My summery take on strudel...
Despite me being a creature of habit and the fact that I truly enjoy my simple daily life and love staying at home... it is always good to see different places and forget about work and other commitments for a few days... so for our summer break, I booked a short holiday in Vienna. Both Vittorio and I had already been, but he went something like 30 years ago when the city was completely different, whereas I went in 2012 for a job interview with an American tour operator. That time I took a night train and went not really for the interview, but to eat a slice of Sacher and visit the Secession building, and ended up staying there for an entire week! The president of the company was so pleasantly shocked that I had arrived all the way from Venice and so he invited me to stay, I had a room at the Ritz and lived a luxury experience, meeting with the other tour leaders, eating in fancy restaurants and ending the days drinking cocktails at the Loos American bar. Ironically, the only things I didn't do were eating a Sacher and visiting the Secession building! So I had to go back!
We stayed close to the Belvedere and took things very slow... we walked a lot, ate a Sacher (which unfortunately was a bit dry and disappointing) and visited the Kunsthistorisches museum and -finally!- the Secession building. I wouldn't be able to give advice on where to eat and what to do, I prefer leaving this task to a local, the only thing I can say is we had a good time.
The first day we just walked around the centre, visited Saint Stephen's Cathedral and, when it started to rain cats and dogs, we took shelter in the historical Schwarzes Kameel and drank good wine, which I accompanied with a slice of yummy apple strudel, followed by good rum! When it stopped raining, we just wanted to orientate ourselves for the following days.
TBH, I had already planned what to see at the Kunsthistorisches museum. I had already been and remembered how huge it was and how tired I felt after having seen so many things and not really remembering anything. So this time, we just just visited the first floor and specific rooms and cabinets, so I got to see Bruegel (an entire room!!!), Vermeer, Rubens, Dürer... and of course a lot of Italian art. There is one room almost entirely dedicated to Titian (amazing!), three Caravaggios, some works by Raffaello (I fell in love with the Madonna of the Meadow) and 'Jupiter and Io' by Correggio... and Velazquez... and some absolutely stunning still lifes...
To me, this was already more than a lot and I believe we would have needed more time to fully appreciate the individual paintings, but anyway... we both really enjoyed it.
The following day we walked to the other side of the Danube and explored the hipster cafeterias and in the afternoon went to the Secession Building. That was a fully immersive experience, being able to see the Beethoven Frieze listening to the ninth symphony... well, it's hard to explain through words, I think you should try it yourself! I had studied it many years ago, but imagined it totally different.
The final day, in the morning we went to the Naschmarkt, the flea market, which is at the far end of a row of restaurants, bars, and shops, which once upon a time used to be fruit and veg stalls. What I appreciated the most was the Saturday Farmer's market, just between these new bars and the flea market, with beautiful fresh produce and some luscious breads and cakes. I was hoping to find a Chinese like vase to replicate a painting I had seen, but wasn't able to find anything similar.
So, to recover from this disappointment, Vito treated me to lunch. I know you probably expect some traditional Austrian restaurant...but we actually went to a Tuscan restaurant called Terrae. We had passed in front of it the previous day and loved the ambience and the menu too was alluring..so we followed our instinct and made the right choice, because the meal, the wine and the service were all perfect and I would definitely go back and recommend it!
We had the return flight on Sunday, so it was really just a short break... hopefully, we should be able to have more time in December and maybe a couple of days in October too (I'm planning sth for my birthday!), but it was much needed and much appreciated! The recipe I am sharing is in no way Austrian, it's just my personal take on apple strudel. As you may know, Venice right now is an oven, so it's too hot to bake, which gave me the idea to transform apple strudel in a spoon dessert, a sort of ice-cream. We loved it (Vito ate almost all of it in one evening 🙈) and I hope you will too.
The photos in the post are totally random and perhaps not among my best (hey...I needed a break from photography too 😜 )... but you know what??? It's okay!
After all... nobody is perfect ;)
APPLE STRUDEL ICE-CREAM
250 ml fresh cream
1 teaspoon icing sugar
125 gr vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup crushed almonds and walnuts
1/3 cup raisins (previously left soaking for 20 minutes)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
8 crushed amaretti cookies
2/3 tablespoon butter
Peel the apples, remove core and cut into small cubes.
Heat a pan, add the butter and when it's melting add the apples. Cover the pan and let cook for about 5 minutes, then lower the heat and add the crushed dried fruit, the raisins, the cinnamon, and the crushed amaretti. Mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon, cover the pan again and let cook for another 10/15 minutes, until the apples are nice and moist. If the pan seems to get dry, just add a few drops of water.
Once ready, pour into a bowl, keep aside and let cool.
Meanwhile, in a cold steel bowl add the fresh cream (cold) and whip it with a little bit of icing sugar until almost totally stiff, then add the vanilla yogurt and whip again. Now, with a wooden spoon and movements bottom up, add the apple mixture.
Pour everything into a baking tin and leave in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Every hour, take the tin out and whisk so to avoid the formation of crystals.
Remove from freezer and move to the fridge about 10 minutes before serving.