Dutch apple cake inspired by Flemish paintings
For the crust
  • 125 g unsalted butter, cubed, room temperature
  • 150 g brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 500 g flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
For the filling
  • 3 firm apples (Pippin, Gala, Golden Delicious or Pink Lady quality)
  • 1 cup of seedless red grapes
  • Finely grated zest of ½ orange and ½ lemon
  • ½ lemon juice
  • 50 gr brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ⅚ tbsp bread crumbs + 1 knob of butter
  • 1 shot (30 ml) Cognac, Brandy or Rum
  • 125 g sultanas
  • 125 g chopped walnuts
  • 60 g pine nuts
  1. Preheat the oven at 150°C.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, mix the butter and brown sugar together until creamed. Sprinkle with salt and add 3 eggs.
  3. Pulse until the eggs are well-incorporated. Add half of the flour, pulse until well-incorporated. Then add the baking powder and the remaining flour little by little and pulse only until the dough comes together into a ball. Wrap it into the plastic wrap, and let it rest in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
  4. Peel and core the apples, then cut them into small-size pieces. Cut in half the grapes.
  5. In a bowl, mix the apple pieces and the grapes with the orange and lemon zest, lemon juice, brown sugar, liqueur, sultanas, walnuts and pine nuts.
  6. Quickly toast the bread crumbs into a pan together with cinnamon and a knob of butter, then add it to the filling. Mix well all together and keep aside.
  7. Grease a cake pan (I use a 20 cm pan), and cover the bottom with parchment paper.
  8. Reserve ⅓ of the crust mixture for the pie’s topping. Pour the rest of the mixture into the pan and firmly press the dough against the bottom and all the way up the sides of the cake pan, til you have completely covered it up to the edges.
  9. Add the apple filling and press down with a spoon to compress it. You can add more filling in the middle, to get a kind of little hill. You should keep around 1 centimeter in height from the filling's surface to the surrounding crust edge.
  10. Using a rolling pin on a floured wooden board roll the remaining crust mixture to get a round sheet (approx. 5-6 mm thick) with the dimension of the cake. Gently lift it with your hands and put it down over the apple filling.
  11. You can use first your fingers and then a fork or a toothpick to merge the two edges of crust, into a single zig-zag unified edge all around.
  12. Bake in the oven at 150C° for 50 minutes. Start watching over the pie after 35 minutes. If it gets too dark on top, cover it loosely with a piece of aluminum foil.
  13. Let the pie cool before removing the sides of the pan. Unmold, and use a very sharp knife to cut out pieces.
Recipe by The Freaky Table at https://www.zairazarotti.com/about-looking-an-eulogy-to-slowness-and-a-dutch-apple-cake-inspired-by-flemish-paintings/