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Monday, January 25, 2010

Appeltaart (Dutch Apple Pie)

With all due respect, the apple pies sold as Dutch apple pie here in the United States are wonderful......but not very Dutch. I'm actually not entirely sure why they're called Dutch, something to look into. Perhaps it stems from the Pennsylvania Dutch, which aren't actually Dutch at all, but Deutsch which means "German". Eh...yeah....that's a whole other can of worms I really don't want to get into :-)

The dough is made with butter and eggs and the apples are flavored with lemon juice and speculaas spices. It's usually baked in a springform and shows the filling through an elaborate lattice cover. It's seems like a lot of work, but trust me: it's so worth it!

Grandmother's Apple Pie
For the dough
2 cups of all purpose flour
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1.5 stick of butter, cold
2 tablespoons of ice water
2 egg yolks, divided
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Mix the flour with the sugar and cut in the butter until the flour turns into small pea-size pellets. Add 1 tablespoon of ice water, one egg yolk and the salt and quickly knead the dough into a cohesive whole. Add more ice water if the dough is too dry. Pat into an oval, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

For the filling
6 small apples, peeled and cored
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 cup of golden raisins, soaked*
1 tablespoon of speculaas spices
2 tablespoons of cream of wheat
1/4 cup of sugar
2 slices of white bread

Quarter the apples and slice them. Toss them with the lemon juice, raisins, speculaas spices, cream of wheat and sugar. Set aside. Cut the crust off the bread and cut it into small cubes.

Butter a springform. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and remove 1/5th of the dough. Roll the rest into a large circle and line the form with the dough. Do not crimp. Put the bread cubes on the bottom of the dough, pour in the apple mix. It's okay to push it down so as to fit more. Now remove 1/4th of the leftover dough, roll the rest out and cut into 6 strips. Place three strips crossing from left to right, the other three from right to left. Press lightly where the strip connects with the pie dough. Now roll the last piece of dough to form a rope the length of the springform's circumference. Place the rope all around the pie, covering the lattice strip ends and press down to flatten the rope. Brush everything with the egg yolk and bake in an 350F degree oven for approximately 75 minutes.

I baked eight one serving pies instead of one big one with this batch. Seven went into the freezer and one was saved for the picture. Well......one half of one, I guess, I have to be quick around this place!

* Soak the raisins in warm apple juice or, if you're so inclined, in a bit of rum. Lovely!


  1. I'm not sure what cream of wheat is. Do you know what could be subbed for that please? I love anything that tastes of Speculaas spice:P

  2. Hi Coby,
    Thank you so much for your kind comments. Cream of wheat is a children's breakfast cereal, much like Malt-o-Meal or Brinta. It's almost like a fine porridge, served warm. The purpose for cream of wheat in the recipe is to create a binder for the apples and to absorb some of the flavors. You could substitute it with panko, breadcrumbs or a large tablespoon of whole wheat flour. Let me know how it turns out!


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