In my trawls of the internet, I have come across many accounts of Dutch food being stodgy and tasteless. While I can understand how some might see it this way, having had a set of grandparents from Holland must have somehow brainwashed me because I enjoy Dutch food. Especially the cookies. Even if you don’t like the savoury food from the Netherlands, you must try the sweet. O_O
Speculaas are a … well, famous? … Dutch cookie, traditionally eaten around Christmas. They’re thin and crunchy, spiced, and are created with moulds so that they display an image. They are wonderful 🙂
Apple pie might be famously American, but it has found in recipes in the Netherlands as far back as 1514 CE. For this, I used green apples because they hold their shape better.
And so here we have an apple-cake-pie with speculaas, from a Dutch website.
125g butter, room temperature
1 egg, room temperature
250g plain flour
2g baking powder
Additional spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, white pepper, cardamom, ginger)
5g ground cinnamon
150g butter, melted
200g plain speculaas (without almonds)
6 apples (preferably green)
40g flaked almonds
Alcohol (Cointreau, Curaçao, Calvados)
Make the crust by creaming the sugar with the butter and then beating in the egg.
Sift in the flour and baking powder, knead till smooth.
Press into a flat ball, wrap in clingwrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Grease a 26cm tin and sprinkle with the additional spices. Make sure the entire surface is coated lightly.
Peel the apple, core and chop into small pieces. Crumble the speculaas either by hand or in a food processor.
Make the filling by beating the eggs, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon. Pour in the melted butter and stir.
Remove the crust from the fridge and rest until pliable.
Roll the crust into a large circle, and drape inside the tin. Cover both edges and base.
Layer the speculaas, then apples, filling and then flaked almonds.
Bake 70 – 80 minutes at 180ºC; if the almonds start to brown too much, cover with aluminium foil and then uncover for the last 10 minutes.
Mix the honey and alcohol to a spreadable consistency.
Remove pie from the oven, and while it is still hot, brush over generous amounts of the honey mixture.
Allow to cool before removing.