Video: How to make Dutch apple cake

Hannah van Turnhout shows how to make her Dutch grandmother's appletart (apple cake).

Hannah Van Turnhout.
Hannah Van Turnhout.
This apple tart or cake is a favourite in Hannah Van Turnhout's family.

Her grandparents came to New Zealand from Holland about 50 years ago and she always enjoyed it on Sundays at her Oma's house.

It's her Oma's version of a traditional Dutch apple tart, she said.

Her grandmother used to beat the batter with a wooden spoon but Hannah, a culinary arts student at Otago Polytechnic, uses a stand beater.



Oma's one and only appeltart


5-6 medium apples (Hannah uses Braeburn or Granny Smith)
zest and juice of a lemon
1 Tbsp cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground ginger
150g butter, cubed and slightly softened
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1¾ cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp milk

For glaze

2 Tbsp apricot jam
1 Tbsp boiling water



Preheat oven to 160degC fanbake or 180degC. Line a 20cm spring form tin with baking paper, grease the sides with butter or margarine and dust with flour, tipping out the excess. Peel the apples, cut them in quarters, cut out the core and slice each quarter into three or four. Put the slices in a bowl of water to prevent them going brown.

When all are prepared, drain the water and add the spices, lemon zest and juice. Toss well so all the apple pieces are covered in spice. Set aside while you make the cake batter.

Put the softened butter, the sugar and the vanilla in a bowl and beat until pale and creamy. Scrape the bowl down then add the eggs, one at a time, beating in between each. Sift the flour and stir in until just mixed. Then add the milk and stir in until you have a firm but spreadable batter.

Smear a thin layer of the batter over the bottom of the cake tin. Place slices of apple neatly, close together round the tin and across the middle. This will be the top of the cake when finished so arrange them attractively.

Put about half the batter over the apples, smoothing it out carefully so as not to disturb the neatly arranged apple slices below. Oma uses a slice of apple to spread out the dough.

Cover with another neat layer of apple slices. Pour any spicy lemony juices from the bottom of the apple bowl over the apples, then top with the rest of the cake batter. Smooth it out.

Finish with another layer of apples. This will be on the bottom of the cake so you don't have to be too precise about the placement.

Put the cake in the preheated oven and bake for about an hour, possibly a little longer, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Allow to cool for a few minutes then turn out on to a serving plate. The bottom of the cake in the tin will be the top of the finished cake with the apples just below a thin film of cake batter.

To glaze the cake, add a tablespoon of boiling water to two tablespoons of apricot jam. Stir to dissolve and brush over the top of the cake making sure it gets in the groves between the apple slices.

Serve slices of cake with a dollop of cream, as Oma does, or with ice cream, or simply dusted with icing sugar. It was also good with berries, Hannah said.



• If you are using Granny Smith apples you may want to add a little sugar along with the spices, but the cake is quite sweet already.

• Oma used to put the cubed butter in the sun to soften. Hannah puts it in the microwave for a few seconds.

• Oma used to beat the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon but it's easier with an electric mixer.

• This cake tastes better the day after it is made when the flavours have melded.

•  Thanks to Afife Harris and Centre City New World.

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