Dutch Apple Cake (Appeltaart)
I grew up eating these cakes, my grandmother was such an amazing baker! It takes a little while and is a little tricky, but man this cake is so tasty! Let me walk you through the ground rules & tips to make a classical Dutch Apple Cake. Here we go:
For the dough:
175 g vegan butter (half melted and in little pieces)
150 g coconut sugar sifted
300 g self-raising flour (sifted)
zest from 1 lemon
egg re-placer for two eggs
pinch of salt
For the filling:
1-1.5 kilo big apples, like granny smith apples
500 grams pears (optional, i think it really adds to the taste)
50 g raisins
1 cup of fresh lemon juice (just use one lemon)
1 cup of nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts)
1 tbsp cinnamon
4 tbsp brown or coconut sugar
½ tbsp custard powder
some extra flower to sprinkle on top of working bench
some extra butter to grease 9 inch round baking tin
Step 1, making the dough:
In a large bowl mix the butter, sugar and flower. The secret of baking a good apple-cake is how to make a good & crispy dough, apple-cake is made from a so-called “butter-dough” so the most important ingredient is yes you guessed that right: butter! The butter can’t be too hard, so it’s a good idea to get the butter from the fridge and leave it out in room temperature for about half an hour. When you have done that you cut 175 gram of butter into small pieces then mix it with the flour and the sugar, both sifted before mixing. Add the lemon zest, pinch of salt and egg re-placer (for two eggs) you now have all your ingredients together, so start kneading. It’s important to knead fast and quick, if you knead longer then 5 minutes the dough will get rough, knead until the dough is soft, make a ball of the dough, wrap the ball in plastic and leave in the fridge for about an hour.
While that’s happening you can start working on the filling. Which brings us to step 2 in the process, making the filling:
Peel & cut the apples, for one cake you need about 1-1.5 kilos of apples, cut the apples in halves, then quarters, then about 4 pieces from the quarters, so the pieces shouldn’t be too small, put the apple pieces in a bowl and let them soak for a bit in lukewarm water. Add the raisins to this bowl and let soak with the apple. Meanwhile chop the nuts roughly into small pieces, then strain the apples and raisins & mix in a bowl with the lemon juice, sugar & cinnamon. Your filling is good to go now.
Step 3: putting it all together now:
Get your dough from the fridge, roll it out with a rolling pin and grease the baking tin with butter, especially the sides need greasing. Pre-heat the oven on 175 degrees. You need ¾ of the dough for the cake filling & ¼ for the top. Roll the dough until you have a slap of dough with thickness of 3-5 mm, you want to have dough the size of your baking tin and just a little more, because you need to cover the sides too, lay the dough over the baking tin & start pressing it in the greased tin, making sure the sides are done too, keep any excess dough for the top.
Put the filling you prepared earlier into the baking tin onto the dough, sprinkle the bottom with a bit of custard powder so the bottom doesn’t get too wet plus it gives the cake a nice sweet taste, now this part is like the signature of the Dutch Apple Cake the top, it’s like a roster, you need to divide your last bit of dough left in small rows/lines, so roll the dough out like you did before and then cut the thin long rows/ lines, you then put the rows/lines over the filling in the shape of a roster, make sure you can still see the filling but it’s like looking through small little windows. Put into the oven and bake for an hour on 175 degrees. Serve with sauce & sprinkle with icing sugar (just a little)
I like to make some whipped cream and fresh berry sauce to put on top, just really makes a difference when you serve the cake with a sauce. The piece here i made for my dad, who never had vegan apple cake before and he is pretty picky, being an excellent cook & baker himself, but he told me it was the best apple cake he ever had and crazy enough, i think he really meant it!