Frisian Pepernoten Recipe

Frisian Pepernoten Recipe | A Dutchie Baking

I have posted traditional pepernoten on the blog before, but I thought I might do something special today: Frisian pepernoten! These pepernoten hail from my home province of Frisia (Fryslân) and what makes them different is the aniseed flavor. I LOVE aniseed as it always reminds me of home and bakeries we used to visit when I was a kid. Frisians love their aniseed!

Frisian Pepernoten Recipe | A Dutchie Baking

As you might know, pepernoten are like mini cookies which are eaten coming up to and during the feast of Saint Nicholas, our version of Christmas where Saint Nicholas (who is the inspiration for Santa) hands out presents to children by traveling across roofs on a white horse and having his helper Pete travel through the chimney to place the presents in children’s shoes (sound familiar?).
  Frisian Pepernoten Recipe | A Dutchie Baking

If you’re looking for a fresh alternative to the usual speculaas-spice-heavy pepernoten, these Frisian ones are the perfect option. I like to dip mine in tea or chocolate milk, but they are scrumptious all on their own. Enjoy!Frisian Pepernoten Recipe | A Dutchie Baking


Frisian Pepernoten Recipe

Recipe source: What’s That Smell


75 grams light brown sugar
125 grams self-raising flour
125 grams plain flour
4 grams baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons speculaas spices
1/2 teaspoon ground aniseed
1/4 teaspoon salt
150 grams honey
2 tablespoons milk

some sunflower oil to grease hands with

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/390F. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment or a Silpat mat.

2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Measure honey out in a microwaveable bowl and heat for about 25 seconds on the highest setting in the microwave. Pour honey into the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to mix it in. Add the milk and knead by hand until everything is well incorporated. If the dough is too crumbly, add a bit more milk.

3. Grease your hands with some sunflower oil and roll little balls, about 6 grams a piece, or marble sized, out of the dough. You’ll be able to fill about 1 1/2 baking sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes (keep an eye on them!). They will keep for a few days in an airtight container.

Saint Nicholas Speculaas Tart

Saint Nicholas Speculaas Tart | A Dutchie Baking

It’s that time of year again to eat too many pepernoten, inhale speculaas cookies and gain a pound in chocolate: yup, Sinterklaas is in the country! I’ve been seeing the most delicious Sinterklaas bakes by fellow bloggers on Instagram (I swear I spend too much time on Instagram these days, I’m addicted..), amongst which a speculaas cream tart topped with traditional Sinterklaas treats (“strooigoed”) by Rutger Bakt, the first winner of Dutch Bake Off. I was thoroughly inspired and decided to bake my own version!

Saint Nicholas Speculaas Tart | A Dutchie Baking

Speculaas spices, which are used in the pastry cream, are most delicious, a bit similar to pumpkin spice or mixed spice but slightly different. You can make your own blend, for example following this recipe. There are many variations to be found though, so find out which one suits your taste best! I find speculaas goes really well with chocolate, so I used cocoa powder in my pastry dough, but you can also use a vanilla version of the dough if preferred.

Saint Nicholas Speculaas Tart | A Dutchie Baking

Strewn on top of this tart are traditional Sinterklaas treats, also known as “strooigoed” (throwing treats). Throwing, because Sinterklaas’s helpers, his “Petes”, are known to throw them at children when visiting schools or community centers. Yup, kids eat it off floors! I suppose it’s good for their immune systems, but I’m sure Americans would freak out over it. Don’t worry, no one ever died from eating a pepernoot off the floor 😉 You can bake your own pepernoten and cover them in chocolate, or buy sweets online or even at a specialty Dutch store. When you don’t feel like doing all that, the tart is delicious without the “strooigoed” as well and will give you sufficient cozy Saint Nicholas Eve feels. Best served with a steaming mug of hot chocolate!

Saint Nicholas Speculaas Tart | A Dutchie Baking


Recipe Saint Nicholas Speculaas Tart

Tools: 35×11 cm tart tin (or tin with equivalent dimensions – you might have to do a bit of math!), baking beans, baking parchment, rolling pin, pastry brush, piping bag


Pâte Sucrée au Chocolat (Pastry Dough):

90 grams icing sugar
25 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
120 grams soft unsalted butter
2 grams salt
30 grams almond flour
1 egg
210 grams plain or pastry flour

75 grams white chocolate, chopped

Speculaas Pastry Cream:

400 ml full-fat milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1/2 seeds of a vanilla pod
4 egg yolks
100 grams castor sugar
40 grams flour
2 teaspoons speculaas spices


Sinterklaas treats/candy to taste

1. To make the pastry dough, sift icing sugar and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Add butter, salt and almond flour and mix until well combined on low speed. Add egg, mix until incorporated. Add flour and knead or mix until just incorporated. Wrap dough in clingfilm and leave to chill for at least 1 hour.

2. In the meanwhile, make the pastry cream. Pour 375ml of the milk and the vanilla extract or seeds in a saucepan. In a bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Bring milk to a boil, pour into the other ingredients while continuously whisking. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and bring to a boil while whisking. Leave to cook for about 1 minute, then take off the heat and cover the top of the cream with clingfilm. Leave to cool.

3. Preheat the oven to 180C/355F.

4. Grease the tart tin. Roll the chilled dough out into a rectangle large than the tin. You’ll have a bit of leftover pastry which you can use to make chocolate cookies or to make some smaller tarts, so don’t roll the pastry too thick. Cut the overhanging pastry away. Chill the pastry base for at least 30 minutes. Prick the bottom of the case all over with a fork. Line the base with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake for 20 minutes, then take the baking beans and parchment out and bake for another 20-25 minutes. Leave to cool.

5. Melt 75 grams white chocolate au bain marie. Use a pastry brush to brush the whole pastry shell with white chocolate. This will keep the shell from going soggy. Leave to set (you can do this in the fridge.

6. Fill a piping bag with large round nozzle with the pastry cream. Stir the pastry cream first if it has gone very firm). Pipe the cream into the pastry shell. Top with Sinterklaas treats and candy. Best served on the same day. Enjoy!

Mushroom Hot Water Crust Pie

Mushroom Hot Water Crust Pie | A Dutchie Baking

I’d been toying with the idea to make a hot water crust pie for a while, as I always love those Victorian looking, exquisite pies I always see on the Great British Bake Off and in historical recipe books. I also think it’s fascinating that hot water crust pastry goes against almost everything a baker is taught about pastry, namely that you should keep all of the ingredients as cold as possible to get a flaky result. I wouldn’t say hot water crust pastry is the flakiest of all the pastries but it is certainly not tough! What an eluding concept..

Mushroom Hot Water Crust Pie | A Dutchie Baking

If you’re a vegetarian like me, I’m sure you’ll appreciate seeing one of these pies without it involving any game, or pork, or beef, or (God forbid) eels. Traditional hot water crust pastry also uses lard, which is pure pork fat. Well, that ain’t getting into my kitchen anytime soon (yuck!!), so I’ve come up with a delicious forest-inspired autumny filling, and instead of lard, I’m using the more appetizing sounding substitute of butter. I swear it tastes just fine, you can’t go wrong with butter.

Mushroom Hot Water Crust Pie | A Dutchie Baking

You might have noticed an unusual ingredient in the recipe, namely lemon pepper. You don’t háve to use it, but it’s utterly delicious I can tell you. When I was living in Sweden, this interesting spice was found in every supermarket and even though it’s apparently very good with roast meat, it does very well with earthy veggies as well. It gives a little tang at the end which is very pleasant. You could also use regular pepper and a tiny bit of lemon zest.

Mushroom Hot Water Crust Pie | A Dutchie Baking

Do you ever make (vegetarian) hot water crust pies? What do you put in them?

Mushroom Hot Water Crust Pie | A Dutchie Baking

Recipe Mushroom Hot Water Crust Pie

Tools: 20cm pie tin lined with baking parchment, rolling pin, pastry brush, (optional) leaf cutters


Hot Water Crust Dough (Paul Hollywood recipe):

330 grams plain flour
70 grams strong white bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
150 grams unsalted butter, melted
170 ml boiling water
1 egg for brushing


50 grams unsalted butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
650 grams (mixed) mushrooms, sliced
200 ml whipping cream or double cream
1 egg
1 vegetable stock cube
1 laurel leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
15 grams cornstarch, dissolved in a little bit of water
1 large potato, peeled and diced
125 grams frozen or fresh green peas

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F.
  2. First, prepare the filling. Heat butter and oil in a large saucepan. Sautee onions and garlic for a few minutes.
  3. Add the sliced mushrooms and saute until they have significantly shrunken in size. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the peas, and cook the mixture until it is nice and thick. Turn the heat off and stir the peas in.
  4. Now make the hot water crust pastry. Start by combining the dry ingredients in a bowl. Pour the melted butter and boiling water into the bowl and start mixing with a wooden spoon. Once the mixture is cool enough to work with your hands, knead into a dough (don’t overknead!).
  5. Roll a little more than half of the dough into a large circle to fit the bottom of the tin. Leave any overhanging pastry where it is (in fact, you need a bit extra!). Pour the filling into the pie casing. Next, roll most of the remaining dough into another disk a little larger than the top of the pie tin. Brush the edges of the overhanging pastry (which you left for this purpose) with a bit of egg, then place the disk on top and push the pastry together. If you want, you can crimp the pastry, use a fork to make indentations, or simply cut away the edges. Use the leftover pastry to make decorations on top. Brush top with egg.
  6. Bake pie for 45-50 minutes. Leave to cool completely before turning out or serve from the tin if preferred.


Snowy Mountain Cherry Pie

Snowy Mountain Cherry Pie | A Dutchie Baking

It hasn’t even been Halloween yet and already I am dreaming of landscapes with piles upon piles of fluffy snow..not that that ever happens over here but hey, a girl can dream right? So anyway, while most bakers were coloring liters of buttercream in orange, green and purple hues, I was baking a winter-themed pie: typical Ramona.


Snowy Mountain Cherry Pie | A Dutchie Baking

I actually saw this pie on a Belgian blog, Jolanda’s Bakhuisje, although there it’s called “ski pie” – which is also a very apt name. I changed the recipe up a bit but the honor for inventing it should go to Jolanda!

Snowy Mountain Cherry Pie | A Dutchie Baking

Under a mountain of whipped cream and mascarpone, topped with meringue sticks, hides a yeasted crust pie with a tangy cherry filling. And well, we can always pretend the filling is blood to make it spooky right? No excuse not to bake it!Snowy Mountain Cherry Pie | A Dutchie BakingSnowy Mountain Cherry Pie Recipe

Tools: 24cm fluted pie tin, greased; piping bag



250 grams flour (I use a 50/50 mix of plain and bread flour)
5 grams instant yeast
100 grams milk, lukewarm
1 egg
75 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
25 grams sugar
3 grams salt

Filling (source: Weekend Bakery):

1 pot cherries (700 grams, drained net weight 350gr)
70 grams sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons cornstarch


500 ml whipping cream
150 grams mascarpone
1 tablespoons sugar

Meringue Sticks:

65 grams egg white
65 grams caster sugar
65 grams icing sugar

1. To make the dough, add all the ingredients to a large bowl, making sure the yeast and salt don’t touch each other directly. Mix until dough forms, then knead for about 10 minutes in a freestanding electric mixer, or a little longer by hand. Shape into a ball then put into a greased bowl covered with clingfilm or a damp tea towel and leave to proof for about 60 minutes.

2.  In the meanwhile, make the filling. Pour cherries (+syrup), vanilla extract and lemon juice into a saucepan. Mix sugar and cornflour together in a bowl, then add to cherry mixture. Bring the filling to a boil, it should start to thicken. Boil for a few minutes or until it has the desired consistency (firm, but not so firm that you cannot pour it anymore). Take off the heat and set aside.

3. Preheat the oven to 220C/430F.

4. Roll the proofed dough out into a circle somewhat larger than the pie tin. Line the tin, leave any overhanging dough for the moment. Cover and leave for 10 minutes, then cut away any overhanging dough by rolling over the top of the tin with a rolling pin. Pour the filling into the pie and bake for 20-25 minutes. If it is very browned after 15 minutes you can turn the oven back to 180C/355F.

5. Once baked, leave the pie in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave until completely cool.

6. For the meringue, turn the oven back to 80C/175F. Using a fat-free (glass or steel) bowl and utensils, whip the egg whites while adding the caster sugar a little at a time. Keep mixing until stiff peaks form. Then fold in the (sieved) icing sugar. Fill a piping bag with round nozzle with the mixture and pipe long lines on baking parchment or a baking mat. Place on a baking tray and bake for 1.5 hours. Snip the lines into smaller sticks once baked.

7. To make the topping, pour whipping cream, mascarpone, and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until soft peaks form.

8. To assemble the pie, make a mountain of cream on top of the pie and place the meringue sticks on top.


Lemon Meringue Tart

A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to go crazy with the baking again and make two awesome tarts/pies as I was having another birthday party! Both were/are showstopping and absolutely delicious. The first of the two is this amazing lemon meringue tart – no, not a pie because I feel this is a French recipe!

I’m always excited to make lemon-flavored bakes – I love the tartness of lemons and always have. As a kid I would always go for the sourest candies (to be honest I still do). It can never be too sour for me (think blisteringly sour). Don’t worry though, this tart isn’t extremely sour, the tartness is balanced nicely by a good amount of sugar and meringue on top!

If you don’t have a blowtorch, you could put the tart under the grill for a minute to get that nice caramelization on top, but I like the control you get with a torch. Those meringue tips remind me of roasting marshmellows over a campfire, mm….

Lemon Meringue Tart Recipe

Tools: 23cm tart tin (preferably loose bottomed), baking beans, sugar thermometer


Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (Mary Berry):

250 grams plain or pastry flour
150 grams unsalted butter, cold, diced
25 grams icing sugar
1 egg

Lemon Filling (Cuisine avec Djouza):

80 grams (fresh) lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons
125 grams unsalted butter
125 grams caster sugar
200 grams egg (whole)
10 grams cornstarch

Meringue Topping (Cuisine avec Djouza):

100 grams egg white
200 grams caster sugar
70 grams water

  1. To make the pastry, combine flour and sugar. Add the diced butter. If you’re using a food processor with blade attachment, whizz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. You can also use your hands or a fork to rub the butter into the flour mixture – again, it should look like breadcrumbs. Then add the egg and mix or knead until the dough starts to come together. Work the dough as little as possible. Shape dough into a disc and wrap in clingfilm. Chill for at least an hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  3. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to the thickness of a pound coin. Line the tart tin with the dough and transfer to the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Once chilled, line the pastry case with non-stick baking paper and fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Bake blind for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and paper and bake another 10 to 15 minutes until it is a golden brown. Remove from the oven but leave the tart shell in the tin.
  4. To make the lemon filling, combine lemon juice, zest, and butter in a saucepan. In a bowl, combine sugar, egg and cornstarch. Melt butter with lemon juice and zest and bring to a boil. Turn heat off, whisk lemon juice mixture into the egg mixture. Pour it back into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the mixture has thickened, turn the heat off and leave to cool for a bit.
  5. Fill the cooled tart shell with the lemon filling. Place in the fridge to set.
  6. Once the tart is cold enough, make the meringue topping. Pour egg whites (preferably at room temperature or a little warmer) into a greaseless bowl (make sure your whisk is greaseless as well! you can achieve this by cleaning you utensils/bowls with lemon juice or vinegar).
  7. In a saucepan, combine sugar and water and place a sugar thermometer in the pan. Once the mixture reaches 114C, start whisking the egg whites. Once the mixture has reached 120C, pour it slowly into the egg whites while you’re whisking them. Whisk until the meringue has cooled down.
  8. Fill a piping bag with a nozzle to your liking with the meringue and pipe onto the tart. Alternatively, if you don’t have a piping bag, you could use a (palette) knife to make peaks of meringue. Use a blowtorch to caramelize the meringue on top. Enjoy!