I grew up with apple pie. In the Netherlands there literally is no occasion that doesn’t call for it. We serve it at birthdays, for dessert, when meeting up for coffee in town. We’ll even serve it at weddings and christenings. That is how highly we regard it. It is our go to treat of choice. And apparently it has been since 1514. That is when the earliest Dutch cookbook was uncovered. And guess what? It featured the first known Dutch apple pie recipe.
Classic features of a Dutch style apple pie
We call apple pie: Appeltaart. And I would say the following features truly make a Dutch style apple pie:
They are baked in a springform. British and American apple pies are usually baked and served inside the form. We like to bake our apple pies in a springform which we remove after baking in order to showcase the entire pie. The base of the pie stays on the springform plate allowing for easy transportation (say from kitchen to dining room) and cutting. I never realised that some people are hesitant to bake in a springform pan. I have been doing it ever since I was a little girl and find that I do not understand how people serve pie that is still stuck in a deep dish. Maybe someday I will have to do an exchange of information with a deep dish apple pie baking expert.
We use a lot of cinnamon. The classic Dutch apple pie filling consists of a combination of: cooking apples, raisins and a good helping of cinnamon. It is this cinnamon that really brings everything together. If you haven’t tried this yet then you must!
And we use lemon juice. Is this really necessary you might ask? I mean I just mentioned that we use cooking apples. And anyone who knows the first thing about apples will at this point raise that fact that cooking apples are in fact quite tart! Well, we do not only use lemon for taste. We also use it as a means to preserve the apples before cooking with them. Covering the apples in some (fresh) lemon juice stops them from turning brown when they come in contact with air.
Our apple pie is made with a sweet crust pastry. I have heard British people rave about the fact that the pastry actually tastes like a biscuit. They never know what to eat first, the filling or the crust.
Our apple pies come in a bunch of varied toppings. But our two most preferred ones are the latticed and crumble versions.
Traditionally apple pie is served either warm or cold with a good dollop of freshly whipped sweet cream.
There you have it. The most important elements that make a Dutch apple pie. A trip home for me always includes indulging in a good few slices with my two sisters. There is just nothing like it. A slice really feels like home to me.
So how many of you have had the good fortune of actually tasting one? Let us know what you think about them!
PS. We used to bake apple pies, but we no longer do. In 2019 we decided to solely focus on baking biscuits.