The Essential Recipe for Traditional Dutch Apple Pie

DutchApplePie_Getty_Sara-Winter.jpg
Dutch Apple Pie. Photo © Sara WInter/Getty Images
  • 105 mins
  • Prep: 45 mins,
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 1 large apple pie (serves 12)
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We're somewhat obsessed with the Dutch spice blend speculaaskruiden and even use it to give that most classic of Dutch treats, appeltaart, an aromatic lift. You could, of course, simply use 3 teaspoons of cinnamon here, but speculaaskruiden is so much better.

You will need a large springform cake pan (24 cm x 6.5 cm/10" x 2 1/2").

What You'll Need

  • 2 cups/300 g. raisins (golden/sultanas)
  • 2 tbsp. brandy
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups/500 g. flour (self-rising)
  • 1 1/3 cup/300 g. water (ice cubes)
  • 2 1/2 sticks butter (cold)
  • 1 cup/175 g. brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup/75 g. brown sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp. zest (lemon)
  • 4 lb./1.85 kg. apples (tart)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon (ground)
  • 1 tsp. speculaaskruiden
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch (corn flour)
  • Garnish: freshly whipped cream

How to Make It

  1. In a small bowl, steep the sultanas in the brandy for at least an hour. Preheat the oven to 347 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. For the dough, whisk the eggs, adding most of it to the flour in a large mixing bowl (keep a tbsp or so of the egg behind to brush the pie later). Add the cubed butter, 1 cup of brown sugar, salt and lemon zest. Knead the dough by hand or using a stand mixer with a dough attachment until the dough comes together into a ball. Set the dough aside to rest for 20 minutes.
  1. For the filling, peel, and core the apples, cut them into bite-sized pieces and mix with the sultanas, lemon juice, the remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar, and spices. Sprinkle with the corn starch and mix well.
  2. Grease the cake pan and use 3/4 of the dough to cover the bottom and sides, either by first rolling out the dough with a rolling pin, or simply using your hands (see Tips). Add the apple mixture to the pie dish and firmly press down. Use the rest of the dough to make the lattice topping: you'll need about 5 strips. Arrange three strips one way and two the other way, press to fix it to the sides, and then fold the dough back in towards the pie. It should not be hanging over the pie dish, otherwise, it will stick.​
  3. Brush the pastry with the egg wash and place in the oven to bake for approximately 1 hour. Allow the pie to cool in the springform tin and then carefully turn out. Serve with whipped cream.

Tips:

  • If you can't find brandy, cognac or rum will do fine too.
  • If you forgot to steep the sultanas, or don't have time, simply put the sultanas and brandy in a microwave safe bowl, cook on high in the microwave for 2 minutes, and allow to cool.
  • We use goudreinetten apples, not only because they're the variety we've found in most old Dutch cookbooks, but also because we like their tart bite and the way they hold their shape when baked.
  • If you don't have speculaaskruiden, you can use pumpkin pie spices instead, or simply use 3 tsp ground cinnamon. You can also make your own speculaaskruiden.
  • To shape the dough by hand, simply wet your hands and press the dough into the pie dish in a uniform thickness. For the lattice-work, simply shape the dough into longish sausage shapes, which you press flat onto the pie. The pie will rise and hide a multitude of sins.