One of the most important aspects of Viennese culture is food. Food in Vienna is delicious and there are several iconic Viennese dishes which you should try while you are in the city. Apple Strudel is one of the most famous and tasty Austrian dishes, and the best place to try a traditional apple strudel recipe is at the Apple Strudel Show in Schönbrunn Palace. Not only will you get to taste the best apple strudel in Vienna, but you will also see how it is made in a fabulous fun demonstration. Here’s my review of the Strudelshow in Vienna:
Apple Strudel History
A strudel is a sweet (or savoury) pastry dish, made with layers of pastry filled with apple or other fruit. Savoury strudels might be filled with cheese, mushrooms, ham or spinach for example or anything you might put in a pie. Apple is the most common filling, and apple strudel has become one of the national dishes of Austria, along with Wiener Schnitzel and Tafelspitz. The name strudel comes from the German word for “whirlpool” as the rolled version of strudel looks a bit like the inside of a whirlpool.
The first known handwritten recipe for strudel dates back to 1697, which is now kept in the Viennese City Library. This was for a milk-cream strudel and is thought to have been influenced by Turkish Baklava pastries which were introduced to Austria in the 1400s. Variations on the original recipe created the apple strudel, which became the most popular.
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Although strudel is an easy and satisfying meal for the poor, it was also favoured by the Royal Family and grew in popularity throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire under the Habsburgs. It was apparently a favourite of Empress Maria Theresa, and the Hofbackstube Bakery to the Crown at Schönbrunn Palace has been making some of the best apple strudel in Vienna for hundreds of years.
The Apple Strudel Show in Vienna
Cafe Residenz at Schönbrunn Palace now houses the hofbackstube bakery, and you can go to see their famous Apple Strudel Show. A chef explains the history of apple strudel, the ingredients needed for the apple strudel recipe and demonstrates how to make the perfect apple strudel. All of this is done in English and German, and you also get a piece of apple strudel to enjoy during the show. The show lasts about 20 minutes, and you have some extra time to take photographs and finish your strudel. Shows take place every hour between 11am and 4pm every day.
At the end of the show, the chef also gave us all the apple strudel recipe, together with a phone number for any apple strudel emergencies or questions we may have.
A Traditional Apple Strudel Recipe
There are several components which come together to make the perfect apple strudel. For the show, the chef had already prepared the filling but demonstrated how to make the pastry from scratch, and how to make the strudel itself. There are also tins of the prepared apple strudel filling available to buy at the Strudel Show bakery if you want an easy option!
Apple Strudel Pastry
250g flour, 2g salt, 1 egg, 100g lukewarm water, 20g oil.
Mix all the ingredients into a soft dough and knead it until it doesn’t stick to your hands or the table. Form it into a ball and let it rest in vegetable oil for 30 minutes. Put the dough on a four-covered linen cloth and roll it into a rectangular shape. Use gravity to stretch it over the back of your hands to a wafer-thin almost translucent layer
100g breadcrumbs, 50g butter.
Heat the utter in a pan, add the breadcrumbs and roast them until they take on a golden-brown shine.
140g sugar, 10g cinnamon. Mix the ingredients.
Apple Strudel Filling
150g butter-breadcrumbs, 150g cinnamon sugar, 170g raisins, 10g lemon juice, 1kg peeled sour apples, cored and sliced, a shot of rum.
Mix all ingredients well.
Pile the filling along one side of the stretched dough, rounding it into a sausage shape. Roll it carefully, using the cloth to help you, to create the strudel. Cut off the thick ends and seal. Put the strudel onto a buttered baking tray and bake it in the oven at 190°C until it is golden brown. Put butter on the strudel as soon as it comes out of the oven, and sprinkle with icing sugar to serve.
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Extra Tips for Making Apple Strudel
Even reading back the recipe now, there were a lot of tips and techniques the chef shared to help you prepare the perfect apple strudel, so if you do have chance to watch the show it will make a huge difference to how you make your strudel! Even if you don’t want to make the strudel yourself, going to watch a chef create it so quickly and flawlessly was certainly impressive – and the results were delicious! The proof of their skill and the recipe was indeed in the pudding.
Apple Strudel Show Vienna Tickets
There are options to buy your Apple Strudel Show tickets:
The Classic Package for €6: this includes the Strudel Show and a piece of apple strudel to taste. If you have a Vienna Pass, the classic package is free.
The Premium Package for €11.50: this includes the Strudel Show, a hot drink (tea, coffee or hot chocolate) or a soft drink and a large piece of apple strudel.
The above two packages can be reserved through Café Residenz by calling or emailing them +43 1 24 100 300 or simply by email [email protected] in which case they may reserve you a table at the front. Alternatively, you can turn up and wait in line. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are there around 10-15 minutes before the Strudel Show starts you shouldn’t have a problem getting in, but the earlier you are, the more chance you have of getting a table right at the front.
The GetYourGuide Package for €11.90: If you want to guarantee a table close to the front, I would highly recommend booking your Strudel Show Ticket through GetYourGuide, as I did. This is only possible for the Premium Package, but the delicious hot chocolate and a huge slice of apple strudel was definitely worth it. There is a €.40 cent supplement but when I arrived, I was shown to my reserved table right at the front which was lovely.
Is The Strudel Show Worth It?
Yes! I really enjoyed the Strudelshow, and although it was quite short at just 20 minutes, the chef was funny and extremely talented to whip up a delicious strudel so quickly. I am glad I booked the GetYourGuide ticket in advance so I had a great view of the show while I tucked into the tasty strudel and hot chocolate. For food lovers, it is worth the trip to the palace just for that, but of course, there is plenty more to do at the palace if you want to spend more time there, including beautiful gardens which you can visit free of charge.
Where to Stay in Vienna
The first time I visited Schönbrunn Palace was when I spent two days in Vienna as part of the #wombatsTraveller ambassador project. We stayed at wombat’s City Hostel Vienna Naschmarkt which is a fabulous option for backpackers and budget travellers, with dorm rooms and private rooms available. The hostel is right next to the Naschmarkt which is Vienna’s largest market, and a great place to get a bite to eat any time of the day. It is also close to the metro station which goes directly to Schönbrunn Palace in a few stops.
When I went back specifically for the Strudel Show at Schönbrunn Palace I was staying at the other wombat’s Hostel called The Lounge, now in my official role as #wombatsTraveller. The Lounge is close to the Westbahnhof train station, and you can easily get to Schönbrunn from here buy hopping on the tram.
Both hostels have a bar where you can meet other travellers, and an all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast for a couple of euros extra, which is well worth it to fill up for a day’s sight-seeing, as long as you leave space for your apple strudel!
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This and all the activities I enjoyed in Vienna were paid for by wombat’s Hostels as part of my #wombatsAmbassador role. This post is not sponsored by the Strudel Show in any way.Last updated: December 1, 2019