In the Netherlands, no cup of coffee is served without a treat. To offer a guest coffee without a pastry, or at the very least a cookie, would be cause for some seriously raised eyebrows. The Dutch like their ‘kopje koffie’ around 10am with a slice of apple pie, amongst other delights, but the ‘Appeltaart’ is really a steadfast staple. It’s deeper than an American pie, and is made in a springform pan to show off its caramel colored shell. It’s filled with apples and raisins, quite simple and exceptionally delicious. For an adults-only version, soak the raisins in rum ;)
Ingredients for one 9-inch (23 cm) Apple Pie:
For the tart crust:
2-1/3 cups (300 g) flour
1/2 cup (75 g) brown sugar, unpacked
1/3 cup (75 g) sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small squares
1 egg, lightly beaten
For the apple filling:
2/3 cup (100 g) raisins (soak in rum for a little added flavor- optional)
1 kg (2 lbs) apples, peeled, cored and diced — we love our handy dandy Victorian apple peeler for this!
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup (75 g) sugar
2 tablespoons, cornstarch or arrowroot
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
Prepare a round 9-inch (23 cm) springform baking pan with melted butter or baking spray. Sift flour into a bowl, add the sugars and salt, combine. Add 2 tablespoons of the beaten egg (save the rest for later) and the butter. Use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour to create a wet-sand like consistency, then press together to form the dough. Use 3/4 of the dough to line the cake tin and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F (175C) and prepare the apple mixture. If you want to soak the raisins in rum, place them in a small bowl and add a couple of tablespoons of rum until covered. Peel, core and cube apples. Add the lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. Pat the raisins dry and add them to the apple mixture.
Remove the pie shell from the fridge and sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the bottom of the shell. This will help absorb any extra moisture from the apples. Fill the tart shell with the apple mixture. Divide the remaining dough into 8 to 10 pieces and roll them into long strips. If you are a pie expert and want to make a lattice crust then by all means, be our guest! We prefer to lay down half the rolled strips going one way and the other half going at a diagonal. Brush the strips and edges with the remaining egg.
It’s a good idea to wrap some foil around the bottom of the springform in case of a leak, it’ll save you a lot of cleaning afterwards. The cornstarch and breadcrumbs should avoid this from happening but it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to oven messes! Bake for an hour and allow cool before popping open the spring form. Serve with whipped cream and a cup of coffee.