Sunday, October 2, 2022

The Story of Appletart


Travelling to new destinations is not only about seeing new places and meeting new people but also about the new flavours that need to be tried out. More than four decades back I was breezing through the massive Schiphol airport in Amsterdam when my attention was diverted by a strong aroma of baking and cinnamon fragrance. I turned around and spotted a delicious-looking golden tart with a small caption ‘ Appeltaart’ in a glass casing and a huge uncut tart atop the case. It was like a showstopper on the ramp in a fashion show that leaves you transfixed. I bought one and dug into it. It left me absolutely enamoured with the awesome taste and crispy pastry that slowly melted in my mouth. Since then, with every visit to the Netherlands my fascination for this has grown to an extent that of late I have started experimenting with baking it on my own.

The apple cakes, pies and tarts are devoured in almost all parts of the world thanks to the multitude of varieties of apples grown in different regions of the world especially all over Europe and the USA. There are several fascinating stories about apple pies and tarts that bind people worldwide. In America, the onset of World War II stamped the Apple Pie as a patriotic symbol of defending the motherland as a patriotic pastry. The soldiers often said that they were ‘defending the motherland and apple pie’. Although the apple pie was being eaten by Europeans long before the colonization of America by Europeans in the 16th and 17th centuries, Americans believed that the Apple Pie was the secret to their strength as a nation and the foundation of their industrial supremacy.

According to another belief, the Apple Pie originated in England. It arose from the culinary influence of the Dutch, and French and long before Ottoman Empire way back in 1390, centuries before the Pilgrims from Leiden in the Netherlands set their foot on American soil.

In the Netherlands ‘Appeltaart’ is more like a cake and is eaten on every occasion. It is the single most loved dessert in the country and is essential for every birthday party. Celebration or a feast. The Dutch tart has little resemblance to the American Pie.

 The Appeltaart in the Netherlands is made of a pastry prepared with strong flour or spelt, castor sugar, egg, baking soda and butter. The filling of the delicious Golden Reinette apples, fresh cinnamon inside the pastry and finally a layer of crisscrossed pastry lining with a coating of egg yoke gives the golden texture and the heavenly aroma post baking at low heat for around 40 minutes. Raisins have been historically used in making the filling and are still loved by all to add sweetness to the tangy flavour. In some places a dash pf rose petals or rose water are sprinkled before baking and once the tart is ready, a topping of whipped cream is the final layer of icing on this adorable cake.

PS The picture of Apple tart prepared at home


  1. Thanks for sharing, didn't know it has such interesting history

  2. Thanks Pooja for readingI I am happy you liked the post:}