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

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.


Twitter Chef Avatar Fun: Nigella Lawson’s (Blueberry) Pancakes

Remember when I blogged about this fun new idea called ‘Twitter Chef Avatar’, way back in February and March? Nancy came up with the great idea of each of us picking a different chef for each month, all of us making anything we each selected to make from that chef’s recipes, taking a photo of our efforts, and using that photo as our avatar for that month. I somehow lost track and didn’t participate after March

This month I had a great excuse to get back into Twitter Chef Avatar: I got to pick the chef for September. I figured it would be a good idea to pick a chef of which I actually own some cookbooks. So my pick was Nigella Lawson, I actually own two of her cookbooks: ‘Hoe word ik een goddelijke huisvrouw‘ a.k.a ‘How to Be a Domestic Goddess‘ and ‘Nigella’s Kerst‘ a.k.a. ‘Nigella Christmas‘ but am ashamed to admit I hadn’t cooked from either of them until now.

I went back and forth between loads of appealling recipes in both books until I ended up picking her recipe for Pancakes from ‘Hoe word ik een goddelijke huisvrouw‘, simply because it was Sunday morning and I was in the mood for pancakes! The recipe can be found below, on page of ‘Hoe word ik een goddelijke huisvrouw‘ or here on Nigella’s website.

(Blueberry) Pancakes
from Nigella’s How word ik een goddelijke huisvrouw

225g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
30g butter, melted and cooled
300ml milk
butter for frying

The easiest way to make these is to put all the ingredients into a blender and blitz. But if you do mix up the batter by hand in a bowl, make a well in the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar, beat in the eggs, melted butter and milk, and transfer to a jug: it’s much easier to pour the batter into the pan than to spoon it. Nigella likes to leave the batter for 20 minutes before using it; she also suggest that you may then want to add more milk to the mixture if you’re frying in the blini pan, so that it runs right to the edges.

When you cook the pancakes, all you need to remember is that when the upper side of the pancake is blistering and bubbling it’s time to cook the second side, and this needs only about 1 minute, if that.

Nigella gets 11 blini-pan-sized pancakes out of this or16 silver-dollar-sized ones on the griddle.

Nigella suggests to add blueberries to the pancakes just before they are ready to be turned over, I did this for half of the batter. I liked both pancakes, but preferred the version with the blueberries: what can I say, I love blueberries!

Here are some other Twitter Chef Avatar Fun: Nigella Lawson posts:
Kayte made Nigella’s Peach Melba

Please let me know if you posted about Twitter Avatar Fun, I will be more than happy to link to your post too!

CEiMB – Rewind: Apple Pecan Muffins

This weeks recipe for Craving Ellie in My Belly picked by Liz of This Chihuahua wears Pearls: she chose Stir-Fried Chinese Cabbage with Tofu, a recipe featured in Ellie Krieger’s Book Small Changes, Big Results. Because this book is not owned by all CEiMB-members and the recipe is not available on the WorldWideWeb, we decided to put it online so that all the members would be able to cook along. I had to skip this recipe: I’m vacationing with E. and he doesn’t eat ‘strange’ foods such as Chinese Cabbage or Tofu, however the recipe can be found at Liz’s blog or here at CEiMB. Check out what my fellow Ellie-istas thought of this stir-fry here.

Lucky for me, we changed the rules over at CEiMB. As of July recipes will be picked biweekly and we’re allowed to sub recipes if we can’t get our hands on ingredients or need to use up other ingredients. I had one wrinkly apple and some pecans that were about to expire, so I decided to make the Apple Pecan Muffins that Joanne of Apple Crumbles had originally picked for June 22nd. These were easy to make, and tasty too! The recipe can be found here at Joanne’s blog, and the links to the posts written by other Ellie-istas on the subject of these muffins are here.

Zebra Pastel Cake

Towards the end of March I started dating E. As dating turned into a relationship, both E.’s parents and my parents kept asking when they would meet me/E. So, E. and I decided we would meet eachothers parents during the Easter weekend.

Ofcourse I couldn’t turn up empty handed, so I decided I would bring a cake and turned to my bookmarked recipes. I soon decided on making a Zebra Cake, because I loved the pattern: it looked like a fun cake. Usually a Zebra Cake is made by making a batter, dividing the batter into half and adding cocoa to one half and adding alternating spoonfuls of the two batters. But I also saw this Rainbow Cake and decided to change it up a bit. I divided my batter into 3 portions, added some pureed raspberries to one batch and some pureed blueberries to the other batch.

The cake can be served topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a strawberry, but is also quite delicious served on it’s own.

Pastel Zebra Cake
adapted from Baking Bites
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk (low fat is fine)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
pureed blueberries
pureed raspberries

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-inch round cake pan with a circle of parchment paper and lightly grease the bottom and sides of the pan.

In a large bowl, mix together eggs and sugar until mixture is light and creamy and the sugar has mostly been dissolved. Stir in milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Pour into wet ingredients and whisk to combine. Divide batter equally into three portions, add some pureed raspberries to one batch and some pureed blueberries to another batch.

Put 3 tbsp of blueberry batter into the center of the pan and let it spread slightly on its own. Put 3 tbsp of raspberry batter in the center of the blueberry. It will push out the other batter and, as it sits for a moment, will also spread itself. Then put 3 tbps of vanilla batter into the center of the raspberry. Alternating spoonfuls of the three batters, repeat the technique until all the batter has been used up.

Bake for 38-42 minutes, until the cake is light gold and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then turn out the cake and remove the parchment paper. Reinvert on to a wire rack and let cool before slicing.

Serves 10.

Banana Nutella Maple Syrup Bread for World Nutella Day (one day late)

Christmas Cookies: Lime Meltaways

Here’s another cookie that will go into this years cookie gift-bags for coworkers. This is a partial success… I liked these, but thought the lime-flavor was a bit understated: a bit more lime-flavor would have been nice. My dad really liked these, unfortunately my mom did not…. She absolutely hated them!! She took one bite of the cookie I offered her (she’s my preferred taste-tester as she always tells me exactly what she thinks of everything I make) and almost spit it out, she then gave me back the other half of the cookie and told me she hated the flavor and didn’t care for the texture of the cookie. I was somewhat stumped since this was the first time my mom really didn’t like the end result of something I made…. :S
Lime Meltaways
Recipe by Martha Stewart

3 dozen cookies
3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Grated zest of 2 limes
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt


1. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment (I used my regular paddle attachment), cream butter and 1/3 cup sugar until fluffy. Add lime zest, juice, and vanilla; beat until fluffy.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt. Add to butter mixture, and beat on low speed until combined.

3. Divide dough in half. Place each half on a separate 8 by 12 inch piece of parchment paper, roll dough into 1 1/4-inch diameter logs. Chill at least one hour.

4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a resealable plastic bag. (I placed in bowl) Remove parchment from logs; slice dough into 1/8-inch thick rounds. (I sliced them more like a 1/4 inch) Place rounds on baking sheets, spaced 1 inch apart.

5. Bake cookies until barely golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool slightly 8 to 10 minutes. While still warm, place cookies in the sugar-filled bag; toss to coat. (I put powdered sugar in a bowl and added baked cookies to coat) Bake or freeze remaining dough. Store baked cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

TWD: Fold-Over Pear Torte – One Sentence Post

Cakelaw of Laws of the Kitchen selected Fold-Over Pear Torte on pages 348 and 349 for this weeks Tuesdays With Dorie, this one was a huge hit all around: at work, with my dad and with my friend!