Dutch Apple Pie with Apricot and Walnuts

Dutch Apple Pie with Apricot and Walnuts | A Dutchie Baking

It’s finally my birthday month! I’m celebrating mine and a friend’s birthday with my friends tomorrow, so I’ve baked two pies to mark the occasion. One of them is this delicious Dutch apple pie, which I’ve given a twist to with apricot, walnut and a layer of chopped “bitterkoekjes” (literally “bitter cookies”, a cookie made with bitter almonds, sugar and egg white).

Dutch Apple Pie with Apricot and Walnuts | A Dutchie Baking

The layer of chopped cookies is meant as an “isolation” layer between the pie bottom and the apples and will make sure the bottom doesn’t get soggy. If you can’t find “bitterkoekjes” you can use amaretti or a similar cookie!

Dutch Apple Pie with Apricot and Walnuts | A Dutchie Baking

I have found a good, Dutch apple pie is made by absolutely stuffing the pie casing with apples and other fillings. This will keep the sides from shrinking too much and it’s yummy as well!

Dutch Apple Pie with Apricot and Walnuts | A Dutchie Baking

 

Dutch Apple Pie with Apricot and Walnuts

Serves 10-12 people

Recipe slightly adapted from De Bakbijbel by Rutger van den Broek

Tools: 24 cm springform tin

Ingredients:

Dough

350 grams plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
175 grams caster sugar
1/2 egg (set the rest aside for glaze)
250 grams unsalted butter, room temperature

Filling

5-6 large pie apples, sliced
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
75 grams walnuts, roasted and chopped
100 grams dried apricots, chopped
150 grams crumbled “bitterkoekjes” or amaretti biscuits

  1.  To make the dough, knead all the ingredients (at once!) until you have a coherent dough. Wrap in clingfilm and leave to chill for at least an hour. In the meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Grease the baking tin and line the bottom with baking parchment. Take 2/3 of the chilled dough and roll out to a circle large enough for the tin. Line the tin with the dough. Put the tin and the remaining 1/3 of the dough in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
  3. For the filling, combine the apple slices, cinnamon, cornstarch and sugar in a bowl. Mix the walnuts and apricots in a separate bowl. Fill the prepared pie casing by sprinkling the “bitterkoekjes” on the bottom and then placing a layer of apple slices on the bottom, then sprinkle some of the apricot and walnut mixture on. Repeat these last two actions until your tin has been filled.
  4. Take the remainder of the dough out of the fridge and roll it into a large rectangle. Cut into strands of your desired width and place them on top of the pie in a lattice pattern, cutting away excess. Re-roll and cut the dough if necessary. Brush the top of the pie with the remaining egg. Bake in the oven for about 65-70 minutes. Enjoy with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla sauce!

Swedish Kärleksmums Recipe (Love Treats)

Swedish Kärleksmums Recipe (Love Treats) | A Dutchie Baking

The last couple of weeks I have been glued to Netflix for a show called “The Bridge” (Bron in Swedish). It is just the best. Some of you may know I have a BA in Swedish, which means that I am watching with more than general interest; it helps me to keep my Swedish on a certain level. Also, since I have studied in Lund (which is quite close to Malmö, where some of the show takes place), I enjoy seeing familiar scenes and it makes me want to go back like, RIGHT NOW! The Germans have a good word for it: “Fernweh” (not homesick but “farsick”).

 

Swedish Kärleksmums Recipe (Love Treats) | A Dutchie Baking

Anyhow, since I have been watching so much of the show, I though I might bake something Swedish again for a change. Kärleksmums are a bit like brownies but (in this case) with less cocoa, and they are a whole lot fluffier.

Swedish Kärleksmums Recipe (Love Treats) | A Dutchie Baking

The icing is special in that the butter is melted instead of mixed with the icing sugar, which texture-wise might need some getting used to. The name “kärleksmums” is difficult to translate into English, but I have gone with “love treats” – it doesn’t really convey the cuteness of the original word, but so be it. They are to Swedes what snow is to the Inuit: Swedes have a 100 different names for them it seems (but I like kärleksmums the best!).

Swedish Kärleksmums Recipe (Love Treats) | A Dutchie Baking

Instead of shredded coconut you could also use other sprinkles, such as chocolate sprinkles, but I prefer them with coconut! This recipe is from the classic Swedish baking book “Sju Sorters Kakor” (seven types of cake), so I feel this is the most classic of them all. You could adapt the recipe though, by adding some more cocoa or coffee to the batter for example. I hope you’ll enjoy this Swedish staple!

Swedish Kärleksmums Recipe (Love Treats) | A Dutchie Baking

Swedish Kärleksmums Recipe

Ingredients:

Cake
75 grams unsalted butter
1 egg
140 grams sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder
160 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
75 ml milk

Frosting
40 grams unsalted butter
1 tablespoon cold coffee
1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
110 grams icing sugar

Topping
shredded coconut

  1. Preheat the oven to 175C. Grease a 33x23cm baking tin and line it with baking parchment.
  2. Melt the butter and set it aside. Mix the sugar and egg until fluffy. Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the milk/melted butter and dry ingredients in three portions, one at a time, and mix each time until incorporated. End with a portion of dry ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and smoothen with a spatula. Bake for 15 minutes, then leave to cool.
  3. For the icing, melt the butter and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Spread the icing on top of the cooled cake, then sprinkle with shredded coconut. Cut into squares. Enjoy with a warm cup of tea!

Asparagus and Egg Tart

Asparagus and Egg Tart | A Dutchie Baking

It seems the first asparagus was consumed in Egypt, but make no mistake, it is a staple Dutch food as well. The province of Limburg is where most of our asparagus come from, in green or white versions. Asparagus and Egg Tart | A Dutchie Baking

Asparagus is harvested in a special way, which is called “asperge steken” in Dutch. They are pulled out of the ground by hand! In this tart, I pair them with eggs, but you could also add ham for a classic combination. Asparagus and Egg Tart | A Dutchie Baking

 

Asparagus and Egg Tart Recipe

Serves 8

450 grams green asparagus
½ cup crème fraîche
4 large eggs
1 cup grated Dutch mature cheese
¼ cup chopped chives
salt and pepper to taste
250 grams puff pastry

  1. Preheat the oven to 390F.
  2. Half the asparagus. Bring plenty of water to a boil in a large pan, add asparagus and cook for 3 minutes or until soft, but not mushy. Drain, then set aside.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the crème fraîche, 2 large eggs, cheese, chives, salt and pepper.
  4. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Roll the puff pastry out to about 16×7 inches. Fold about 1 inch over on each side, make sure to pinch the seams well.
  5. Spread the crème fraîche mixture onto the pastry. Distribute the asparagus over the tart. Place in the oven, bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is a nice golden brown. The tart can be eaten both warm and cold!

 

 

Blackberry Blondies

Oops! I think I might be a blackberry addict now.. After the apple and blackberry tart I made with Nadine, I couldn’t help but scavenge for blackberries in my area too! They weren’t as plump as last week’s, but yummy enough to make some jam and lovely blackberry blondies! And I got a nice forest walk out of it too.

I love white chocolate, but it can be a bit sweet sometimes. The blackberries have a nice tang to them which cuts through that sweetness for perfect harmony in this blondie! So why not go out and forage for some blackberries in the woods yourself and bake something delicious?

Blackberry Blondies Recipe

Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

For 16 small blondies or 9 large ones

Ingredients:

75 grams white chocolate, chopped
65 grams unsalted butter
75 grams caster sugar
1 egg
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
100 grams plain flour
pinch of salt
100 grams blackberries (fresh or frozen)

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F.
  2. Grease a 20x20cm baking tin and line it with baking parchment.
  3. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over simmering water (au bain marie). Melt until smooth.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the sugar. Stir until well incorporated. Then add the egg and the vanilla extract and stir quickly so the egg doesn’t scramble. Add the flour and salt and stir until well incorporated. Fold the blackberries in.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the baking tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. The center should still be soft. Leave to cool completely before cutting into the desired size.

 

Apple and Blackberry Tart

Apple and Blackberry Tart | A Dutchie Baking

I have a super fun yearly trip to my friend Nadine and her family, and this week I spent a lovely 4 days at their house again, the occasion being a cake competition. Even though I had a rough time with some neck muscles (argh!) I managed to place second with my “Pearamid” cake, with pears, aniseed, chai spices – well all sorts of good stuff basically. I will place the recipe on my blog sometime later this year! Right now, though, I want to share this utterly delicious blackberry and apple tart with y’all!

Blackberries | A Dutchie Baking

It so happened that a Dutch supermarket had launched a competition for the best apple cake/pie/tart (it’s the same word in Dutch for all of them: taart) baked by a duo. Of course, Nadine and I could not resist participating, we are some of the most competitive people/bakers in the Netherlands I think…

Apple and Blackberry Tart | A Dutchie Baking

After a bit of brainstorming, Nadine mentioned blackberries were ripening in her area so naturally, we couldn’t resist using those in our tart! She went out in the early (well…early for me) hours of the morning to pick a good amount of them and we set off to create this delicious bake.

Blackberries | A Dutchie Baking

It is a bit of a play on a Bakewell Tart, but with different nuts and jam and of course apple on top. Okay, it’s not really a Bakewell… But it’s still delicious. The best thing about this (I think) is marinating the apples in blackberry juice with just a touch of cinnamon, I couldn’t stop eating those darn slices (we had some left).

Apple and Blackberry Tart | A Dutchie Baking

But of course, the arrangement of the apples makes this tart a real showstopper! If you’re unsure on how to do this, check Youtube for some how-to clips (rose apple tart), it’s very easy but a bit time intensive (so worth it though!). Oh, and it’s me in the picture below! Do notice the lovely bracelet Nadine’s sister made me – it’s awesome!

Apple and Blackberry Tart | A Dutchie Baking

Apple and Blackberry Tart Recipe

For one tart, 28cm in diameter

Ingredients:

Dough (Mary Berry Recipe)
225 grams plain flour
pinch of salt
25 grams icing sugar
150 grams cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon ice cold water

Frangipane
150 grams sugar
150 grams softened unsalted butter
1 egg
75 grams ground pecans
75 grams ground walnuts
2 tablespoons flour

200 grams (homemade) blackberry jam

Apple Topping
4 Pink Lady Apples
400 ml blackberry juice
45 ml lemon juice
55 ml water
150 grams sugar
1 roasted cinnamon stick

  1. To make the dough, firstly combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Put it into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, then add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add the egg and pulse until combined. If the dough hasn’t started to come together yet, add the ice cold water and pulse until the dough has come together. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes. Butter the tart pan and set aside.
  2. To make the frangipane, beat the sugar and butter together until fluffy. Add the egg a little at a time and beat until combined. Add the nuts and flour and stir until combined. Spoon into a piping bag, set aside.
  3. Prepare the apples by cutting them into thin slices (in the food processor if preferred). Pour the blackberry juice, lemon juice and water in a pan and add the sugar and the cinnamon stick. Heat until the sugar has dissolved. Then add the apple slices and leave them to marinate.
  4. Roll the dough out to a circle large enough for the tart tin and line the tin with it. Leave any overhanging pastry. Chill again for 30 minutes. In the meanwhile, preheat the oven to 175C/340F. Once chilled, line the tart with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and parchment and prick holes in the base with a fork. Bake another 5 minutes. Fill the tart with the blackberry jam, then pipe the frangipane on top (use the back of a spoon to smoothen it out). Bake for another15 minutes, then arrange the apple slices on top of the tart to resemble a rose. Start with laying the slices flat on the outer ring, then simply work your way to the middle. Bake another 15 minutes. Leave the tart to cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!