Dutch Apple Pie

Dutch Apple Pie

The best comfort food out there

Warning: if you don't have any spijs (a kind of marzipan) ready, you might want to make some a week up front. Or you can just go ahead and use it immediately.

Ingredients:

For the spijs:

  • 125 g (1 1/4 cup) ground almond
  • 125 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon and a little juice
  • 1-4 tbsp water
  • 1 egg yolk

For the dough:

  • 400 g (3 1/4 cups) flour
  • 300 g (1 3/4 cups) butter
  • 200 g (1 cup) sugar
  • 1/2 egg, lightly whisked

For the filling:

  • 750 g (6 1/4 cups) or about 4 apples (in the Netherlands I would use goudreinets, here in the UK I've used Bramleys)
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) raisins
  • (1 tbsp rum)
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp apricot jam
  • 1/2 egg

Tools:

  • airtight container, if you're keeping the spijs
  • 9 inch round cake tin
  • butter and flour for the tin, or your preferred lining

Method:

  1. First make the spijs. I always make this at least a week before I use it, to let all the flavours mix well. But if you're in a hurry, there really isn't any reason you shouldn't be able to use it immediately.
    To make the spijs, mix the almond with the sugar and the lemon zest, and and a nice squeeze of the juice. This probably isn't enough to make all the dry bits start sticking together, so you'll probably need to add some water. Be careful, though! It doesn't have to be a sticky mess just yet. Sort of a crumbly texture is what you're going for.
    Leave this to sit in the fridge in an airtight container for 1-4 weeks, or use immediately if you're hungry.
    When you're ready to use it, mix in the egg yolk, and as much egg white to make a sweet, sticky, glorious mess.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / 355 degrees F.
  3. If using, soak the raisins in the rum. Peel and dice the apples. Coat with a bit of lemon juice.
  4. Combine flour and sugar in a large bowl, and use 2 knives to cut in the butter. Then dig in with your hands and squeeze that butter until it's nicely combined with the flour mixture. (I used to love this bit as a kid. Still get that feeling every time.) I find that if you make a crumbly mixture before forming the whole thing into a ball, the end result will be nice and crumbly too. (The crust is definitely my favourite part.)
  5. Line your tin and use half/two thirds of the dough to form the bottom and sides of the pie.
  6. Stir the egg into the spijs if you hadn't already. Spread it into the base, and onto the sides if you're a thin spreader.
  7. Combine the apple with the raisins, sugar and cinnamon. I used to do this immediately after dicing, until I learned that sugar extracts moisture the same way salt does... Tip 1 against soggy bottoms. Some people also mix in bread crumbs to soak up the moisture. I'm always a little hesitant to do this, although the tiny bit I used for the pie in the picture was undetectable after cooking, so it may have helped. Tip 2 for you there.
  8. Fill the tin with the apple. Don't be afraid to pack it tightly. Get as much appley goodness in there as you can. A little bump in the middle will flatten when cooking.
  9. Time to create the lattice. You can either roll the dough flat and cut strips, or roll it into worms. I used to cut strips, but they'd always break before I could get them onto the pie. Too crumbly, you see. Now I go with the worms, because they're slightly fatter, so more crust for me!
  10. Brush with the remaining egg, and into the oven it goes for 1 hour - 1 1/4 hour. Mmmm, a whole house filled with that smell. It used to be good for selling your house, until people got suspicious that the smell of homely apple pie would mask other, less homely smells. But let's enjoy it now, since we're not masking anything.
  11. When it's time to take the pie out of the oven, start heating the apricot jam. Spread it on the top for that finishing touch. You don't need as much as my husband put on the one in the picture...
  12. Let cool for as long as you can manage, and serve with whipped cream, custard, or even a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if you think this gorgeous pie needs any embellishment.
  13. Enjoy! Don't eat the whole thing in one sitting. That would be the only thing you'll regret about this pie. Just... Enjoy!

P.S.: Not to say this recipe isn't already the bee's knees, but for a variation particularly well-suited to autumn and winter times, you can add some speculaas spices to the dough mix. Stop drooling on my carpet!

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3 comments

Thank you both! Hope you liked both the pie and the book :)

Christa Bakker

Your apple pie sounds delicious! I can’t wait to read your book. Have to finish the one I’m busy with first 😁

Wendy Lombard

Can’t wait to try it . Enjoyed the book Noel’s Bells

Joline

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