Queenie's Apple Strudel (vegan)

    reading time: 4 min

    With a flick of her wand, Queen sends raisins, apples and pastry flying into the air. The concoction neatly wraps itself up into a cylindrical pie, baking on the spot,complete with ornate decoration and a dusting of sugar.

    Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, J. K. Rowling

My birthday always falls on Mabon, the autumn equinox and fruit harvest festival, with apples being one of the main fruits that are ripe for harvest around this time where I live (along with plums, pears, crabapple, rowan berries, and hawthorn berries).

So for my birthday this year I thought this apple strudel inspired by the version we see in the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was perfect to not only celebrate my birthday, but also the autumn equinox. And of course, for a magical Harry Potter party!

Tumblr: Image

»You prefer strudel, huh, honey?«

– Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Jacob Kowalski falls for the magic of Queenie's baking skills. (source)

Unfortunately, my apple roses didn't magically wrap and arrange themselves on top of the strudel, but I'm still pretty happy with how they turned out, given that they're basically just cooked apples that somehow ended up looking like marzipan roses.

To be honest, you don't need the apple roses (they don't taste like much), but if you feel like tinkering about to create pretty decorations for your strudel, go for it!

If you don't feel like adding the apple roses, I suggest cutting a few slits in-between the braids for a more interesting look.


Preparation time: 1 h 15 min
Main ingredients: puff pasty, apples, almonds, cinnamon
difficulty level: easy-moderate
serves: 4
suitable for: vegan, lactose-free, soy-free, yeast-free, low sodium


2 sheets of store-bought puff pastry

strudel filling:
4 small to medium apples (e.g. gala or pink lady)
1 tbps lemon juice
1 tbsp maple syrup or agave syrup
1 tbsp raw cane sugar or brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
a pinch of salt

(optional) 1 tsp orange zest
(optional) 1 tbsp rum

1/4 cup almonds, chopped
a  handful of raisins

non-dairy milk or melted vegan butter, for brushing the pastry
2 red apples
1 tbsp lemon juice
icing sugar, for dusting


Make the filling:

Start by preparing the filling. Rinse and chop apples into cubes.

To a medium-sized saucepan, add chopped apples and maple or agave syrup. Put on the lid, and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes.

Remove the lid, and add remaining filling ingredients except for almonds and raisins: lemon juice, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, salt. Also add orange zest and rum if using.

Allow to simmer (without the lid) for another 5 minutes, or until the apples are starting to get nice and soft.

Remove from heat, and allow to cool completely. If there's still a lot of liquid, don't worry about it.

Make the apple roses:

(I do this while the strudel bakes, but you can also do this beforehand.)

Cut 2 cored apples into paper-thin slices, using your best knife or a mandolin. Leave the skin on for the pretty red rim.

Place apple slices into a heat-safe bowl, along with 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Pour boiling water on top, and leave to soak for about 3 minutes. Or use cold water, and microwave on high for 3 minutes.

Once the apple slices are soft and flexible, use a fork to lift out one slice at a time. Lay a couple of slices on top of each other, overlapping them about two-thirds, then roll them into an apple rose. Place into muffin cups so they will hold their shape.

Or arrange them directly in the muffin cups. Set aside.

Make the strudel:

Preheat oven to 200 °C / 390 °F.

Once the filling is fully cooled, stir in the raisins and chopped almonds.

Remove the puff pastry from the fridge. Cut one of the 2 sheets into 9 thin strips, and r
oll each strip into a more-or-less round ribbon. Take the first 3 ribbons, and braid them into a simple 3-strand braid. Repeat with the remaining ribbons. Set the three braids aside.

Roll out the other sheet of puff pastry to roughly the size of
12″ x 16″ or 30 x 40 cm. I do this on a sheet of baking paper.

Spoon the filling along the long side of the rolled puff pastry, keeping it about 1 inch or 2 cm away from the edge. Using the baking paper (or a tea towel), roll up the strudel with the seam side down. Slightly tuck in the ends.

To attach the braids, carefully wrap them around the strudel and tuck them under, once again using the baking paper or tea towel. (I had some braided pastry left, so I decided to add it as a fourth braid.)

Use a bit of non-dairy milk to stick the braids to the strudel.

Place strudel onto a baking sheet, and brush with non-dairy milk or melted butter.

Bake at 200 °C / 390 °F in the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Keep an eye on it to prevent it from getting too dark.

Remove from oven, and allow to cool.

Carefully place the apple roses on top of the strudel, and dust with powdered sugar.

Serve immediately with a bit of vegan vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream, if you like.


- Without the apple roses, this strudel is super easy to make! Feel free to skip them, or make them from marzipan instead (you can also buy those). The braids are very easy to make, and they look amazing without the apple roses, too.
Instead of using store-bought puff pastry, you can also use filo / phyllo pastry, which is less airy and buttery flaky, and more crispy, I would say.