Apple Pie (Dutch style)

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Some years ago (seven, precisely), I went to visit some friends in Amsterdam. Truth to be told, I already visited the city and others in the Netherlands many times before that occasion, but that was the first time I was in the hands of true locals.

We rode bikes to get to places, we went to traditional pubs – that kind of pubs where they would play traditional Dutch songs only… – and of course, we tried all what the Dutch cuisine has to offer.

I still recall the moment when I was told I was about to try the best apple pie in the world. I was clearly very sceptical, but after the first bite of that apple pie (it was the one they sell at Cafe Winkel 43), I was immediately convinced. And that’s the exact Dutch-style apple pie I wanted to create.

Finding the recipe was pretty challenging: in fact when I googled “Dutch apple pie”, results largely showed recipes of an American deep-dish apple pie with a crumbly topping. Not what I was looking for. But then I obtained better results when googling Appeltaart. Again, no two recipes were the same, but having baked for quite some years, I came up with this version, which I think it is very close to the “best apple pie in the world”!

For this pie, I used a 24 cm diameter springform cake tin.

Apple Pie (Dutch style)

Difficulty: Medium Prep Time 60 mins Cook Time 75 mins Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins

Ingredients

Shortcrust pastry

Filling

Instructions

Shortcrust pastry

  1. Take a large bowl and combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the diced butter and "crumble" the butter into the flour using your fingerprints.
  2. Add the egg, vanilla, and water, work them using a pastry blender or fork. Once the mix starts to look like a dough, transfer it onto a large board and lightly knead the mixture with your hands in order to obtain a single mass, dusting with flour if needed.
  3. The dough is ready when it does not stick on your hands. Wrap it with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least 60 minutes.

Filling

  1. Peel the apples and dice them, roughly. Place the diced apples in a large bowl, combine with the lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar, breadcrumbs, and raisins. The breadcrumbs are very important, as they will help to absorb the juices and will prevent the filling from turning the crust soggy.

Assembling the cake

  1. Coat your cake tin with butter and place a baking parchment on the bottom. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut 2/3 (set the remaining third aside).
  2. Roll the dough into a circle (4-5mm high), wide enough to cover the diameter of your cake pan, so that it fits into the bottom and sides. Use your fingerprints to seal the dough on the sides. If you spot any holes or if the pastry looks unevenly distributed, patch everything up with another pinch of dough. Prick the bottom with a fork.
  3. Pour the apple-raisin mixture on top of the dough and press it very well into the pan.
  4. Roll the last third of the dough into a large circle and cut into strips (mine were about 1.5cm wide.)
  5. Space them in your favourite pattern over the filling.
  6. Brush the top with egg wash and dust with some more cinnamon powder.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 175C for 75 minutes. Let it cool down completely before removing it from the cake tin.
  8. Serve with some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on the side.
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