Saturday, April 17, 2010

Recipe: Oma's Appeltart

Mum has arrived safe in Rarotonga and is sitting on a beach, eating the freshest paw-paw in creation and, I devoutly hope, drinking from a coconut.  My sister, the luckiest fourth-year medical student in creation, is doing her eight week elective rotation in the Cook Islands.  Mum's visit to me was a mere prelude to a week of sybaritic tropical R&R with her.
            Yes, I am feeling ever so delicately green.
             Feeling the need for spiritual comfort, this afternoon I will be baking my Mother-in-law's Apple Pie. The baking of this pie is a subtle, sacramental experience.  The consuming is a consummation. The mere inhalation of the vapors is communion with the breath of the divine.
            My father-in-law tells me that the world is full of wonderful apple pies and that I owe it to myself to explore them all, but when a person has found the One True Faith  - who goes comparison shopping?  Like all true believers, I will proselytize this pie right left and center (all political and religious bents catered to).  You may close your web browser right now, if you choose, but you will, I assure you, be missing out on a glimpse of eternity  a front seat for the holy rollers, speaking in the tongue of apple and sugar and cinnamon!

Dutch Apple Pie (Oma's Appeltaart)
For the dough
2 1/8 cups self-raising flour (300g)
3/4 cup butter (180g)
1/2 cup brown sugar(150g)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 pinch salt
1 Egg

For the filling
2 1/4 Lbs granny smith apples (1kg)
3/4 cup raisins (washed and dried, 100g)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (40g)
3 teaspoons cinnamon (or more to taste)
2 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice (or more to taste)
3 tablespoons semolina (to absorb the juices)
Make the Dough
1. Sieve the flour, brown sugar, vanilla and the salt into a bowl.
2. Cut the butter or margarine into small cubes and add these to the flour mixture.
3. Beat the egg and add 3/4 of it to the flour mixture (you will need the rest to glaze the finished pie).
4. Using two knives, mix the butter/margarine and the flour mixture.
5. Using one hand, knead it to form the dough until you can form it into a ball (this may take quite a while).
6. Put the ball of dough in the fridge for about an hour. In the meantime, make the filling.

Make the Filling
1. Peel and thinly slice the apples (allow the sizes to vary - it'll taste better).
2. In a large bowl, combine apple, raisins, sugar, cinnamon, the lemon juice and half of the semolina.
3. Mix well and allow the flavors to blend, stirring occasionally.
4. Butter a 9" round spring-form cake pan.
5. Line the pan (bottom and sides) with about 3/4 of the dough - as long as the pan is covered, the layer need not be very thick.
6. Cover the bottom with the remaining semolina.
7. Add the filling, but try to leave the juices out.
8. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the remaining dough until it's less than 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) thick.
9. Cut the dough into strips and layer them over the apple pie to form a lattice, covering no more than one third of the surface - you should be able to see quite a bit of the apple slices.
10. Use the remaining egg to glaze the dough strips.
11. Bake the pie at 175 C / 340 F, just below the middle of your oven, for about 75 minutes.
12. Remove the springform only *after* the pie has cooled.
13. Serve warm (reheat in oven or microwave) or cold, with whipped or ice cream, or freeze.

No comments:

Post a Comment