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Archive for February, 2014

The food: Dutch-style Apple Pie with Jokes Lattice

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The story:

In the run-up to the publication date of my comic food-sex-and-telepathy novel The Oakdale Dinner Club in May, (only 3 months from now!), I’ve started to make some timid forays into self-promotion, including pitching myself for literary event gigs, an ego-bruising pursuit that usually drives me to the kitchen afterwards in need of comfort food.

The Dutch-inspired apple pie I threw together this week for that purpose is loosely based on a lovely slice of Dutch apple tart I enjoyed in Amsterdam last fall, at Café Het Paleis, a restaurant/cafe recommended by Amsterdam Foodie blogger Vicky Hampton.

Café Het Paleis in Amsterdam on a sunny afternoon

Café Het Paleis in Amsterdam on a sunny afternoon

Mint tea at Café Het Paleis

Mint tea at Café Het Paleis

Best apple tart in Amsterdam?

Best apple tart in Amsterdam?

The Café Het Paleis apple tart has a cakey bottom crust (as do most Dutch apple tarts, I gather, and many have a top crust as well) but what I loved about it was the filling – thin slices of tart apple, baked until tender but not mushy, dusted with cinnamon and spices, mixed with currants, raisins and shaved almonds, and served with a generous side of whipped cream.

To make my version, I filled a premade pie crust with this mixture:

4-5 medium tart apples (some Granny Smith, some Gala), cored, peeled, and sliced thinly
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. each of ginger, allspice, and nutmeg
rind and juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup mixed currants and raisins
1-2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup shaved almonds

I then cut half of the remaining frozen pie crust into freeform (read: messy) strips of varying lengths to make a jokes lattice, see here:

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sprinkled another handful of shaved almonds over top, and bunged the pie into a 350 degree F oven for 30-40 minutes until the crust was browned but not too, and the filling was softened and steaming.

A slice eaten warm, with whipped cream alongside, was a delicious and soothing way to fuel another few hours of pitching myself and my book. But hey, I’d love to appear at your festival, library event, book club or literary brunch – I’ll even bring themed food! And now I have to go eat more pie.

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