Learn how to make a deep-dish Dutch apple pie, a spectacular dessert with a crunchy crust, tons of apples, and a generous sprinkle of spices.
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A craving for this impressive, deep-dish apple pie has been returning to me every fall ever since I first visited Amsterdam back in 2010.
In Amsterdam, the apple pie—or appeltaart, as it is called in Dutch—is queen. It’s sold in every bakery and featured on every café menu–where it is sometimes the only sweet option on offer. Everyone makes their apple pie slightly differently, but one thing’s for sure: it never looks like a classic North American apple pie. The North American apple pie is thin and the apples are generally enclosed between two sheets of pastry, one at the bottom and the other one at the top, and the top can be cut out or latticed.
The Dutch apple pie looks almost like a cake. It is baked in a springform pan and the pastry is sweet with a sablé-like texture. The crust, instead of being rolled, is pressed into the bottom and the sides of the pan. Firm apples are used (or a mix of firm and a couple of softer apples) so that the pie keeps its shape and the apple pieces are still clearly visible when the pie is sliced. The filling is flavored with raisins, spices, lemon juice, and sometimes nuts and liqueur. Some Dutch apple pies have an “open top,” which allows you to admire the sheer amount of apples you’re about to devour in pie form. Other versions sport a crumble-like topping. A slice of Dutch apple pie is usually served room temperature or cold, and it is often garnished with whipped cream.
A piece of appletaart at the ‘t Smalle Café, Amsterdam:
One Amsterdam café has the reputation of being the Dutch apple pie institution: Winkel Café, located in the trendy Jordaan neighborhood of the city. Winkel Café is featured in every guidebook and I have to say, their pie does live up to its reputation. It’s the best I’ve had in Amsterdam–so much so that I went back more than once and even had it for breakfast! The dream of making Dutch apple pie hatched in my mind from the very first appeltaart bite I had in Amsterdam.
The famous Winkel apple pie, in Amsterdam:
I believe what makes Winkel’s version of the Dutch apple pie so addictive is the crust: it’s sweet, crumbly, and crunchy. The top of their pie is especially satisfying because it’s thinner and less pressed so that it eats more like a crumble than a classic pie.
I searched around for a long time to find a recipe that was similar to the Dutch apple pie I enjoyed at Winkel, but it turns out their recipe is a well-kept secret! I found hundreds of people asking for the recipe online, yet no replies. I tested many different recipes and tweaked ratios to eventually come up with a dessert that’s very close to the famous Winkel apple pie. This Dutch apple pie is spectacular: the crust is crunchy and sweet and the apples taste pure and bright. It’s a great dessert to serve to company–I think it would even make a great birthday cake for someone who was born in the fall. Of course, it’s also great for breakfast or just as a snack.
If you can’t make it to Winkel, make Dutch apple pie at home: I’m sure you’ll quickly become a fan, too!
GET A PRINTABLE VERSION OF THE RECIPE: I’ll first break down the recipe into detailed steps with helpful pictures, but you can also skip it and jump to a printable version of the recipe at the bottom of the post, if that’s what you’re looking for.
Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 80 minutes
For the crust
1 1/2 cups (340 g) butter, cubed, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups (295 g) brown sugar, packed
Pinch of kosher salt, or fine sea salt
2 eggs, beaten
5 cups (625 g) all-purpose flour
For the Dutch spice mix (speculaaskruiden)
4 tsp (20 ml) ground cinnamon
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cloves
1 tsp (5 ml) grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground ginger
1/4 tsp (1 ml) ground white pepper
1/4 tsp (1 ml) ground cardamom
1/4 tsp (1 ml) ground coriander
1/4 tsp (1 ml) ground aniseeds
For the filling
7 firm apples (such as Braeburn, Gala, or Cortland)
3 soft apples (such as Golden Delicious or Pink Lady)
1 tbsp (15 ml) finely grated orange zest (about 1/2 orange)
1 tsp (5 ml) finely grated lemon zest (about 1/2 lemon)
2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1/3 cup (75 g) packed brown sugar, plus 2 tbsp (30 ml) for baking
2 tsp (10 ml) speculaaskruiden spice mix (see instructions below, or use a combination of ground cinnamon and ginger)
1 tbsp (15 ml) cornstarch
2 tbsp (30 ml) Cognac, Brandy or Calvados (optional)
1/2 cup (65 g) sultana or golden raisins
1/2 cup (57 g) chopped walnuts (optional)
For the crust: In the bowl of a food processor, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Set aside 1 tbsp (15 ml) of the beaten eggs to brush over the pie, then add the remaining eggs to the food processor. Sprinkle with the salt and process until the eggs are well incorporated, about 5 seconds. Scrape down the bowl. Add a third of the flour, then process until well incorporated, about 10 seconds. Scrape down the bowl, then add another third of the flour, and process for another 10 seconds. Scrape down the bowl. At this point, the mixture will start gathering together.
Add the remaining flour and process until the dough fully comes together, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed. When ready, the dough looks uniform in color and it is soft and holds together when pressed. The texture should be very similar to Play-Doh.
Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and rest at room temperature while you prepare the filling.
For the Dutch spice mix: Mix all the spices together and store in an airtight spice bottle or glass jar.
For the filling: Peel and core the apples, then cut them into bite-size pieces. In a large bowl, mix the apples with the orange and lemon zest, lemon juice, brown sugar, spices, cornstarch, and the liqueur, raisins, and walnuts, if using. Set aside.
To assemble the pie: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9 in (23 cm) springform pan, then cover the bottom with a cut-out round of parchment paper.
Set aside 1/4 of the crust mixture to create the topping. Add about half of the remaining crust mixture to the springform pan and press down to cover the entire bottom of the pan in an even layer.
Pick up chunks of the remaining crust and roughly press it against the sides of the springform pan until you’ve fully covered it. Now press it more carefully to create a smooth edge, making sure the sides seamlessly connects with the bottom crust.
Transfer the apple filling to the crust and gently press it down flatten it. Spread the remaining of the crust mixture all over the apples. You’ll need to first dot the crust mixture in chunks over the apple surface, then spread and smooth it down using your fingers or a spatula.
Brush the reserved eggs over the top of the pie, then sprinkle with 2 tbsp (30 ml) brown sugar and extra chopped walnuts, if desired.
Set the springform pan over a baking sheet (some juices may leak out during baking), then bake for 75 to 85 minutes. Check on the pie after 45 minutes: if it’s golden brown, loosely cover it with aluminum foil to prevent it from getting too dark. To check whether the Dutch apple pie is done, use a bamboo skewer or a small, very sharp knife to poke through the pie. If the pie is done, you’ll easily pierce through the apples. If you feel they’re still a bit crunchy, continue baking until they’re soft.
Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and let it cool thoroughly before carefully unmolding. This will take at least 3 hours. Unmold, and use a very sharp knife to cut out pieces.
Tell me how you liked it! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag it with @foodnouveau on Instagram.
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Author: Marie Asselin
We went to Amsterdam in 9/22 and had Winkel43’s apple and loved it so much I searched online and found this on your site! Thanks so much for providing this replica recipe. My bf doesn’t like sweet desserts but loved this one and agreed it was very very close to the original! I gave a slice to a gf who went there a couple weeks after us and had the pie as well. I just ate the last piece for breakfast today. Yum!
Mine fell apart when cutting even after waiting til the next day, so I think you need to smush down the apples into the pan when adding the top crust. Other than that, excellent recipe!
Hey Susan, thanks so much for taking the time to write! Happy you enjoyed the pie. Depending of the apples you use, slices can crumble because the pie is so high! My tip is to mix in a couple of apples of a variety that turns very soft upon baking. These help sticking the diced apples together and hold the slices right up. Let me know if you give this a try!
This recipe was wonderful! I used cortland apples (best baking apple) and the dessert was very well received. Next time I bake it I will add more cornstarch (2tbsp) instead of 1 as the filling was a little runny.
Happy you enjoyed this spectacular pie, Toni! It’s a great idea to adjust the amount of cornstarch depending on the variety of apples you’re using. Some varieties release more juice than other upon baking!
I haven’t tried your recipe yet, but I have also been looking for the Winkel43 Dutch Apple pie recipe!
Since you’re trying to recreate it as close as possible, I’d thought I’d clear up a few things that you do that the original creators don’t, so you can get even closer to their recipe!
A brief mention of the recipe is in the Amsterdam Cookbook by Laura De Grave. However, due to poor writing on Laura’s part. It can easily be interpreted as being the actual Winkel43 recipe, despite the owners of Winkel43 saying that it isn’t. However, they do offer insight into the actual recipe.
1. They only use one type of apple in their pies. Jonagold apples (except during end of August and September where they use Goudrenet, because Jonagold apples are too mealy during those times). They say because they are too mealy during those times, it makes the pie too moist, so that’s why the switch. Apparently, the only other ingredients that they add inside the pie is a pinch of cinnamon and a handful of raisins.
2. After peeling and coring it, each apple is then halved and then sliced into eight pieces, giving you a total of 16 pieces per apple. Image example – https://postimg.cc/PP613nkG
3. The top is layered very differently to yours. To quote, “The Winkel 43 apple pie is closed over on top, unlike in recipes that prefer a diamond pattern finish. ‘I think the more pasty the better,’ Klok says by way of explanation. He first places three strips of pastry about ½ centimetre apart on top of the pie before adding three more at ‘ten o’clock’. He then removes the excess pastry from the edge using the ball of his hand before brushing the top with beaten egg.” – Note: They don’t always do this and add thinner strips shown here instead – https://postimg.cc/NK5mZCgK
4. The base, quote, “Klok lines both the base and the sides of the baking tin with pastry, as is the norm for a Dutch appeltaart. ‘A fork is an essential tool,’ he explains. Pricking a few holes in the base prevents it from rising during baking. And he has another tip: ‘If you add some breadcrumbs to the tin, they will soak up the extra juices from the apples and stop the base from retaining too much moisture,’ he says before proceeding to fill the baking tin right up to the brim with apple.”
5. If you were to buy from them and heat the pie up later, they told me, “100 to 150 degrees celsius for 20-40 minutes depending on the oven, but once again this will not make the pie better than at the bar.”
6. However, in Laura’s book, she mentions that “after an hour in the oven the pie is ready for cutting.”
For the most part, I believe that they haven’t said anything false. The only things that they haven’t shared is the exact oven baking process or type of oven they use or how they prepare their pie dough. Chances are that the process is actually pretty simple and the dough ingredients and ratio too. They kept the fancy to a minimum and just focused on the core aspects of the pie and got them all perfect. If so, then we are simply following the same example as set by Po’s father (Mr Ping) in Kung Fu Panda. The secret ingredient being nothing, but good simple process and quality ingredients. A.k.a. A strong foundation.
Other images I pulled from their social media, showing their Dutch apple pie making process.
This is such an incredibly thorough comment Chris, thank you so much for taking the time to relay these super useful tips! I’m never gonna tire of experimenting with delicious Dutch apple pie.
We love these kind of pies that look like a cake. Guaranteed it is moist and delicious. Loads of pure goodness!
I wish my birthday was in the fall so someone would have to make it for me, lol!! Guess I will be making it for myself…
Haha I’ve been making my own birthday cake for a few years now and I find it extremely satisfying. Maybe you should do the same 😉
This is one stunning apple cake. I love deep dish apple pie…it’s so uncommon but one of my favorite classic recipes.
I love that it feeds a crowd too! It’s the perfect dessert for a fall dinner party, birthday dinner, or the holidays!
I have never seen a more beautiful pie! The one thing that intimidates me the most about making pies is the crust. But I love how easy and straightforward it is to make this pie crust. I agree with you; this would make the perfect breakfast.
Yes, this crust comes together so easily! It’s definitely one of the best things about this spectacular pie 😍
I’ve had Dutch apple pie in the Netherlands and loved it. Never thought of making it myself, don’t know why. So happy I came across your recipe. Definitely on my to-make list
I am drooling over this! I am so ready for apple season, and this is the perfect way to kick it off! Thanks for the recipe :)
Yes, this is such a spectacular, delicious dessert to celebrate apple season! And any and all fall birthdays and anniversaries, too 🤗
I love apple pie especially during the Fall so I’m adding this to my list. Love the deep-dish method as well, I know this will be a hit!
This is such a crowd-pleasing dessert! And one pie indeed feeds a crowd, so that’s perfect 😉