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).
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!
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
Serves 10-12 people
Recipe slightly adapted from De Bakbijbel by Rutger van den Broek
Tools: 24 cm springform tin
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
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!