When Ed and I skied Aspen in the 1970's our favorite lunch stop was Gretl's, a restaurant nestled in the trees below Tourtelotte Park. I sometimes had soup and apple strudel, but more often than not as I recall, just a big piece of strudel. If it was really cold, we made a strudel stop in mid morning to warm up. If the weather permitted we ate our lunch on the sundeck, our faces well greased with Piz Buin (SPF 0 or worse). At the end of the 1979-80 ski season Gretl did not renew her lease with the Aspen Ski Company; Ed and I were so occupied by Alexandra who had arrived that October that we scarcely took notice. This past winter, however, we had a chance to ski Aspen Mountain with Christopher at Christmas time then Alex and Dan in February and all had a chance to have lunch on the sundeck that was once part of Gretl's and is now part of Bonnie's. The strudel is still excellent (as good as Gretl's? debatable; time tips the scale). We also had a couple of good soups, White Bean Chili and Hungarian Mushroom Soup. The recipes for all are found in Bonnie's at 1:00: Recipes from Aspen Mountain's Dining Tradition by MaryAnn Greene along with many other Bonnie's recipes and Greene family favorites. While the book has an extensive introduction it does not dwell on the restaurant's first incarnation as Gretl's or how Gretl's changed Aspen "mountain dining". An October 2001 article from the Aspen Times addresses this and gives a portrait of the amazing woman, Gretl.
Now for the recipe from Bonnie's at 1:00 *. It's delicious but looks like so much work I will probably wait for next winter at Bonnie's, when as an added bonus I can ski off the calories.
"INGREDIENTS FOR DOUGH:
1 C. FLOUR
1/8 C. SUGAR
1 1/2 TBS. WESSON OIL
1/4 TSP. SALT
ABOUT 1/4 C. OF HOT WATER
APPLE FILLING FOR ONE STRUDEL:
If making three portions or three strudels, you will need nine apples.Three apples (we use Rome apples) will yield four cups of sliced apples and fill one strudel sheet. Wash apples. Using an apple cutter, press out the core and cut the apple into sections. Peel the skin off each part and slice each section of apple as thin as possible. Cover the apple slices with 1 1/2 C. apple juice & juice of 1/2 of a lemon. Sprinkle with 1/4 C. raisins.
(THIS WILL COVER 3 SMALL STRUDELS)
1/4 C. SUGAR
1 C. BROWN SUGAR
1 1/2 TSP. CINNAMON
1 TSP. NUTMEG
1/8 TSP. SALT
1/8 LB. UNSALTED BUTTER MELTED (1/2 STICK, 2 oz.)
LEMON JUICE (1 1/4 oz.)
1 1/4 C. MILK
POWDERED SUGAR (IN A SHAKER)
(dough may be prepared in advance the night before, if so desired)
1. Mix flour, sugar and salt, using mixer paddle.
2. Add oil, egg, and 1/4 C. hot water.
3. Change to dough hook and add 1/4 C. more hot water.
4. Knead until smooth and shiny.
5. Divide the dough into three small portions. Run one portion at a time through a pasta machine. You will rollout two more portions.You can make up to a total of three small strudels. If one is all you need for this occasion, consider freezing the rest of the dough or preparing it with a spinach or mushroom filling.
6. Using a pasta machine, run each portion through to make a rectangle sheet. (Or use a rolling pin.) Place the strudel on a floured cloth and stretch it as thin as possible without breaking - paper thin. (At the most, it should measure about 8"x 12").
7. Brush strudel dough with melted butter.
8. Cover dough with a handful or so of sliced apples, sprinkle with one handful of raisins, one handful of sugar mixture, and then sprinkle with lemon juice until all of the apple mixture is used.
9. Fold the two opposite short ends of dough over apples, then fold the long sides to the middle, making a seam. Then lift the edges of the floured cloth and roll the filled dough, seam down, onto a greased pan or baking sheet.
10. Brush the top with melted butter.
11. Bake the following day. Allow the strudel to rest in a cool space overnight.
12. Pour milk over strudel before placing in oven.
13. Bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees.
14. Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.
15. Cut into thick slices, about two inches each.
16. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream."
* page 34
All photos this page: © 2011 and 2013 (bottom photo) Edward C. Kern, Jr.