
A serrated bread knife works best for cutting slices.
More Pastry Recipes to Try
Make these other impressive homemade pastries next:
- Danish Braid with Apple Filling is full of warming fall flavor and has a beautiful braided presentation.
- How to Make, Pipe, Fill and Decorate Eclairs is my how-to guide for making delicate French pastries – such as my delicious chocolate eclairs.
- Creamsicle Opera Cake is a stunning layered cake with sweet orange and cream flavors.
- 6 cups fresh or frozen berries I used blackberries, raspberries and blueberries
- 1 Granny Smith apple peeled and grated on large holes of box grater
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons instant tapioca
- Pinch table salt
- ½ cup 1 stick / 115 g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 ½ cups 350 ml fresh bread crumbs
- 1 ⅓ cups 200 g unbleached flour
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons 105 ml water, plus more if needed
- 2 tablespoons 30 ml vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough
- ½ teaspoon cider vinegar
- Put 3 cups berries in medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently and mashing occasionally, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to 1 ½ cups, about 8 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- Place grated apple in clean kitchen towel and wring dry. Transfer apple to large bowl. Add cooked berries, remaining 3 cups uncooked berries, lemon zest, juice, sugar, tapioca, and salt; toss to combine.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the breadcrumbs and cook stirring constantly until golden and toasted. This will take about 3 minutes. Let it cool completely.
- Strudel dough
- Combine the flour and salt in a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the water, oil and vinegar in a measuring cup. Add the water/oil mixture to the flour with the mixer on low speed. You will get a soft dough. Make sure it is not too dry, add a little more water if necessary.
- Take the dough out of the mixer. Change to the dough hook. Put the dough ball back in the mixer. Let the dough knead on medium until you get a soft dough ball with a somewhat rough surface.
- Take the dough out of the mixer and continue kneading by hand on an unfloured work surface. Knead for about 2 minutes. Pick up the dough and throw it down hard onto your working surface occasionally. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to a plate. Oil the top of the dough ball lightly. Cover the ball tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to stand for 30-90 minutes (longer is better).
- Put the rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a large baking sheet with baking paper (parchment paper).
- Cover your working area with a pastry cloth, dust it with flour and rub it into the fabric. Divide your dough in to two pieces. Put half of the dough in the middle of the cloth and roll it out as much as you can.
- Pick the dough up by holding it by an edge. This way the weight of the dough and gravity can help stretching it as it hangs. Using the back of your hands to gently stretch and pull the dough.
- Put it on your work surface. Place your hands underneath the dough and stretch and pull the dough thinner using the backs of your hands. Stretch and pull the dough until it’s about 12 inches wide and 18 inches long, it will be tissue-thin by this time. Cut away the thick dough around the edges with scissors if necessary.
- The dough is now ready to be filled.
- Spread 2 tablespoons of the melted butter over the dough using your hands (a bristle brush could tear the dough, you could use a special feather pastry brush instead of your hands). Sprinkle the buttered dough with the bread crumbs. Spread half of the berry filling about 3 inches from the short edge of the dough.
- Fold the short end of the dough onto the filling. Lift the cloth at the short end of the dough so that the strudel rolls onto itself. Transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet by lifting it. Tuck the ends under the strudel.
- Repeat with the other half of the dough. Brush the tops with the remaining melted butter.
- Bake the strudel for about 30 minutes or until it is deep golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Use a serrated knife and serve either warm or at room temperature. It is best on the day it is baked.