Being the national sweet pastry of the Netherlands, this Dutch apple pie was requested by my Dutch husband as his birthday cake recently, which conveniently falls during apple season.

Dutch apple pie has a thick cake-like pastry as a base and as a lattice over densely packed spiced apples and raisins which are thinly sliced and stacked at least 5cm high. This produces a higher-than-normal apple pie with more filling than a typical American apple pie.

Making the pastry gluten-free is surprisingly easy. The dough is very manageable and presses together well when assembling in the baking tin. I highly recommend using a springform round baking tin for this pie. Once the collar is removed, this will make it easier to serve the pie intact.

Slicing the apples ½ cm thick is key to cooking the apple to the perfect texture. It is neither mushy nor undercooked. Just perfect!

Gluten-Free Dutch Apple Pie

Ingredients:

For the pie pastry:

  • 360g store-bought or homemade gluten-free plain flour
  • 1 ¼ tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum ((leave out if your store-bought flour already has xanthan gum)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 180g butter, at room temperature, cubed
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon lemon peel, grated
  • 3 tablespoons ice-cold water

For the apple filling:

  • 6 Granny Smith, Johnathon or Braeburn apples, peeled & cored (approx. 7 medium apples)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon powder
  • 4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 80g raisins
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon ground aniseed

For the glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon white rum or water

Equipment needed:

  • 23cm diameter round springform baking tin
  • Food processor (optional)
  • Preparation time: 1 hour
  • Baking time: 40 minutes
  1. In a food processor, mix the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt together.

2. Add the butter and sugar. Process until the mixture appears like coarse breadcrumbs.

3. Add the egg and lemon peel. Mix well and slowly add the ice-cold water until the dough comes together.

4. Place the dough on a sheet of baking paper and shape the dough into a log. Cut a third of the dough away and put it to one side. This will be used for the lattice covering of the pie.

5. With the larger piece of dough, flatten the dough into a disc using your hands. Cover with another sheet of baking paper or plastic wrap and begin to roll out the dough to 1 cm in thickness and into a circle large enough to fit the baking tin. This may seem thin, but the dough expands while baking.

6. Lift the baking sheet and flip over the dough onto the baking tin. Some of the pastry may crack or tear, but this can easily be repaired by pressing and moulding the pastry in the tin.

7. Tidy up the edges of the pastry, making sure it runs evenly around the tin with at least 1 cm thickness and reaches 5 cm in height.

8.​ Place the baking tin in the fridge while the apple filling is prepared.

9. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.

10. In a large bowl, mix the lemon juice, cinnamon powder, sugar and salt together.

11. Slice the peeled and cored apples thinly. Slicing them thinly is important. Aim for ½ cm slices.

12. Add the apple slices to the lemon juice mixture. Gently mix the apples with the mixture taking care not to break or crush the slices.

13. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and ground aniseed on the bottom of the pastry-lined baking tin. This protects the pastry from becoming soggy from the moist apple mixture and adds more flavour to the apples.

14. Arrange the apple slices in an overlapping pattern in the baking tin, sprinkling the lemon juice mixture and raisins between each apple layer. Keep stacking the apple slices and lemon mixture until you reach the top of the baking tin. This method of filling the pie is important to avoid any air bubbles from forming between the apple pieces, plus making maximum use of the number of apples used in this apple pie.

15. With the remaining dough, roll it out to 1 cm thick and cut out several strips to arrange over the top of the pie in a lattice pattern.

16. Bake for 40 minutes on the middle shelf.

17. In the smallest pan available, heat the apricot jam and rum together and allow it to reduce slightly to a thick glaze.

18. Brush the pie pastry top with the warm glaze.

19. Allow the pie to cool down before removing the springform tin collar.

20. The pie slices better when it has cooled down. If you wish to eat the pie warm, each slice can be reheated in the microwave or a moderate oven. Otherwise, serving the pie at room temperature is equally delicious.

Serve with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

  • Makes 8 generous servings
  • Keeps for 4 days chilled
  • Freezes well as slices in airtight containers

The apples can be sliced and marinated in the lemon juice mixture ahead of time and stored in the fridge overnight before assembling the pie.