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Monday, October 3, 2016

October ABC challenge: classic Dutch apple pie

Generally I like to mess with recipes, make them my own.  And I certainly have ideas about what I like in apple pie.  But since this is a challenge recipe, I felt I should make it fairly closely to the original; I didn't want my changes to affect the authenticity of the recipe.  I had to make substitutions for what I didn't have, and then some other changes to accommodate my personal tastes (such as adding salt and reducing the sugar.) The salt came in the form of salted butter.  I suspect the crust of the original recipe would be very sweet like a cookie, which I didn't want, so I cut the sugar there.

Here's what I used:

300g 150g (1¼ cup) self raising all-purpose flour
150g (1¼ cup) whole wheat flour
1 7/8 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
200g (14 tablespoons) cold, salted butter, cut into pieces
150g 67g (1/3 cup) soft light brown muscovado granulated sugar
1 tablespoon dark molasses
1 tablespoon ice water (as needed)
¾ egg (35g)
¼ beaten egg for brushing

1 kg (2 pounds) tart apples (2/3 Pippin, 1/3 Braeburn)
fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
50g (¼ cup) sugar

Process all the dough ingredients except for the egg in a food processor until you have a mixture resembling bread crumbs. Add the 3/4 egg and process again briefly into a smooth dough. Divide the dough into two unequal pieces, about 2/5 and 3/5. Shape the larger piece into a thick disc and the smaller into a rectangle. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for an hour.

I like to leave the peel on apples. Core apples and cut each into 4 equal wedges, then cut each wedge into 5 thick slices; sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent oxidation. Add the cinnamon and sugar and stir to coat. Cover and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease an 8-inch round springform baking tin. Roll out the disc of dough to an 11-inch circle. Working quickly, before the dough becomes too soft, fit it into the bottom and up the sides of the tin; cut off excess. Press out any air pockets and repair tears or holes with the scraps. (Alternatively, you can simply press pieces of the dough into the tin and skip rolling it out.) Add the prepared apples. Make sure to distribute the apple slices evenly to fill the pie so it is firmly packed. (The apples will shrink during baking). With the remaining rectangle of dough, roll out and cut strips to make a lattice on top of the apples, pinching it to the bottom crust to secure. Brush the top lightly with the 1/4 beaten egg, adding a bit of water to the egg to make it easier to brush. Bake the pie for 60 to 70 minutes, until browned and the apples are soft. Leave to cool. Run a knife around the inside of the crust before releasing the pan.

Once again, as always, I am frustrated by the recipes from this blog because they don't come together as described.  Using all the ingredients, I had a powder instead of a dough.  I had to add a tablespoon of water to get it to come together.  I even measured by weight, not by volume, so that was not the issue.  In addition, I had no trouble at all getting the apples into the pan, and in fact even added an additional apple at the last minute to fill it up.  Perhaps Dutch springform pans aren't as deep.  (Mine was 3".)  Otherwise, this was a pretty straightforward recipe.

Conclusion:  Not sold on this.  The crust was rather soft, with a sandy texture, very much like a graham cracker crust, which I don't care for.  It didn't give a nice contrast to the soft apples.  Also, because this pie is so deep, the proportions of filling to crust are very uneven.  You have to utterly destroy your slice in order to get crust and filling in every bite, otherwise you end up eating a lot of apple and then have a shortbread cookie to finish.  Surprisingly, I didn't think it had enough salt, even with all the salt in the butter.  As it was, this pie came across more like just baked apples.  The whole thing seemed a little bland, but it wasn't bad.

Recipe:  Classic Dutch Apple Pie via Weekend Bakery.


  1. I admire your dedication! I'm kind of feeling the same as you on the recipes in this blog! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Ha! Thanks, Karen. I liked this better the next day when the crust was more cakey, and also realized that apparently you aren't supposed to bring the crust up to the rim of the pan, which is why I didn't have enough apple filling. Think I'll edit my post to address that.