I love that I have a mother who is from the Netherlands and a father who was from the United Kingdom.
I am (and all of my family are) proudly Australian, however, I love my international heritage – if not only for the different cultural lessons I have learnt growing up*, but also for the frequent trips to Europe.
Going to Europe as a young child opened up my (culinary) eyes to a different culture and world.
Tulips, Delft blue tiles, van Gogh, Rembrandt, clogs, croquettes and kaas (cheese) is just a small list of things that I instantly fell in love with on early visits the Netherlands.
Each year I have list of food to eat that a quintessentially Dutch. The list, however, keeps growing every year and unfortunately my beloved appeltaart did not make it.
So here I share it with you. This recipe is adapted from a recipe from one of my mum’s cookbooks from when she first moved here. I like to slice the apples very thinly so that they are tender once cooked with a few sitting amongst the tart that still have a little crunch.
*My mum always to this day pronounces Lavender as lavendel (the dutch/german way) and will always ask if I had a good ‘sleep out’ before quickly correcting herself by saying ‘sleep in’ when I speak to her on the weekend.
225g plain flour
160g butter, chilled and finely diced
110g caster sugar
a pinch salt
1 egg, lightly whisked
For the filling
1 kilo granny smith apples, peeled cored and thinly sliced
80g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon cinnamon
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons custard powder
Preheat oven to 180°C.
In a food processor place the flour, butter, caster sugar, salt and half the egg (reserving the rest). Pulse until the pastry comes together (make sure not to over work the pastry or it will shrink when baking). Turn out, flatten into a disc and wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile in a bowl combine the apples, raisins, caster sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest and juice and gently toss to combine.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and cut off a third and reserve for the lattice topping.
Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 2-3 mm thick and use to line a 20cm spring form cake tin, trimming any excess pastry. (Don't worry of the pastry breaks a little, you can press it together in the tin.)
Sprinkle the custard powder on the base of the pastry and fill with the apple filling.
Roll out the remaining pastry and slice into 1.5cm wide strips. Arrange these in a lattice pattern over the top and press to secure.
Brush the surface with the remaining egg and sprinkle with caster sugar.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden.
Remove and leave to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tin.
Serve with cream and ice cream.