fills one 9” springform pan
inspired by Café Bozz and Winkel Café, Amsterdam
adapted from Marie Asselinand and the barkeep from Café Bozz
For the pie pastry-
12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1⅓ cups packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, room temperature
4¾ cups King Arthur self-rising flour (or you can substitute 4¾ cups all-purpose flour + 1 teaspoon baking powder)
egg wash made from one egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of heavy cream or milk
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and salt until creamy, scraping down the sides and the bottom of the bowl to make sure the mixture is well combined.
With the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Add the flour in thirds (about 1¼ cups at a time) scraping down the bowl well after each addition. (The pastry is quite soft and feels a little bit like cookie dough.) Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto a sheet of lightly floured parchment paper. Take about one third of the dough, pat it into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. This will be the top crust. Take the remainder of the dough, pat it into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. This will be the bottom crust. Let the pastry rest while you prepare the filling. It’s fine sitting on the counter (unless your kitchen is excessively hot.)
For the Speculaaskruiden (Dutch Spice Blend)
(You will only need to use 3 teaspoons of this spice blend in the pie)
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp.ground mace
¼ tsp. ground ginger
⅛ tsp. ground cardamom
⅛ tsp. ground coriander seeds
⅛ tsp. white pepper or ground pink peppercorns
⅛ tsp. ground nutmeg
⅛ tsp. ground anise seeds
Measure all of the spices into a small bowl and whisk together to combine. Measure out 3 teaspoons of the spice mix for your pie. Save the remainder in a small glass jar or airtight container. (Combined with sugar it’s great sprinkled over gingersnaps, gingerbread, sugar cookies, or French toast.)
For the filling-
4 pounds apples (use a combination of sweet and tart; preferably apples that will hold their shape – Northern Spy, Braeburn, Pink Lady, Macoun)
zest from 1 lemon
zest from 1 small orange
2 teaspoons lemon juice
⅓ cup dark brown sugar
3 teaspoons Speculaaskruiden
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons rum or applejack or calvados
generous ½ cup golden raisins
generous ½ cup walnut halves, coarsely chopped
Rinse, peel, halve, and core the apples. Depending upon your preference, you can thinly slice the apples (about ⅛” thick) or cut them into sizable chunks, about ½” thick. (At Café Bozz in Amsterdam, the apples are thinly sliced, at Winkel they are cut into chunks.) Place the apple slices/chunks into a large mixing bowl. Toss with the lemon juice and zests. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, 3 teaspoons of the spice blend, and the cornstarch. In a small bowl, combine the rum or applejack or calvados with the raisins. (The barkeep at Café Bozz insisted that rum was key to the recipe, but any of the spirits will be a fine addition, or even a good quality apple cider.) Leave everything for a few minutes while you preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and roll out the pie pastry.
Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the springform pan. Butter the sides and bottom of the pan, place the parchment circle in the bottom of the pan, then butter the parchment and dust the pan with flour. Tap out the excess. Roll out the larger portion of pie pastry on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, into a circle approximately 12” in diameter. Carefully dust the circle of dough with a little flour, fold the dough in half and half again, gently transfer the dough to the springform pan and unfold it, gently pressing the dough along the bottom and smoothing it up the sides of the pan. Create a sturdy rim around the top edge of the pan by tucking about 1” of the overhanging dough under itself then crimp it decoratively. Refrigerate the springform pan with the bottom crust. Roll out the remaining dough on the sheet of parchment paper into a circle about 11” in diameter; this will be your top crust. Slide the parchment with the top crust onto a baking sheet and refrigerate while you complete the filling.
Add the brown sugar/spice/cornstarch mixture to the apples, then the tipsy raisins and the walnuts. Use a rubber spatula to thoroughly combine the mixture. Retrieve the bottom and top crusts from the refrigerator. Place the springform pan on a parchment lined baking sheet. Turn the filling into the springform pan and place the top crust over the fruit. Seal the top crust to the bottom, trimming away any excess dough. (You want a fluted edge but you don’t want to have too much excess dough making it tricky to remove the outer ring of the pan.) Brush the top crust with some of the egg wash and sprinkle with the sanding sugar. Cover the edges of the pie with strips of aluminum foil. Place the baking sheet on the bottom rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 50 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and carefully remove the aluminum foil strips from the edge of the pie. Move the pie from the bottom rack to the middle rack and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the apples feel tender when tested with a small paring knife. (This is a weighty pie and it’s important for the bottom crust to bake thoroughly and the apples to be tender, not crunchy.) Remove the pie from the oven and set on a rack to cool. The pie must cool completely, and then some, in order to turn it out from the springform. It is best to bake this early in the day or the evening before you plan to serve it. The slices will be much neater if the pie has a chance to totally set. Use a serrated knife to slice and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and plenty of dark, strong coffee. Wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to two days; after that you should refrigerate any lingering slices.
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