This Friday E. turned 34 years old, to celebrate I made him two cakes. One chocolate cake, filled with chocolate cuttercream, both made from mix. I covered the cake with chocolate fondant and decorated it with a World of Warcraft logo made from marzipan.
The other cake I made was Hollandse Appeltaart, a.k.a. Dutch Apple Pie. It differs from apple pies from other countries, because the filling contains raisins, cinnamon and lemon juice and the crust is not a tart crust but something between pâte brisée and cake. Traditionally, this apple pie is made with a Dutch variety of apples called Goudrenet, which is a tart (but not too much) apple. If you can’t find those use any other kind of tart apple, but don’t use apples that are too tart, otherwise you’ll end up with a sour-tasting apple pie. I like to add some dried cranberries to the apple pie and I usually use more cinnamon than the recipe says ’cause I love cinnamon!
1 kg tart apples, like Goudrenet (which I used) or Granny Smith
Juice of 1 medium-sized lemon, freshly squeezed
70 g caster sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
50 g raisins
50 g raisins
250 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the pan
250 g all-purpose flour
250 g self-raising flour
250 g caster sugar
2 large eggs
½ tsp lemon zest, freshly grated
1 Tbsp water
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp dried breadcrumbs
70 g apricot jam
30 ml (2 Tbsp) white rum (or water)
Put the raisins in a small bowl along with a splash of cinnamon liquor and let them soak for 15 minutes.
Prepare the filling
In the meantime, in a large bowl, add the lemon juice. Start peeling, coring and cutting the apples into small pieces, placing them in the bowl as you go. Stir them around in the lemon juice every once in a while, so that they don’t discolor. Add the raisins to the bowl along with the sugar and cinnamon. Mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula. Set bowl aside.
Butter the bottom and sides of your spring-form pan generously and preheat your oven to 180-185 degrees Celsius.
Prepare the dough
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl), beat the butter on medium speed with the paddle attachment (or with your hand-held mixer), until softened and creamy, for 1-2 minutes. Sift all-purpose and self-raising flour directly into the bowl and add the sugar, salt, lemon zest, water and the egg. Mix all the ingredients with your hands and knead until you have a smooth, shiny, soft yet pliable dough that’s not sticking to your hands. It will come together very quickly and easily. If it’s too dry, add a teaspoon of water and if it’s sticky, add a little bit of all-purpose flour. Cut off a third of the dough and leave it aside.
Take the rest of the dough, shape it into a ball and place it in the middle of the spring-form pan. Using the back of your hand, press the dough over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. The dough should come up to 2/3 of the height of the pan. Try to spread the dough as evenly as possible.
Sprinkle the base of the pastry case with the dried breadcrumbs, which are used to soak up the juices from the apples, so that the base doesn’t become soggy.
Mix the filling once more with a spoon or spatula and empty it into the pan. It should fill the whole pastry case.
Take the piece of dough you left aside and divide it into smaller pieces. Roll each piece into long, thin round strips and use them to decorate the tart, lattice style.
Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, until the crust takes on a golden-brown color.
Prepare apricot glaze
Ten minutes before the pie is ready, prepare the glaze by putting the apricot jam and the rum (or water) in a small saucepan. Heat the jam over medium heat, until it comes to the boil and then immediately remove from the heat.
When the apple pie is ready, take it out of the oven and immediately glaze it, using a pastry brush. Allow the pie to slightly cool inside the pan and then remove the sides of the pan. Allow to cool completely and if you want, move the pie onto a platter or cake stand.
The pie is eaten either warm or at room temperature. It is best eaten the day you make it, as well as the following day.
It can be kept at room temperature, covered, for 2 days and as the days pass, the crust will become softer and more cake-like.