Hungarian Hand-Stretched Strudel
By Amy Stern / 07-Dec-2016
“Memorable” – that is the word that sums up the experience that lucky Alliance members were treated to when they attended an intimate strudel making workshop with Vera Eisenberg, aka The Strudel Queen.
Hosted by gracious Alliance member, Fanny Farkas, we first enjoyed a delicious flatbread made from crisply baked strudel dough that was served with a yummy Hungarian Paprika spread. Members snacked and chatted, networking until the program got under way.
Born and raised in Budapest, Vera is a graduate of the CIA and was previously a food stylist for Paula Deen. She explained that strudel has a history dating back hundreds of years and while it’s typically associated with Austria and Hungary; its true roots are Turkish, as in the savory filled pastries known as borek. We first learned how easy it was to make the dough, but the highlight was not the filling and rolling which we had anticipated, but two other steps that are required prior to: beating and stretching of the dough.
Once Vera formed the dough into a one-foot long cylinder, she literally began beating and slamming it onto the countertop. This was supposed to be done one hundred times- at which point, we realized the value in our attendance. The longer we worked the dough, the softer and more pliable it became. The next step was stretching the dough into a rectangle that would be approximately 3 feet by 5 feet or the length of the dining room table. The technique was amazing to watch as four members each took a corner of the dough and using the backs of their palms, worked patiently until the dough was stretched so thin you could read a business card through it (we tested this claim). Next, we topped the dough with Vera’s homemade plum jam and sliced apples with rum-soaked raisins, then rolled the strudel and scored it for baking. While it baked, we gathered around the table for delicious homemade sorrel soup (the sorrel picked from Vera’s Vermont garden) and a savory cabbage strudel topped with sour cream that Vera prepared earlier. Over warm apple strudel, we savored an evening of friendship and a new found culinary skill. The evening was not only educational but throughout the night we were entertained by Vera’s lively wit and hilarious anecdotes. For information on private events and classes, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or www.strudelqueen.com