Yesterday, my sister and I had an argument because we couldn’t agree on whether to eat apple pie or apple strudel at that moment. She claimed that it was the same dish, only with different names used in different parts of the world. That’s why I decided to write this article and list all the differences between apple strudel and apple pie!
Apple strudel is an Austrian dessert, while apple pie is American-made. They both use apple filling. The strudel uses flaky thin dough, which is rolled, while the pie uses crust which is filled.
Even though both are very delicious desserts, they have individual sets of fans. Knowing their small differences may help you choose the right one for you.
Ingredients and Preparation
The preparation processes and the ingredients used in them make apple strudel and apple pie differ the most. While apple strudel uses flaky and thin dough, apple pie uses thicker and crumbly pie crust.
The apple strudel dough is made with flour, water, and oil or butter. The dough is rolled out until it becomes translucent and thinner than a sheet of paper, which requires some excellent rolling skills. The key to making this dough so thin is to be a master of the rolling pin.
The filling is then added to the middle of the dough sheet and is then rolled. This preparation process makes apple strudel the more complex one. On the other hand, if you decide to make it with store-bought dough sheets, the preparation includes filling and rolling, making things far simpler.
The pie dough has similar ingredients to the strudel, but the making process is very different. This dough is made with water, flour, and butter, but instead of kneading and rolling it, you just knead it well and flatten it out. It is significantly thicker and more robust than the strudel dough.
For apple pie, there are only crusts involved, the top and the bottom crust and the filling in between. Furthermore, while apple strudel requires a baking tray, apple pie calls for a baking pan. They both bake for about 15 minutes and use almost the same filling.
The strudel filling traditionally consists of diced apples mixed with sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes raisins or nuts. The pie filling, on the other hand, may contain additional ingredients like lemon juice, nutmeg, or cloves.
Appearance and Taste
Apple strudel and apple pie are very different in appearance, while they taste similar. Apple strudel is thin and delicate, whereby the dough is rolled around the filling. This makes the dough very vulnerable, as it barely holds the filling, meaning that the strudel is the gentler of the two.
When baked, apple strudel is golden brown; it is shiny, with a crispy exterior and soft and moist filling.
To compare, apple pie is robust, thick, and crumbly. The pie crust surrounds the apple filling, holding it firmly from above and below. Only by looking at it will you know that this is the tougher one, as it appears stable and firm.
However, just like strudel, pie has a crispy exterior and soft interior; only apple pie’s exterior is firmer than apple strudel’s.
In terms of taste, both apple pie and strudel are heavenly delicious and sweet. However, apple strudel is typically sweeter than apple pie because of the added sugar and cinnamon in the filling.
Overall, the pie has a more balanced and fresher flavor, as the filling has less sugar and features a more noticeable apple sourness.
Apple strudel and apple pie are both served as desserts, but they are often served as breakfast pastries or snacks. Still, the strudel usually comes in long, thin slices, while the pie is served in wedges. Both desserts can be served warm or cold and are often paired with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
However, they are both very versatile in terms of flavor and can be served in a variety of styles, with a variety of sides such as chocolate, fruit, nuts, or ice cream.
Variations and Popularity
There are many variations of both desserts, depending on the region or country. In Austria and Germany, for example, apple strudel is often made with sour cream or quark in the dough, while in Hungary, it may be served with a dusting of powdered sugar and a dollop of whipped cream.
Apple pie also has many regional variations. In the United States, for example, it’s often served with a lattice crust or a crumb topping. In England, though, it may be served with a slice of cheddar cheese on top.
In terms of popularity, both are beloved desserts around the world. However, apple pie is perhaps more popular in the United States, where it is considered a staple of American cuisine. In Austria and Germany, apple strudel is a traditional dessert that is often served during holidays and special occasions.
Which Is Better?
Apple strudel and apple pie are two delicious desserts that are beloved around the world. While they have different ingredients, preparation methods, and flavors, both desserts are versatile and can be customized to suit individual tastes and preferences. Whether you prefer the delicate sweetness of apple strudel or the balanced flavor of apple pie, both desserts are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
I managed to prove to my sister that they are indeed different dishes. In the end, as she says, the differences are not important. What matters is that both desserts are finger-licking good!