Apple Strudel is a traditional Austrian dessert, also eaten for breakfast. Apples, raisins, breadcrumbs, and cinnamon wrapped in a crispy dough crust with a cup of coffee sounds like a great start to any day.
Heat the oven to 350° F and move the rack in the lower third of the oven. Combine the raisins and the rum in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Let them sit and plump up while you continue with the other steps.
Core, peel, and slice the apples to a 1/2 inch thickness then cut them in 1/4 inch wedges. See the photo.
Place the apples in a large bowl and stir in the lemon juice, cinnamon, salt, drained raisins, sugar, and vanilla.
Add the breadcrumbs to a non-greased sauté pan and cook, stirring, on medium heat until toasted and golden brown.
Place a large piece of parchment paper on a work surface and lay out the puff pastry dough. This will allow you to easily transfer the Apple Strudel to the baking sheet later.
Melt the butter in a microwavable bowl, preferably glass, in the microwave in 30-second increments. Stop when the butter is 90% melted and stir to melt it the rest of the way. Butter will splatter everywhere if it's heated in the microwave for too long. Trust me on this one ;) Brush a layer of the dough with butter leaving a one-inch edge all the way around. Put the second layer on top and brush it with butter as well.
Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 12inches x 24inches.
Sprinkle the toasted bread crumbs over the dough leaving a 1-inch border. Spoon the apple mixture on top of the breadcrumbs. Roll the dough into a log shape, tucking the ends in as you go. End with the seam side on the bottom. Brush the top with the remaining butter and sprinkle with the raw sugar.
Lift the parchment paper onto the baking sheet and bake on the lowered rack for 45 - 55 minutes, rotating halfway through baking.
Allow it to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing with a serrated knife.
Enjoy with a scoop of ice cream!
** Pro tip: You can also freeze apple strudel after you roll it up and before you bake it. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a large zip-top bag. Be sure to date and label it. I also suggest keeping a list of everything in your freezer so you never forget what's in there, you don't have to throw out freezer-burned food, and to save money by eating what you already have saved.