When I applied for the Dutch version of The Great British Bake-Off, I had to bring an Apple Pie. Apple Pie, the high variety with straight edges, is a very traditional pie, that you can find in just about any Dutch lunchroom (not coffee shop, the baked goods you find there are a bit… different). We serve Dutch apple pie with whipped cream and a cup of coffee.
This version is not exactly traditional as it contains pecans, sour cream, muscovado sugar (the Dutch version, basterdsuiker) and raisins. I use different kind of apples when I bake an apple pie, as each apple has its qualities. I usually go for 2 cooking apples (which cook down to pulp), 2 sour eating apples and 2 sweet eating apples (which hold their shape). Ask your greengrocer which apples are eating and which are cooking apples. Or, do as I have occasionally done, and find an old lady near the fruit isle.
For the dough:
- 400gr self-rising flour
- 195gr white basterdsuiker (moist white sugar)
- 2gr salt
- 8gr vanilla sugar
- 215gr butter
- 1 large egg
For the apple filling:
- 6 large apples (3 varieties, 1.25kg in total)
- 100ml sour cream
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch nutmeg
- 100gr pecans
- 3 tbs breadcrumbs
- 1 tbs semolina
- 50gr raisins
For the sweet topping:
- 200gr dark basterdsuiker (muscovado sugar)
- 150gr butter
- 100gr flour
- 4 tbs honey
Blitz together the ingredients for the dough, except the egg, in a kitchen machine. Quickly knead the dough together (don’t overwork it), wrap it and place it in the fridge.
Peel, core and cut the apples. Place them in a bowl with the sour cream, egg, cinnamon, nutmeg and pecans. You don’t need to add lemon juice, the sour cream will prevent the apples from browning.
Combine the ingredients for the sweet topping.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
Roll out 3/4th of the pastry dough and line a spring-form with it. This is the traditional shape of the Dutch apple pie. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and semolina over the bottom of the pie. This will soak up the juices from the apple. Spread half the raisins over the bottom, which also act as sponges for the juices. Place half of the apple filling in the dish, then add the remaining raisins and top with the remaining apple filling.
Take the sweet topping and shape this into a thin sheet, to place on top of the apple filling. You can either roll the topping between sheets of clingfilm, or push smaller pieces together between your hands and spreading this out over the top.
Now roll out the remaining pastry and cut this into strips. Make a woven pattern with gaps between the strips on top of the apple pie. Press the ends together with the sides of the pie. Brush the top of the pie with some beaten egg.
Bake the pie for 60 minutes on 180°C. After 45 minutes, check the pie. If it is browning too much, cover the pie with tin foil and lower the temperature to 170°C for the last 15 minutes.
Serve in warm slices or leave to cool fully. This pie freezes brilliantly, so freeze any leftover slices, which you can heat straight from the freezer in the microwave.