Saturday, 13 May 2017

Dutch Apple Pie is the pick of the crop

This has to be one of the best Apple Pie recipes I’ve ever tasted - in fact it’s the pick of the crop! It’s even better using the Dutch Speculaas spice mix from The Speculaas Spice Company.
For the pastry base
8oz/225g Shortcrust pastry 
For the filling
3 large Bramley apples 
(or 2 Bramley + 2 Braeburn apples)
Zest & juice of 1 lemon
2 tsps Speculaas Spice
For the topping
3 oz/75g butter
4oz/110g plain flour
2oz/50g demerara sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Pre heat the oven to 180C (Fan 160c)/Mark 4/350F. Line a 9 inch/23 cm flan or pie dish with the pastry and leave to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Chop the peeled apples into slices and chunks, place in a pan on the hob and add the lemon zest and juice. Simmer for 3-5 minutes and allow to cool. Mix in the speculaas spice mix. Pour the filling into the flan case. Prepare the topping; in a bowl rub the butter into the flour, add the sugar and cinnamon and mix until coarsely crumbled. Spread this mixture on top of the apple filling. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until the top of the pie is golden brown. Serve with crème fraiche, cream or ice cream.
You can make small Dutch Apple Pie tartlets in the same way. Cut circles (approx 4-5 inch/10-12 cm) of shortcrust pastry. Place in a deep bun tin.  Add 1-3 tbsps of the filling and 1 tbsp of the topping. Bake for 20 minutes.
Meryl says : Bramley apples on their own will make a soft filling as in a British Apple Pie. Using a hard dessert apple such as Braeburn will add crisp chunks of apple.  Eva, a Dutch friend, tells me that 
using a mixture of soft and hard apples will fit well with the Dutch tradition. What's your favourite apple dessert?

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