As it is nearing Christmas time, I am thinking of the foods traditionally being eaten around winter time back home. As the Netherlands are cold and windy and definitely don´t rank on the top destinations for culinary treats, these include very simple foods like hot pea soup with bits of bacon in it (ideal after spending a cold afternoon ice skating) and warm apple pie with cream on top (same). Yummy, feel good, warming and wholesome foods. Ideal for a winter´s cheat day, I made a traditional Dutch apple pie of the kind that has been eaten for generations.
CHEAT DAY MADE PERFECT: GRANDMA´S DUTCH APPLE PIE
Makes one pie
175 g cold butter
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp lemon juice
300 gram flour
150 gram fine sugar
7 apples (best to use a mix of 2 or 3 different types e.g. Granny Smith, Braeburn and Elstar)
1 tsp cinnamon
1oo gram raisins
2 slices white bread
1. Cut the cold butter into squares. In a large bowl, mix the flour, 100 gram of sugar, the butter and half the egg quickly to form a cohesive dough.
2. Wrap the dough ball in clingfilm and let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees.
4. Peel the apples and remove their cores. Cut into thin slices and mix in a large bowl with the remaining sugar, the lemon juice, the cinnamon and the raisins.
5. Roll out two thirds of the dough to a large circle (to fit a spring form).
6. Grease the spring form and cover with the rolled out piece of dough. The dough should cover the bottom and sides of the form.
7. Take the crusts of the slices of bread and cut into small pieces. Cover the bottom of the form with the pieces of bread.
8. Now divide the apple mixture over the cake form.
9. Roll out the remainder of the dough and cut into strips about 1.5 cm wide (1 inch). Cover the apple filling with the dough strips, laying them out in a braiding pattern.
10. Use a pastry brush to cover the top of the pie with the remainder of the egg.
11. Bake the pie in the middle of the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until golden brown on top and cooked through.
12. Take it out of the oven and let it cool for at least 15 minutes before opening the spring form.
13. Dig in and enjoy.