In continuing my quest to battle the bulge and lose that extra weight, I am always on the look out for tasty, yet low calorie treats. So when the Baking Mad Healthy Baking challenge arose, I jumped at the chance to be a part of it.  I selected the Apple Strudel recipe since we had access to hand picked apples from a local source. It also happens to be a favourite dessert of my husband from his childhood visits to Austria.

The baking challenge was sponsored by Baking Mad and Silver Spoon Half Spoon sugar, which has half the calories of regular sugar.

This recipe serves 6

650 grams Apples Eating, Cox’s (approx. 5 apples)

30 grams Almonds ground

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

35 grams Half Spoon Granulated Sugar (Silver Spoon)

1 orange finely grated zest**

Approx. 4 tbsp sunflower or grapeseed oil, plus extra for brushing and greasing

6-8 ready made filo pastry

cinnamon and Half Spoon sugar for sprinkling

**I didn’t have an orange, so I used lemon zest as a substitute.

Healthy ingredients

Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan170°C/Gas 5.

Peel, core and thinly slice the apples into a bowl. Add the ground almonds, spices and sugar and orange zest (or lemon zest).

Apple mixture

Unroll the pastry and cover with a damp cloth to stop it from drying out. Taking one sheet at a time brush each sheet of filo pastry with the oil, then place the sheets of pastry on top of each other onto a large sheet of greaseproof paper.

Arrange the apples in a narrow strip, lengthways down the centre of the pastry to within 3cm of each shorter edge.

Strudel construction

Fold the 2 shorter edges over the filling and then fold over 1 long edge and tuck the fruit firmly underneath the pastry. Brush with any remaining oil and fold over the other edge, so that it overlaps by at least 5-6cm.

Before the oven

Carefully transfer the strudel to a large oiled baking sheet. Brush with a little oil. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until crisp and golden.

After the oven

Leave the strudel to cool down slightly. Dust with a light sprinkle of cinnamon and Half Spoon sugar. Serve with greek yogurt.

Apple strudel with greek yogurt

This is a very tasty recipe. You’d never know it was low calorie. The flavours of the apple, almond, cinnamon and Half Spoon sugar worked so well together. The only downside of this recipe is the filo pastry was a bit too chewy around the folded edges. When I make it again, I’ll probably use half the amount of filo.

I had never made strudel before, and after this recipe challenge, I’ll definitely make it again.