Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Dutch applecake or APPELTAART # 1.

Dear diary: do you remember when you wrote things like that? When I was about 6 I wrote in my journal every day and always started in time- honoured tradition: Dear Diary:....

I feel a bit like that now so here it goes: Dear Diary : yesterday started inauspiciously but worked out a really GOOOOOD day for the family.

At about 9 am I opened my washing machine to find my blues wash( lots of jeans) more dirty than when it went in!!!

This is despite it being a BOSCH and a lovely machine but being 5 years old or more it has these hissy fits every 8-10 washes or so only this time it was only 5 washes ago...
Yes I've cleaned the filter and no I didn't put it on ''reduced time'' but it seems to be able to ''find'' all sorts of dirt and griity stones to deposit ONTO my wash! Luckily halving the load and re-washing always ( fingers crossed!!!) sorts the problem.

So that was the ''bad ''bit over and no I didn't get the rewashed jeans into the sunshine because by then it was raining AGAIN.

We went to KUMON by car as we were running late ( girls had lovely lie-ins) and while they did their maths I managed 3 personal bests on the braintraining so I was well chuffed as I believe the expression is?!! I mean triangle maths in 18 seconds can't be bad for the old brain now can it? Still can't quite beat Izzles on the X20 though but I do on the X100: no stamina these young ones...

Sun being out we all cycled back into town for purchasing yummy fruit and veg on the market and back again to have a late lunch.

Then the dogs being desperate we walked them at the Long Crendon playground and chose books at the library for our imminent holiday in the Yorkshire Dales.
Izzles' lunch before going off to cylce with friends as baking was way too boring for a primary school graduate...
Then a photo of Lucy but she turned too fast and Pippa was pleading for attentiontoo- isn't she lovely?
So here is our Lucy at 5 months old exactly!!!! HIP HIP HOORAY!!!!!
And onto the BAKING!!! Today we are trying to make a dish that was a favourite as I grew up in Holland: my mother always made it from a ''kit'' a premixed packet and I must confess so did I : when I could get it from the Netherlands....
It was Koopmans or Dr Oetker I think and is called ( in Dutch) APPELTAART.
Now this is NOT a tart of any kind as there is no pastry it is Dutch for cake: but it's filled with apple pieces.
I googled the word and found a fabulous site in the NL region of the web run by a lovely 23 year old Dutch lady who has been collecting all sorts of recipes for this all together: there are dozens of variations - and I mean DOZENS OR MORE!!!- and I though we'd simply try the first one - the most popular- and then work our way down until we found the one most like my childhood favourite....

Please note I'll translate the recipe at the end?!!!

Here's my assistant chef with hair tied back- her insistence I was sooo impressed!- apron on, hands washed and ready to goooooo. She will be making the dough.

It uses LOTS of creamy unsalted butter and it needs to start off cold so you can chop it small as above. Then we had the flour and sugar and cinnamon and vanilla ready to rub in the butter.... OOOOOOH It smelled so good: delicious!!!
Rub until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs: didn't she do well?!!! And it wasn't easy it was so very sticky and buttery!
Mum was in charge of the apples: peeling and chopping and adding some sugar and lemon juice and yet more cinnamon.
Adding 3/4 of a beaten egg to the ''breadcrumbs'' turned it into dough: TA DAH!!!
This then went into the fridge for an hour or so while we had a break: chocolate frozen yoghurt icecream and part of a kid's movie.
Then we rolled it all out and adding some flour cut a circle for the base, strips of 6cm by 23 cm for the sides and then lots more 2cm strips for the top.
We had added- almost forgot but not quite!- the raisins to the apple mixture and after adding the apples into the cake tin we laid the thinner strips in a lattice pattern over the top, brush with left over beaten egg and pop into pre-heated oven ( 175 degrees Centigrade) for 78 minutes....
TAH DAAAAH!!! Except I took this out after 58 minutes as the fan hadn't switched off when I thought it would and it looked so ready....
The recipe says and I quote: Leave the taart in the fridge for 2 days for best flavour and it can be kept up to one week from baking day..... 2 DAYS????!!!Does anyone EVER wait THAT long???? Mine cam out of the oven after 7 pm and by 10 pm well.......

And we all had some scrummy yummy applecake...!!!!I don't think it will last even one day let alone 2 days.....
It's great but not quite the same so the quest continues...... Could be it needs more dough round the sides and less long to cook? Or try some more of those recipes!!!!

Here is the RECIPE

For the Dough:
300g Self-raising flour
200g cold butter
160g castor sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
dash of salt
1 egg: mixed with a fork
The Apple Filling:
1kg of chopped apples- I suggest Bramleys or Granny Smiths
15 ml or more of lemon juice
cinnamon to personal taste( we like loads!)
15 g castor sugar or to taste.
60g raisins( but I may have used about 50% MORE..)
For the apples I used 5 medium Bramleys and 3 Braeburns.
1. Cut up the butter and mix into the flour and sugar mixture with the vanilla and the cinnamon.Rub until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Add the egg slowly and form a dough. Do not use all of the egg and add a bit more four if too sticky or not forming a dough. Put dough in fridge in clingfilm for at least 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile: preheat oven to 175 Centigrade and peel and chop the apples.
Mix the lemon juice and cinnamon to coat the apples and add sugar to taste and the raisins.
4. Roll out the dough and fit it to the base of a 9'' or 23 cm greased springform. Then fit strips around the sides too: about 6cm high. After lining the base I had 430 g dough left and used 230 g for the sides leaving 200g for the strips of the lattice.
I think I could have used more for the sides and less for the lattice.
5. When you have a base and sides: fill with the apple mixture and cover the top with the lattice strips.
6. Brush the lattice with the leftover beaten egg.
7. Bake in the centre of the oven for up to 78 minutes but check at 40 and 50 minutes as mine seemed a little overcooked...and I did 58 minutes in a partially fanned oven...
The latter is ''enjoy this tasty food'' in Dutch.

AND thank you- DANK JE WEL to Saskia in Holland who is the 23 year old fabuolus lady who put this recipe on the internet!!!
At least 40 variations to date....

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