Many years ago, Helene (co-founder of Tirol Box) came up with this recipe. It has never been written down or shared, this is an exclusive for the Tirol Box blog.
Whenever Helene came to England for Christmas or parties, she would make her legendary strudel. After the first party, friends and family would look forward to having a piece or two. One year, Helene couldn’t make it and one of my mum’s friends was very disappointed when she found out there was no strudel at the party and joked that she might as well go home.
Last year, we visited Vienna and went to the zoo at Schönbrunn Palace. There is a gorgeous circular cafe with Sissi’s salmon strudel on the menu. Even though I had already eaten, I just had to try and compare it to this one. Not half as good. Nice yes, but didn’t have that magical flavour and was too dry for my liking. Helene says there’s a secret to keeping the moisture in, all is revealed in this recipe.
Austria is a strudel nation and before coming here, I had only heard of sweet strudels, such as apple strudel. Now this is one of my favourite meals.
There are two strudels in the recipe because of the same filling, but different layers between the filling and the pastry. Also, the thinning of the pastry allows there to be two separate strudels, having the pastry too thick competes too much with the flavour of the filling. and can reduce the moisture.
You can have both strudels the same or mix it up a little like Helene has done so here. As we are very close to the Italian border here in Tirol, Helene adds a lovely Italian twist to the strudels. Try it yourself and make your guests want more.
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
4-6 people (main dish)
4 big potatoes
Half a bunch of fresh parsley
300g puff pastry
200g fresh mushrooms
150g crème fraîche / double cream
80g Pesto alla Genovese
150g smoked salmon slices
150g Tirolean bacon – thin slices
Salt and pepper
- Add about 1.5 litres of salted water to a saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Rinse the potatoes with water, then chop them into 2cm chunks. Leave the skin on for extra vitamins and an earthy taste. You can peel them if you prefer.
- Boil the potatoes until they are nearly done, so they still have some crunch (15-20 mins).
- While the potatoes are boiling, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Wash the mushrooms with cold water and cut them into quarters or eighths, depending on size and put them into a large bowl.
- Wash the parsley, cut into small pieces add to the bowl along with the crème fraîche, a teaspoon of olive oil and a sprinkle or two of salt and pepper.
- Mix the contents of the bowl until evenly spread.
- Lay grease proof paper onto a baking tray and prepare the puff pastry by rolling it our and laying it on the worktop.
- Cut the pastry in half and very carefully thin it out, so it covers nearly the whole baking tray. The trick is to work with the weight of the pastry and gravity – Lay it on the baking tray when ready.
- With a spoon, spread the pastry with the pesto covering the center and leaving about a 5cm edge around the pastry.
- Lay the salmon slices down over the pesto but not overlapping
- The potatoes should be ready by now, so mix them in the bowl with the other ingredients from earlier. When evenly spread, lay half the potato mix on centre of the salmon and flatten it a little, so the pastry can be easily folded over.
- Grate parmesan cheese on top of the centre.
- Get a cup, crack open the egg into it and mix it with a brush.
- Generously brush the egg around the pastry border.
- Carefully fold the pastry over to create a loaf of bread type shape, making sure there are minimal/no gaps. The contents should not be able to leak out.
- Brush more egg over the top, move the strudel to the side of the tray ready for the next one.
- Start preheating the oven at 200°C (fan oven).
- Next is the Tirolean strudel – firstly thin out the other half of the puff pastry and lay it down on the baking tray.
- Spread the pesto in the centre of the pastry like before.
- Lay the Tirolean bacon over the pesto – here it doesn’t matter if the bacon over laps.
- Next, add the potato mix on top like before
- Grate the parmesan over the top.
- Brush the egg onto the pastry border, then carefully fold like before.
- Add more egg to make it all stick.
- Place the tray of strudels in the middle of the oven and bake for 30 minutes and you’re done.
When ready, cut the strudels into slices of your desired size and serve. No need for extra sauce, these strudels are perfectly moist as they are.
What’s your favourite, the Tirolean bacon or the luxury salmon?