A Delicious Dutch Apple Pie, Served with Homemade Whipped Cream....
If you’ve ever been to Amsterdam, you will know that the Dutch apple pie, or "appeltaart" as we call it in Dutch, is sold in every bakery and featured on every café menu here. I think that one of the things that’s most appealing about this well-loved dessert, is that it is perfectly possible to accomplish a delicious homemade pie that’s at par with the very best apple pies money can buy. There are, however, a few little secrets you must learn in order to master apple pie making so that you can consistently achieve that wholesome, truly Dutch flavor. Don’t worry too much though, as you will soon see that making the best homemade Dutch apple pie really could not be easier.
Before we begin, I’m sure you’re curious about what makes this apple pie Dutch. Apple pie is afterall made and sold widely all around the world. So what’s the deal, right? There are a few notable differences between regular and Dutch apple pie in terms of appearance, texture, and taste. In Holland, apple pie is made in a deeper dish, making it taller and thicker than apple pies you find anywhere else in the world. A Dutch apple pie in a way resembles a cake more than a pie, which tends to be flatter. However, I would say that the most distinctive feature of a great Dutch apple pie is its remarkable crust which is sweet, crunchy, and crumbly all at once. I have to say that for me, the Dutch apple pie is unbeatable, and is truly the best apple pie in the world.
Over the years, I believe I have come to master the art of making this splendid recipe. I do feel a tad bit ridiculous calling it an art; given how simple it really is now that I’ve learnt to follow a few rules. Making this recipe typically takes me around 2 hours. This may be more time than you had guessed it took to make any apple pie. But trust me – it’s worth the wait!
So let’s get started!
Practical Stuff When it Comes to Making a Dutch Apple Pie
Kitchen Utensils You Will Need
- Spring form with a diameter of about 24 cm
- Mixer with dough hooks
- Mixing bowl(s)
- Parchment paper
- Pastry brush
- Preparation time: about 40 minutes
- Baking time: about 90 minutes
- Electric oven: 180 °C
- Hot air oven: 165 °C
- Gas oven: gas mark 3-4
Ingredients of a Blissful Dutch Apple Pie
A Little about the Ingredients for Your Homemade Apple Pie
The ingredients you require are pretty standard, actually. Nothing fancy, and nothing you can’t procure from your regular grocery and fruit stores. I highly recommend that you do not use just any type of apples. Try getting your hands on the crunchy, sweet to sour kind. The extent to which the filling of your pie has a perfect texture and flavor (not mushy and not bland) depends largely on what apples you use. Granny Smith, Gala, and Goudreinet apples are all ideal. And when it comes to the shortening agent for the pie crust, I can't resist the urge to use real butter ("roomboter", we call it), instead of margarine and so on. I honestly don't believe that anything other than butter should be used if you take pie-making (and eating, of course) seriously – the richness of flavor can simply not be replicated by anything else.
Dutch Apple Pie Crust Ingredients
- 1 pack Koopmans Apple pie flour (you can pick another brand if you like)
- 175 grams butter or margarine
- 1 egg
Dutch Apple Pie Filling Ingredients
- 1 kilograms (about 6 pcs) soft, sour apples (Granny Smith or Goudreinet)
- 50 grams sugar
- 75 grams raisins
- 2 to 3 teaspoons of cinnamon powder
- 1 lemon
Easy Steps to a Great Dutch Apple Pie
I am more of a photographer than a writer, and I’m going to use both text and photographs to give you a clear idea of exactly what steps you need to follow to make this delectable Dutch apple pie.
Making the Best Apple Pie Pastry Dough
No crust, no pie. The crust is the foundation of a good Dutch apple pie – I cannot stress this enough. And it really is so easy to make a firm, yet crumbly crust that absolutely melts in your mouth!
First, prepare the perfect pastry dough:
Whisk the egg in a bowl. Pour almost all of it into a large mixing bowl, keeping aside a tablespoonful [15 ml] to brush over the pie later. Add the butter as well as a third of the flour, and beat well into a smooth mixture. Add another one-third of the flour and continue to mix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix until the flour is incorporated, and no more. At this point, the mixture will be wet and sticky, and will have started coming together. From now on, use your hands to form dough while incorporating the last bit of flour. Knead until the dough can be formed into a ball. Don’t over-knead. Set aside for 20 minutes or so.
How to Make the Perfect Apple Pie Crust
Now let's prepare the crust. Remember, you cannot use a normal pie pan. You have to use a large, deep springform pan. Grease the sides and bottom of your pan with butter, making sure to cover the entire surface area. Also place a sheet of parchment paper cut to size to cover the bottom of your tin, and another strip to line the sides. You are now ready to line the bottom and the edge of the dish with your ready dough. Press hard! Remember to keep aside one-third of the dough to form the topping of your pie – enough to form 8 strips going across the tin.
How to Make the Dutch Apple Pie Filling
First things first: soften the raisins by soaking them in a little warm water for around 15 minutes. Peel and core the apples, then slice them into bite-size pieces. In a very large bowl, mix the apple with the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, raisins, and ground cinnamon.
Fill the Apple Pie
Add the apple filling to the pan lined with pastry and press down to compress the filling, making it as flat as possible on top.
Topping Up Your Dutch Apple Pie: a Woven Lattice Top
Now’s the time that last bit of dough will come in handy. Use it to create a simple but always charming lattice topping. You'll need about 8 strips. Arrange four strips one way and four the other, woven style. Press to fix it to the sides, and then fold a tiny bit of the dough back in towards the pie. It should not hang over the pie dish. Finally, brush the pastry with the egg wash.
Baking the Apple Pie
It's time to place your perfectly crafted apple pie in a pre-heated oven. Although many recipes may tell you that 1 hour of baking is enough, I recommend a longer baking time of around 90 minutes. Don't forget to have a look half-way. But be patient and don't be too hasty in taking your pie out of the oven. When done, the crust should be golden brown.When ready, allow your pie to cool while still in the pan for at least two hours. Then unhinge the springform, and use a sharp knife to cut beautiful slices of your scrumptious Dutch apple pie.It is now ready to serve.
Serve your Dutch apple pie with homemade whipped cream!
Almost done now. To make this apple pie the ultimate indulgence, I top up each piece of pie with a generous heap of whipped cream.In Holland, we call this "slagroom". There’s something very wholesome about homemade whipped cream, and I definitely recommend this over anything store-bought.
My Apple Pie Secrets
I would like to highlight a few things that make this apple pie stand out. First, and yes I have said it before, try to get super fresh, crunchy sweet-sour apples from your local grocery store. It's the apples that give your pie that firm bite. Second, never, ever forget the lemon. The apples in themselves are not going to give your pie that much needed tang. Now, thirdly, and again this is something I have said before, a perfect crust is the essence of a great Dutch apple pie. So really focus on getting that done right and don't rush it.
I am aware that there are hundreds of Dutch apple pie recipes - even a Martha Stewart Dutch Apple Pie recipe. The key to my recipe and style is: keep it simple!
I hope you like this recipe, and would be happy to hear of your experience making it.
And last but not least, if you ever happen to be in Holland, here are my favorite addresses for a good Dutch apple pie!
About Liesbeth de Vos
Liesbeth, our recipe blogger, is a Dutch designer and Dutch foodie from Krommenie, just north of Amsterdam. Dutch antiques are her passion, that is why she has recently established Fox&Hunter's online shop which sells unique Dutch antiques and limited edition Dutch artisan works.
You can follow her on Google+