Dutch apple tart is delicious. I’ve you’ve ever been to the Netherlands, you’ve probably had it – it is sold everywhere: cafes, department stores, restaurants, pubs. Call it our national cake, if you will. You grow up with it – it’s just always there.
It consists out of a sweet shortcrust pastry, filled with chunks of apples and raisins, flavoured with lots of cinnamon. It’s not difficult to make, only fairly time consuming considering you need to peel a whole load of apples. It’s definitely worth it, though. This cake is delicious, and it looks super impressive once finished. It’s a great cake to make one or two days ahead of time, and take with you as a gift.
A note on apples:
A little known trick to making the best type of apple pie or in this case, apple tart, is using a mixture of apples. Even when recipes specify to use one type of apples only, using two different varieties will take your dessert to the next level. Different kinds of apples have different kinds of flavours and textures, and mixing them up just really adds to the overall flavour. Dutch apple tart recipes traditionally specify using Granny Smith apples, which are nice due to their tartness, but can be overly juicy. I tend to use one green apple, like Granny Smith, but preferably Bramley – and one sweeter, firmer apple, like Cox or Braeburn. You can try different varieties, but beware that very juicy apples may need to baked a little bit longer. If you take your cake out of the oven and the mixture still looks very wet at the top, bake it for another 30 minutes or so, covering the pastry with foil to prevent it browning too much.
To make the pastry, simply add flour, baking powder, sugar, cubed butter, salt and vanilla in the bowl of your stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, mix until the dough comes together.
Use your hands to knead the dough a final few times to make sure it’s fully mixed.
Wrap the dough in cling film, and place in the fridge to cool whilst you make the filling. As you can see, I just shoved the whole bowl in the fridge, and I eat a lot of eggs.
In a separate bowl, mix cinnamon, sugar, custard powder, and apricot jam. Not pictured, but also added: lemon zest, and vanilla extract.
Add raisins into a measuring jug, and cover with boiling water. Add a tablespoon or two of vanilla or rum, if you like. Let sit for at least ten minutes, preferably longer.
Add your peeled apples and drained raisins to the cinnamon and apricot jam mixture.
Using a spatula, mix everything together until all of the apples are nicely coated in the mixture. Let the mixture sit whilst you prepare your pastry.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Divide your pastry in half, with one half slightly bigger than the other. Take the bigger half, and place on a surface dusted liberally with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll to about 6mm thick, and cut a circle the size of the base of your cake tin. Gently lift using your hands or a large spatula, and place in the inside of a greased springform tin. Use the remaining dough to line the sides of the tin.
It should look like this!
Pour your filling into the pastry shell. Pack in tightly.
Using the remaining half of the dough, create a lattice work on top of the filling. It really doesn’t have to be a proper lattice work – it will still puff up in the oven so it won’t be discernible. Using a pastry brush, brush the lattice with egg wash.
Place in oven, and bake for 1.5 hours. Keep a close eye on how quickly the pastry is browning – if it gets too brown, cover with tinfoil, but continue baking so the filling can fully cook.
Remove from oven, and let cool fully before cutting. This cake is really better cold, so that the pastry and filling can settle. Preferably, make the cake the day before you’re planning to eat it and leave in the fridge overnight to settle.
- 50 grams cornflour
- 350 grams all purpose flour
- 8 grams baking powder
- 100 grams granulated sugar
- 50 grams icing sugar
- 250 grams butter
- Vanilla paste (or alternatively, vanilla extract)
- Zest from ½ lemon
- 2 eggs
- 25 grams custard powder
- 4 tablespoons (about one quarter of a jar) apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or alternatively, Calvados or apricot liqueur)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Zest from ½ lemon
- 0.75 kilo Bramley or Granny Smith apples
- 0.75 kilo Cox or Braeburn apples
- 130 grams raisins
- 1 egg, beaten
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the cornflour, all purpose flour, baking powder, granulated sugar and icing sugar on a low to medium speed, until mixed.
- Add butter, vanilla, and lemon zest, and mix until the butter is fully incorporated. Add the eggs, one by one, until the dough comes together in a ball - do not overmix. Wrap the dough in cling film, and place in the refrigerator whilst you prepare the filling.
- Place 80 grams of raisins in a bowl or measuring jar, and cover with boiling water. Add a tablespoon of vanilla extract (or rum) for extra flavouring. Let sit.
- In a bowl, mix custard powder, apricot jam, cinnamon, vanilla extract, sugar, and lemon zest. Whisk together into a paste. Drain the liquid from the raisins, and add to the bowl. Add the apples, and stir the mixture until the apples are all covered in the cinnamon mixture. Set mixture aside.
- Prepare a springform pan by greasing liberally with butter and dusting with flour. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
- Take your pastry out of the fridge, and cut into two halves, one slightly larger than the other. Liberally dust your work surface with flour, and take the larger half of dough. Using a dough pin, roll out to about 6mm thick. Cut a circle out of the dough the same diameter as the springform pan you are using. Using a spatula, gently lift the circle and place on the base of the springform pan. Use the rest of the dough to cover the sides of the pan, to about 1.5-2 inches high.
- Take your apple filling, and pour into the pastry shell you have prepared. Pack in firmly to use up all the apple filling.
- Take the remaining half of dough, and tear of little chunks. Roll these into strips and cover the top of the cake with a lattice. It doesn't have to be perfect, at all, since it will lose its shape a bit during baking.
- Take a pastry brush and brush some of the beaten egg over the lattice on top of the apple tart.
- Place the tart into your preheated oven, and bake for at least one hour. Cover the top of the tart with foil if it is over-browning. After one hour, check the cake to see how the filling looks - if it still looks very wet and there is a lot of liquid, cook for another half hour.
- Let cool fully before cutting; preferably a full day. This cake is better once it has fully cooled, and rested in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.