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Thursday, 23 January 2014

Dutch Apple Pie :)

There's a few birthdays coming up in our bi-cultural (half-Dutch) home, and, hands-down,  Dutch apple tart is the birthday treat they always want and truly appreciate! Well, at least the 'half' whose birthday is coming up who's Dutch and the other one's birthday who's got a great affinity for her better-Dutch side ;). Did you get that? Good, because I didn't! I'm Italian! I prefer ricotta pie or Italian rum cake any day!!

As I've been making Dutch Appel Taart for the past 28 years and could probably make it in my sleep, which, hot oven alert, I never would, for the life of me, because I don't follow a recipe anymore when I make it, I can't seem to delineate a recipe for 'jullie'. So I have found one that I'm linking you to that is VERY close to the one I think I follow:

Just some comments as I peruse the recipe link -- I sometimes use brown sugar for the dough and other times I use regular granulated, even caster sugar -- it's whatever I have in the home. And I also don't use 1/2 cup sugar for the dough -- usually more like 1/3 cup. It doesn't seem to make a big difference that I use whatever sugar I have around and a bit less than this recipe calls for (well, so far, so good!). I also like to add dried cranberries or Craisins in place of raisins, but I've been known to use raisins if no Craisins are lurking in the cupboard.  I do have to mention, it is important to use the right kind of apples -- Goudrennet or Granny Smith work best -- apples that are not too sweet, not too tart. But, don't tell anyone -- I have been known to use whatever apples I know I need to use up before they go rotten -- no matter what kind they are. So, the inside of the pie ends up being a bit softer than it should -- no one's complained yet!! (They better not!). I often add chopped walnuts or pecans, too. I'm also not too fussy about how I lattice the top-- I only know that it's important to keep plenty of breathing space for the apple mixture as the tart bakes -- never to cover it fully or tightly as one would do with an American apple pie.  No matter how messy it looks when I lattice, it always bakes out to look fantastic -- well -- considering that I always lightly dust the top, after the pie cools a bit, with sifted icing sugar or 'poedersuiker'. Oh, and if I have any egg left over, I actually just pour that over the apple filling after I've filled the tart with the apple mixture and BEFORE I lattice the top and, of course, before baking! I also don't necessarily sprinkle semolina on the bottom of the crust -- breadcrumbs or even some of the self-rising flour or even rolled oats (so healthy of me, yes?!!)will do just fine. But, if I have semolina in the cupboard, I use it.

 And here's what it looks like -- one I've baked earlier ;)

Really, check that recipe link out and make this soon! It's an easy 'pie dough' to make as there's no intricate rolling involved! You just need to press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pie tin. You can roll it first, if you want to, but it's not necessary. Same with making the lattice -- you can roll the dough first, then make the strips, but, honestly, I just press it lightly on my floured board and then make strips -- works fine! I also like this recipe because it doesn't require SO much sugar and it uses real butter -- hey -- sometimes it has to be butter! I've made it with margarine, too, but calorically, it's the same, so why not use butter, I say! It actually works better with butter. PLUS -- this is a treat -- remember?! Not something we eat habitually. Whoops -- the RD in me had to get that in :( While we're on that subject, you can add low-fat vanilla yogurt or even fat-free plain Greek yogurt :( on the side instead of the usual whipped cream (slagroom), vanilla custard, or vanilla ice cream :)

Enjoy! :)

Tot Ziens!
xo MJ

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