Why are the Dutch so Tall? Could it be Appeltaart met Slagroom?

Posted: December 19, 2010 in Uncategorized, vinegar
Tags: , , , , , ,

IMG_3421The Dutch have an advantage over those of us who are under tall – or to put it bluntly – short.  The average height for Dutch men is six foot one inch.  For women 5 foot eight.  This means they have a distinct advantage at concerts, in group photos, putting their carry on bag in the overhead luggage bin on airlines, looking for loved ones in a crowd, on professional sports teams, they are more desirable to the opposite sex, and research shows they have a definite advantage in getting jobs and, let’s face it, they are more memorable in social situations simply because of their height.  So why are the Dutch so generally tall?  I am going out on a limb here but the reason is, quite simply,  Appeltaart met Slagroom (Apple Tart with whipped cream).

A recipe for appeltaart existed in 1514 so the Dutch have had centuries to perfect this fragrant mix of apples, raisins and cinnamon wrapped in a sweet crispy cookie-like crust.  There are yearly discussions on where the best Appeltaart can be found.  The competition is stiff  and no trip to Amsterdam is complete without finding a place that serves Appeltaart.

IMG_3441

We braved unseasonably cold and snowy weather to find this delicious pride of the Netherlands. We are not deterred.  We are Canadians after all.  We know snow.  We know cold.  We settled into a steamy window seat at the lunch cafe “Winkel” and ordered steaming cups of coffee and appeltaart.   I order mine with slagroom (whipped cream).

There are variations but the rules are quite similar.  There is no thickener in the apples; the apples must be a good cooking apples that do not mush down but rather holds it shape when baked; and the crust is like cookie dough and can be either rolled or pushed into the pan; and the pan is a spring form pan.

What follows is a fairly traditional Appeltaart recipe.  For the purists, be aware I have added vanilla to the apples because I think apples and vanilla are made for each other.  I have also added rum to the raisins.

This makes a giant of an Appeltaart;  great for birthdays which is why I am making this one.  It is my husband’s birthday and he needs the height.

IMG_3508

Appeltaart (Apple Pie)

Serves ten (at least)

Ingredients

1 cup white or yellow raisins

1/4 cup rum (or bandy – your choice)IMG_3509

4 cups flour

1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 1/3 cups cubed cold butter

3/4 brown sugar

1 lemon, zested

10 cups tart apples  IMG_3510

2 teaspoons vanilla

Juice of zested lemon

1/3 cup brown sugar

6 teaspoons cinnamon

Method

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Warm raisins and rum in a small saucepan.  Turn off heat and steep for 1/2 hour.  Grease or line with parchment paper a 10 inch  spring form pan.

2.  Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Beat eggs and add to flour mixture.

3.  Cube the butter and add to flour mixture, with first 3/4 of  sugar and lemon zest.  Knead the dough either by hand or using a stand mixer.  This dough is  more like kneading clay than dough and is a bit on the dry side.  Don’t worry.  Set aside for 15 minutes or until you are ready to use or finished peeling the apples.

4.  Core and peel the apples; dice and mix with raisins, lemon juice, vanilla  and cinnamon.

IMG_3517 IMG_3515

5.  Using 3/4 of the dough roll it out and cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim excess.  Add the apple mixture and press with both hands.


IMG_3513 IMG_3526

6.  Use the remaining dough to make the lattice.  Roll the dough into ropes and slightly flatten.  Lay the flattened ropes crosswise across the filling.  Press ropes to  sides to fix.

IMG_3529

IMG_3531

7.  Bake for one hour.  Allow to cool in pan.  Carefully remove spring form.

8.  Serve with mountains of whipped cream.  Enjoy and grow tall.

IMG_3533 IMG_3532

Next week – it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

About these ads
Comments
  1. Angela says:

    ..nice apple peeler! i am super jealous….

    tip: if all out of rum use gin :-)

    • vinegartart says:

      Yes, it is deluxe. I can core, peel and slice 10 apples in a matter of minutes. I could go into the appeltaart business with this little unit. Have eaten several pieces of appeltaart but find I am still 12 inches shy of six feet. I can only assume it is accumulative. I had better get busy if I am going to eat my way to tallness.

      bks

  2. barryirvine says:

    Great post! Looks like you made yourself a deliciously authentic appeltaart there! We made one once and it was just like you find in the eetcafes – I didn’t grow any inches though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s