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Appeltaart met amandelspijs

This is a Dutch classic. Western European apple pies date back at least 500 years. Apple seeds were introduced to (colonial) North America in the 17th century, as were apple pie recipes. Contrary to popular (American) belief, there is nothing American about apple pie...

  • Preparation time: 50 minutes
  • Bake time: 80 minutes
  • Makes 10 servings.
  • Best when made 1 day ahead (but not more!)

INGREDIENTS

  • Ingredients for the dough (shortcrust pastry):
  • 400 grams ( =  2.5 cups) "all-purpose" flour (D: type 550; F: type 55)
  • 175 grams ( = 6 oz, 3/4 cups) fine crystal sugar (F: sucre en poudre)
  • 1 package/envelope ( = 7.5 grams = 1/4 oz) of vanilla sugar (not with artificial vanilla flavoring!)
  • 225 grams ( = 8 oz = 2 sticks = 1 cup) butter - straight from the refrigerator (not at room temperature)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • some butter to grease the springform pan

  • Ingredients for the apple filling:
  • 125 grams dark raisins ( = 1 cup, packed). I definitely prefer Thompson raisins to Sultanas.
  • 1 kg (2.2 lbs) apples
  • Weight is before peeling and coring
  • Which apple variety to use? The apples should have lots of flavor, not be too sweet, and not fall apart when baked. Examples: Cox Orange (classic!), Elstar (light sour note, flavorful), Jonagold (sweet-sour), Boskoop, Gravenstein, Granny Smith. Also: Idared (sweet), and even Braebrun (firm). See photos below. I often use Jonagold.
  • 50 grams ( = 4 tablespoons) fine crystal sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 25 grams ( = 1/4 cup) sliced/slivered almonds, lightly toasted in a (dry) frying pan
  • 300 grams ( = 12 oz) almond paste (at least 50% almond content!)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk or cream (to make the almond paste thinner)
  • Optional: 1-2 tablespoons of rose water (also to make the almond paste thinner; it also enhances the almond flavor considerably)
  • 3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs  (F: chapelure)
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons of dark rum.
  • I exclusively use Myers's "Original Dark" Rum from Jamaica- not necessarily a sipping rum, but the flavor is perfect for deserts and mixed drinks.

Recipe

Suitable apples, in the same order (left to right) as listed above


EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES

  • 2 large bowls
  • 2 small bowls
  • Springform pan (F: moule à manqué), diameter about 26 cm  (10 inch)
  • Plastic kitchen film (cling wrap)
  • Rolling pin
  • Pastry brush
  • Wire whisk (D: Schneebesen; F: fouet à fils)
  • 2 large spoons
  • Pastry blender (see photo below) or two large kitchen knives (for cutting the butter into the flour)

Recipe

A pastry cutter - very handy!


PREPARATION / DIRECTIONS

  • Instructions for the dough (shortcrust pastry):
  • Put the flour in a large bowl and loosen up with a wire whisk. This also gets the clumps out, if any.
  • This method is a lot faster and easier (incl. clean-up) than using a flour sifter!)
  • Mix in the sugar, vanilla sugar, and salt
  • Cut the butter into the flour:
  • The purpose is to create evenly sized pieces of butter, coated with flour, and evenly distributed throughout.
  • Pre-cut the butter into a dozen or so pieces, add to the flour mix and cover with flour.
  • Use a pastry blender (or two large knives) to cut the butter into the flour, until the pieces are about pea-sized.
  • Add 1/3 of the beaten eggs.
  • Knead by hand into a homogenous dough.
  • Keep your hands cool by running cold water on them once in a while.
  • Divide the dough into 1/3 (for the top of the pie) and 2/3 (for the bottom and side of the pie)
  • Further divide the latter 2/3 into 1/3 (for the top) and 2/3 (for the bottom).
  • Wrap the 1/3 dough for the pie-top in plastic kitchen film.
  • Separate the bottom and ring of the springform pan, and grease both with some butter.
  • Form the dough for the pie-bottom into a ball.
  • On a lightly flour-dusted surface, roll out the dough ball with a flour-dusted rolling pin until it is about the size of the bottom of the pan. Then transfer the dough to the bottom of the pan, and even-out the dough (important!) with your thumbs and/or a large spoon.
  • Alternatively, you can break up the dough into pieces and simply paste them onto the bottom of the springform pan, then even out the dough layer.
  • Re-assemble the springform pan.
  • Form the dough for the pie-side into a long, even bar (about 80 cm long, ≈2.5 ft; it is OK to have several pieces).
  • On a lightly flour-dusted surface, roll out the dough bar with a flour-dusted rolling pin until it is about 4 cm wide (about the width of two index fingers).
  • Line the inside of the springform ring with the flattened dough bar (or bar pieces).
  • Make sure that the dough has en even thickness, all the way around.
  • Make sure to close the seam between the dough on the bottom and the dough on the side.
  • Put the springform pan in the refrigerator.

  • Instructions for the apple filling:
  • Pre-heat the oven to 175 °C (350 °F).
  • In a small bowl, soak the raisins in hot water.
  • In the small bowl, break the almond paste into pieces:
  • If the almond paste is hard ( = old), you can soften it up by zapping it 20-30 sec in the microwave oven.
  • Add 1/3 of the beaten eggs.
  • Add a tablespoon of milk or cream and rose water.
  • With a very sturdy fork, work the egg and milk/cream/rose water into the almond paste.
  • Continue working the paste and adding milk/cream/rose water until the paste is thin enough to be able to spread it with a spoon.
  • Peel, core, and quarter the apples.
  • Cut the apple quarters lengthwise into several thick slices (3-4 for an average size apple).
  • Put the apple pieces into a large bowl and add the lemon juice, cinnamon, and slivered almonds.
  • Drain the raisins, pat dry, and add to the apple mix.
  • With two large spoons, fold over the apple mix until the apple pieces are well covered with juice and cinnamon, and the raisins are evenly distributed.
  • Optional: mix in the rum (or drink it).

  • Instructions for the pie:
  • Spread the breadcrumbs over the dough bottom in the springform pan.
  • Fill the springform pan with half of the apple mix, and spread out evenly.
  • Spread the almond paste over the apple filling.
  • Use a spoon to put dabs of paste on top of the apples, then (try and) spread with the spoon.
  • Put the rest of the apple mix on top, and spread out evenly.
  • With your hands (not you finger tips!), push down firmly on the apple mix.
  • Take the dough that was set aside for the top of the pie, cut it in halves, and form into balls.
  • On a lightly flour-dusted surface, roll out dough ball with a flour-dusted rolling pin until it is about 3 mm (1/8 inch) thick, and as long as the diameter of the springform pan.
  • With a sharp knife, cut into strips that are about 1 cm (1/2 inch) wide.
  • Cover the top of the pie with a lattice of dough strips:
  • Brush the remaining beaten eggs over the dough lattice (see photos below):
  • Take one dough-strip and drape it on top of the apple mix, diagonally across the middle of the pan.
  • Cut two additional one-piece (!) strips and place them to the left & right of the first strip, at a distance that is the same as the width of the dough strips.
  • Repeat until the top of the pie is covered.
  • Make sure that the seams between the ends of the dough strips and the dough on the side of the pan are closed (use your fingers).
  • Repeat with the second dough ball, but put the dough strips at a right angle across the first strips.
  • Bake in the bottom third of the oven (turn the circulation fan off) for 80 minutes – the top should be dark golden.

Recipe

Recipe

NOTES

  • This is a moist, dense type of pie. And heavy: before baking, the springform pan with the pie weighs about 2.6 kg (≈5.5 lbs).
  • Freezes well - thaw out completely ( = transfer from the freezer to the refrigerator a day before using it, then remove from the fridge several hours before serving). Heat up in a in 175 °C (350 °F) oven.

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Adapted from a 2015 recipe by Frances; ©2016 F. Dörenberg, unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved worldwide., unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be used without permission from the author.