Hollandse Appeltaart

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!

Holandse Appeltaart

Filling
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

Dough
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

Glaze
70 g apricot jam
30 ml (2 Tbsp) white rum (or water)

Preparation
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.

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30 Day Blog Challenge – Day 6: Dutch Recipes – Boterkoek

Boterkoek is a flat round biscuit that is traditionally made with butter (boter), it has to be butter otherwise it’s not a proper boterkoek! The Boterkoek is usually baked in a special round Boterkoek tin from 22 to 24 centimeter. The butterbiscuit is then cut into wedges, leaving them somewhere between a cake and a cookie. But you can also use a pie dish (I used a 9-inch silicone dish) or a baking sheet and cut into squares.

I’ve found loads of different recipes for Boterkoek on the Internet and tried several these two: Oma’s Boterkoek(number one, in English) and Allerlekkerste boterkoek(number two, in Dutch). I adapted the recipes to my liking and managed to bake the perfect boterkoek.

Boterkoek

250 gram butter
250 gram white castor sugar
1 bag of vanilla sugar (8 gram)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
250 gram flour
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius. Grease the tin with butter or spray.

In medium bowl, mix together butter, white castor sugar and vanilla extract. Add half of the beaten egg and mix. Sift flour and salt and mix with wet ingredients. Put dough in greased 9 inch pie plate. Brush the other half of the beaten egg over the dough. Decorate the dough using a fork that you gently press down into the dough while making stripes.

Bake at for 25 minutes, the boterkoek should have a golden colour and still a bit soft to the touch. Let the boterkoek cool down completely and cut it into wedges or squares.

30 Day Blog Challenge – Day 4: Dutch Food – Beschuit met muisjes


Considering the ‘baby boom’ around me, I thought it would be fun to tell you something about a Dutch food tradition around births. When I was first thinking about doing this 30 Day Blog Challenge at the beginning of July, I hade 4 pregnant girlfriends: as of this weekend the count has gone downe to 1! My first friend had her baby girl on July 7th, my second friend had a baby boy (the second one) on July 24th and last weekend another friend (that I’ve known since I was 11 years old) texted me that she gave birth to a baby boy. Now there’s only one friend left, she’s due to give birth somewhere in the beginning of September.

In Holland we don’t have baby showers before the baby is born, instead we visit our family/friends after they had their baby. During this visit the traditional food ‘Beschuit met muisjes’ will be served to celebrate the birth of the baby. Literally translated ‘Beschuit met muisjes’ means ‘biscuits with mice’. Beschuit are round flat breads that have been baked twice, causing them to become crunchy and somewhat brittle: they are comparable with rusks. The beschuit is ‘buttered’ with either butter or margarine, after which they are decorated with ‘muisjes’.

 The tradition of celebrating a birth with beschuit met muisjes goes back to the 17th century. It was thought that the anise was good for the mother’s milk, that it would ease the contractions in the womb and that it would drive away evil spirits. The name ‘muisjes’ was derived from their resemblance to the shape of a mouse, with the stem of the anise seed resembling a tail, as well as the fact that the mouse was seen as a fertility symbol. Beschuit met muisjes was originally eaten only by the upper class. The lower classes would celebrate a birth by eating white bread, topped with sugar. The ‘muisjes’ are sugared anise seeds: white & blue for a boy and pink & blue for a girl. When a child is born into the Royal family (House of Orange), orange ‘muisjes’ are sold.

30 Day Blog Challenge – Day 3: Favorite Alcholic Drink

So, at day 3 of my 30 Day Blog Challenge I crashed and burned. The weather turned from cold and rainy to warm and humid, this weather change caused a huge migraine attack that forced me to stay in bed from Wednesday evening until Friday evening. But now I’m back at full force 🙂 !

So today’s subject is my favorite alcoholic drink. At the moment my favorite alcoholic drink is Rosé beer, specifically Wieckse Rosé beer. According to the company’s website ‘Wieckse Rosé is a lovely soft and fruity whitebeer with an accessible freshsweet flavor. It has the nuance of a lovely rosé wine and the livelyness of a sparkling whitebeer. The basis of Wieckse is whitebeer, that is yeasted with a special yeast and has not been filtered. This way it preserves it’s characteristic light an natural turbidity. The combination with fruit juices  gives Wieckse Rosé it’s fresh/sweet flavor and beautiful pink color’.

In my opinion this is the perfect alcoholic drink for the summer.

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 2: Dutch Heritage – Dutch Mentality

‘Doe maar normaal, dan doe je al gek genoeg!’ is probably a quote that would sum up the Dutch mentality. It means that you be normal and don’t get carried away, a literal translation would be ‘Just act normally, then you act crazily enough!’.

Dutch people are direct, we see this being honest. Foreigners however, can misunderstand our directness for bluntness. The Dutch love to complain, especially about the weather. They are also very punctual: when planning a meeting, everyone pulls out their pocket diary (or smart phones nowadays ;)), commitments have to be honored and arriving on time for an appointment is very important.

The Dutch love ‘gezelligheid’, a concept that is difficult to explain in English. According to Wikipedia is one of the most important Dutch words because it describes the ideal cultural setting, one that is cozy and inclusive. The German term Gemütlichkeit (‘gemoedelijkheid’ translated in Dutch), which invokes cosiness and comfort, and has also been adopted by the English language, covers some of the possible meanings of gezellig, but not all.

The Dutch value their privacy, they do not appreciate anyone dropping in unexpectedly. If someone does, however, or if a workman comes to the house to fix something, they always offer coffee.

Upon meeting, people who don’t know each other well shake hands. When friends meet, first women kiss or rather touch cheeks three times: right, left, right. Then men touch cheeks with the ladies the same way: right, left, right.

The Netherlands is most known worldwide for our drug policy, our openness towards sexuality, the red light district in Amsterdam  and as the first country to legalize same-sex marriage.

Ofcourse I could keep writting on an on about Dutch mentalitly, there are so many different aspect that I haven’t even discussed yet. If I did this post would go on for pages and pages. There are some fun books about the Dutch and their mentality, for example The Dutch, I presume? or The Undutchables

 

30 Day Blog Challenge – Day 1: Explaining my 30 Day Blog Challenge

image borrowed from TOAR

This blog has been terribly neglected by me…. I’ve been in an extreme blogging rut and decided it’s time for me to do something about it, I need to challenge myself! I’ve seen this ’30-Day Blog Challenge’ a couple of times and thought this would be a great way for me to motivate myself to get back to blogging on a regular basis. However this challenge consists only of ‘personal’ questions and although I don’t mind talking about me on my blog, this is mostly a foodblog so I decided to look further and found a 30 Day Food Blog Challenge which still is personal as it’s about the preferences of food that one has, but it’s also about food. I shared my idea on Twitter, to which Margaret & Kayte replied that it might be fun if I wrote about the history of different foods or featured something particularly Dutch. This sounded like lots of fun, so I decided to pick my 15 favorite questions of the 30 Day Food Blog Challenge and add 15 questions about Dutch food and habits.

Day 1: Explaining my 30 Day Blog Challenge
Day 2: Dutch Heritage – Dutch Mentality
Day 3: Favorite Alcholic Drink
Day 4: Dutch Food – Beschuit met muisjes
Day 5: Favorite Non Alcoholic Drink
Day 6: Dutch Recipes – Boterkoek
Day 7: Favorite Veggie
Day 8: Dutch Food – Bitterballen / Kroketten
Day 9: Favorite Kind of Meat (ex: burgers, chicken, etc)
Day 10: Dutch Recipes – Fryske Dúmkes
Day 11: Favorite Dessert
Day 12: Dutch Heritage – Tulips
Day 13: Favorite Fruit
Day 14: Dutch Food – Hollandse Nieuwe
Day 15: Favorite Chips
Day 16: Dutch Recipes – Poffertjes
Day 17: Favorite Candy
Day 18: Dutch Food – Drop
Day 19: Favorite Comfort Food
Day 20: Dutch Recipes – Zeeuwse Bolussen
Day 21: Favorite Restaurant
Day 22: Dutch Heritage – Delfts Blauw
Day 23: A Recipe You Love
Day 24: Dutch Recipes – Jan in de Zak
Day 25: A Recipe You Want To Try
Day 26: Dutch Food – Erwtensoep
Day 27: Do You Prefer Baking or Cooking?
Day 28: Dutch Recipes – Hete Bliksem
Day 29: Favorite Cook
Day 30: Dutch Food – Oliebollen

Asparagus Soup

Asparagus Season is here again and I’m glad it is! I love asparagus, both the white and green variety. Unlike the green Asparagus the white version needs to be peeled. I bought some Asparagus at a farm and was offered some odd ends and bits of Asparagus for making soup, ofcourse I accepted! I peeled the regular Asparagus before boiling them to make them as they are traditionally served here in the Netherlands: with boiled eggs and ham (and sometimes a butter sauce) and saved the uncooked peels for the Asparagus soup.

So when I got my wisdom tooth pulled I decided on making Asparagus Soup since I probably wouldn’t be able to eat solids for a while. This was the first time I made my own Asparagus Soup and I was surprised how easy it was, I will definitely make it again!

Asparagus Soup (3 servings)
40 grams butter
40 grams flour
1 liter aspergebroth (made by boiling the asparagus peels)
pieces boiled asparagus
1/2 stock cube 
(beef of vegetable)
1 egg yolk
1 dl milk of 1/2 dl creamnutmeg (to taste)

Boil asparagus peels, sieve out the peels. Save the Asparagus broth and discard the peels

Make a roux out of the butter, flour and asparagus soup: melt the butter and add all the flour before the butter colors. Stir with a wooden spoon until you have a paste. Keep stiring and ‘cook’  the flour for a couple of minutes. Slowly add the broth, bit by bit. After each addition, keep stirring to avoid lumps. Once the fluids are absorbed into a smooth mixture and the mixture starts too boil, add some more and keep stirring. After adding all the broth,  add the stock cube and bring to a boil. Then turn off the heat.

In a small bowl beat together the egg yolk with the milk (or cream) and nutmeg, while whisking add a  soup ladle of soup to the egg mixture (this has to happen at least 5 minutes after turning the heat off under the soup!!). While stirring add the egg/soup mixture back into the soup, add  pieces of Asparagus and reheat.

Enjoy!!!