Dutch Appeltaart

The best part of Thanksgiving is probably that moment just right after your final bites of turkey. Before you proceed to put on Netflix / play board games or what have you, there’s that magical moment where a delicious pie gets served fresh out the oven and fills the room with a euphoric aroma. Apple, pumpkin and pecan are the usual top contenders. This year though, give this Dutch Appeltaart a shot.

 

I recently visited Amsterdam and have had what I thought was the best apple pie of my life. It was served in this lovely cafe that specialized in Appeltaarts – Cafe Winkel 43. You’d be able to spot them from a mile away because of the perpetual line up they have out the door.

Appeltaart from Cafe Winkel 43

 

The Dutch Appeltaart had a crust that resembled that of a pound cake. It was moist and crumby, but at the same time, held it’s shape like a cookie. A very different take from the usual pies I was accustomed to, but I absolutely dig it! It had the right balance of sweetness and my, oh my, I almost want to bake every future pie with this delicious crust now!

So as soon as I got back to Singapore, I started to engineer a replica of this delectable dessert drawing from various recipes online and trialing out a couple of additional ingredients. What better opportunity than Thanksgiving to have this served?

Dutch Appeltaart

makes 2 4-inch tarts. Double the recipe for a 9-inch tart. Use springform pans for the best results

Crust

  • 3/4 cup salted butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 cups self-rising flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Filling

  • 3 apples, peeled and cut
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy for about 5 minutes
  3. Beat egg, save about a tablespoon for egg wash later and mix the rest into the butter-sugar mixture
  4. Add the remaining ingredients of the crust and mix until the dough comes together. The dough will appear very crumby compared to most regular pie recipes.
  5. Press the dough against the sides and bottom of your springform pan. Be generous!
  6. Fill your dish with apple fillings and sprinkle cinnamon over each layer.
  7. Roll out the remaining dough and cut them into fat strips. Create a lattice by weaving vertical and horizontal strips in an over-and-under pattern, using the shortest strips for the edges. Trip any excess dough with a knife.
  8. Brush the remaining beaten egg over the dough.

As much as I would have loved to make a decorative pie crust, this is one of those cases where aesthetics and taste doesn’t quite go together. The crust, made with self-raising flour will expand significantly. Moreover, unless you’re in the middle of winter and don’t have the heater turned out, your butter-rich dough will likely soften quite quickly and you’d need to repeatedly put it in the fridge if you’re planning to roll them out into intricate designs.

There ya go! Happy thanksgiving!

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