Image credit: © Inge Loots, all rights reserved

My mum gifted me a free standing cooker with an electric oven, rotisserie and gas hob for my birthday. For the first time in a decade I’m finally able to bake pastry and other yummy stuff again. I inaugurated my oven with my favourite pie: traditional Dutch apple pie and posted some pictures on Facebook. This sparked a lot of enthusiasm so I decided to resurrect my blog a bit by posting the recipe.

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 400 g self-raising flour
  • 200 g caster sugar (Dutch: witte basterdsuiker)
  • grated peel of 1 lemon (thorougly cleaned from the outside)
  • 2 eggs (one for the pie crust dough, one for glazing the crust before putting it into the oven)
  • 250 g cold butter (Dutch: roomboter)

For the filling

  • 1 kg tart apples (Dutch: Goudreinet of Elstar)
  • 50 g raisins soaked in warm water or rum
  • cinnamon and granulated sugar to taste
  • 150 g almond paste

Directions

Start with the crust. Keep all the ingredients for the crust refrigerated until the very last moment, the dough will crumble when it’s too warm, you need to work fast.

Take the lemon and grate the zest with a fine grate. Be careful not to add the white part of the peel, as that tastes very bitter.

Take the butter out of the fridge and hit the package with a rolling pin. This will make it more flexible and easier to work with.

In a bowl, mix the flour and the 200g sugar. Use two knives to mix the butter into the flour mixture until it has a sandy structure, this is why it’s called sable pastry. Sable is the French word for sand.

When you have dispersed the butter through the flour and the last lumps are gone, add one egg  and the lemon zest to the flour/butter mixture. Work the dough until it’s flexible. Shape it in a ball, wrap in aluminium foil and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

In the mean time, you can peel the apples and slice them into cubes. Sprinkle a bit of lemon juice over the apples to keep them from getting brown. In a bowl, mix the apple cubes with sugar, cinnamon and the drained raisins. Mix well. Put in the refrigerator.

Time to rest

When the dough has rested for 30 minutes to an hour, take it out of the refrigerator and use 2/3 of the ball to make the pie crust. Wrap the remaining 1/3 in the foil and put it back in the fridge. Grease a 26 cm diameter spring form pan. Pre-heat the oven at 175 degrees centigrade. The pie should be put a bit below the middle of the oven.

Roll out the dough until it’s about 1 cm thick. Use the rolling pin to carefully roll up the dough around the pin and transfer it to the pie pan. Line the inside of the pan with the dough.

Take the almond paste and crumble it over the bottom of the pie pan. It enhances the taste, but it will also soak up any liquids coming from the apples when the pie is baking. When the bottom is covered with almond paste crumbles, add the apple/cinnamon/raisin mixture. Press it gently with the back of a spoon to make sure it’s compact.

Lattice Top

Use the remaining dough in the fridge to make the top. You can roll it out to cover the entire pie and make some slices to allow the steam to come out, but you can also cut out strips that are about 1 cm wide. Cut out eight strips, the longest should be the diameter of the pie pan. Lay out the strips of dough in a lattice pattern over the top of the pie. Make egg wash from the other egg and brush the top of the pie to allow for an extra brown crust.

Bake the pie for about an hour just below the middle at 175 degrees C. When the pie is done, take it out of the oven, don’t remove the ring of the spring pan form. Let the pie cool completely before removing the ring. Serve with whipped cream.

Alternatives

You can mix the fruit. Use different kinds of apples, mix apples with pears or even with blueberries and raspberries.

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Dutch Apple Pie
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