Tag Archives: appeltaart

Dutch Apple Tart

I waxed lyrically a few days ago about the stunning sunsets which have marked the start of autumn in London. Something like this:

This also means that it is time for apple pie! I promised a while back that I would try my hand at making a Dutch version, so here it is! I’ve come across two types of apple pie in the Netherlands – either the deep apple-and-pastry mixture called appelgebak, or the more familiar appeltaart. This is the latter, so we’ll do appelgebak another day.

A lot of people are put off by making fruit pies due to a phobia of pastry. If you prefer to buy it, then by all means do so, but it’s actually very easy to make. Just be sure to use cold butter and very cold water, handle the pastry as little as possible, and let it chill fully before using. Apparently, this prevents gluten developing, resulting in a better pie crust. For the filling, I used green apples. The ones I had were quite sharp, which is what I like for a pie, as they give you a better tasting pie with more apple flavour.

In fact, the only tricky bit is making the lattice on top of the pie. As you can see from the picture, even I didn’t quite get this right, but all I can say is that I gave this a good try. If you are minded to give this a try and are a little bit obsessive about getting it right, then see detailed instructions here. Otherwise, rather than the lattice, just roll the reserved pastry out into a circle and use this on top of the pie instead.

To make Dutch apple tart:

For the pastry:

• 250g butter, cold
• 50g caster sugar
• 400g flour
• cold water

In a bowl, rub together the butter, sugar and flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add just enough cold water until the pastry comes together. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.

For the filling:

• 2kg apples
• 50g salted butter
• 100g light brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 3 tablespoons apricot jam, mixed with 2 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Butter a loose-bottomed flan dish (25-30cm diameter).

Peel and core the apples. Cut into slices of 1/2-1 cm thickness. In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the apples, cinnamon and sugar and stir well. Cook on a gently heat for 15 minutes until the apples are soft, but have not become mushy. Drain the apples, reserving the juice.

Roll out two-thirds of the pastry out into a circle, and use to line the bottom and sides of the flan dish. Leave around 1cm overhang at the edges. Prick the bottom with a fork, and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, put the reserved apple juice in a saucepan, and cook gently until it reduces and becomes thicker. Turn off the heat, add the apples and stir well. Fill the pie shell with the apples.

Roll out the rest of the pastry into a long rectangle (at least as long as the size of the pie dish), and cut into eight strips. Use the pastry strips to make a lattice on top of the pie (see how to do this here).Use any remaining pastry to form one long strip to put around the edge of the pie shell (or cut out lots of little pastry leaves, and put these round the edge – warning, this takes a lot of time!).

Brush the pastry with a little milk, and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is golden. Once cooked, remove from the oven. Warm the apricot jam, and use to brush the top of the pie.

If you like an easier life, then forget the lattice and just roll out the remaining pastry into a circle and use to cover the pie. Make a few slashes in the top of the pie to let out any steam during cooking.

Worth making? Everyone likes apple pie. I think this is a good recipe, using lots of apple and not too much sugar. It’s great warm or cold, and is well worth the effort. Enjoy autumn.

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Filed under Recipe, Sweet Things

On Location: Stout! and Villa Zeezicht (Amsterdam)

I just got back from a fun long weekend in Amsterdam. Pandering to many Dutch stereotypes:

We were there for a wedding which took place in quite a curious location – the Tassenmuseum (Museum of Bags and Purses). A fun little venue, made even more fun by the fact that during the reception, we were allowed to wander round and look at the exhibits with a glass of fizz in hand. As the weather cleared, we moved out into the garden to enjoy the sun, where the museum’s overly-friendly but moulting resident feline decided to rub itself against my new black suit. Cats!

Over the weekend, I was also at the arts festival De Parade in Utrecht. There are loads of little plays, songs and cabaret performances to attend, plus a great selection of food, from excellent Italian food to traditional Dutch street food. I also loved the art installation on the railway building in Utrecht. Looks a little like an alien invasion!

In the downtime in Amsterdam between weddings and culture, I hit upon two little foodie gems.

Firstly, I finally got some good appelgebak (Dutch apple pie) at Villa Zeezicht. Lots of nice fruit, lots of brown sugar and cinnamon, with nicely cooked pastry and a decent dollop of lightly whipped cream. In slightly chilly weather, this was just heavenly with a cup of coffee. They also offer this with a scoop of cinnamon ice-cream, which would be perfect when the weather is a little warmer.

Zeezicht also has a great (large) terrace by the Singel, where you can enjoy the sun, the apple pie and their tasty broodjes (sandwiches).

My other find was Stout! on the Haarlemmerstraat. This is a very up-and-coming street with boutiques, shops, delis and restaurants, just a few minutes walk from Amsterdam Centraal station. I passed it at lunchtime, still a little the worse for wear from the wedding the day before, and my eye went straight for the “Old Holland” sandwich. This was a whole grain roll, with ripe tomatoes, rocket, very mature Gouda cheese and truffle-infused mayonnaise. This was, by quite some way, the most delicious sandwich I have had in quite some time. The cheese was nice and strong, the bread excellent, and the truffle flavour just sublime. A gorgeous snack in a nice place, with friendly staff where you can watch the world go by. Should you find yourself with a little spare time while waiting for a train in Amsterdam, dodge all the tourists and check out the Haarlemmerstraat!

Villa Zeezicht, Torensteeg 7, Amsterdam 1016. Tel: +31 20 6267433.

Stout!, Haarlemmerstraat 73, 1013 EL Amsterdam. Tel: +31 20 6163664

LondonEats locations map here.

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Filed under Amsterdam, On Location