It is thought that the Dutch name Speculaas comes from the latin 'speculum' that means mirror.
Traditionally speculaas biscuits are the mirror image of the carved wooden moulds they are baked in.
Windmill shaped speculaas biscuits are known throughout the whole world, as are male or female speculaas figurines.
These days speculaas biscuits can take any shape or form. But you can do so much more with speculaas spice than just making biscuits.
Find out more about the delicious dishes you can make using vandotsch speculaas spice mix.
The "Hollandse appeltaart" aka Dutch apple pie is regarded as our national cake. So here is my version - the vandotsch speculaas apple pie.
What is a Dutch apple pie?
The basis of a ‘traditional’ Dutch apple pie is a crust on the bottom and around the edges. This crust is then filled with pieces or slices of apple, usually a crisp and mildly tart variety.
How to make the vandotsch speculaas apple pie
What follows are the ingredients I used to make the vandotsch speculaas apple pie.
It makes approximately 10 slices
- 800g of medium sweet apples – I used the ones from my garden
_ ½ unwaxed lemon
_ 125g butter
- 125g white caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons of tap water
- 250g self-raising flour
- 85g sultanas, currants, raisins and mixed peel – ‘mixed fruit’
- 1 egg
- 10g (2 tea spoons) of vandotsch speculaas spice mix
- 1 tablespoon of fresh custard, bought ready-made from any supermarket
- 10 tablespoons of apricot jam
You need a springform pan - diameter 24 cm
- wash the lemon, dry and grate 1 teaspoon of zest. Squeeze the lemon for 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Put the lemon juice aside for later
- cut the butter into cubes and mix the butter with the white caster sugar, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon of vandotsch speculaas spice and salt until a smooth mass is formed. Then mix the flour with the butter/sugar mixture
- add a tablespoon of the water and knead it into the dough. Once the water has been fully absorbed add the second table spoon of water. Keep kneading until all the ingredients and the water are completely mixed in
- form the dough into a round ball, cover and let it rest for at least 1 hour in a cool place
- make a pot of tea (I use a ginger infused teabag), pour out in a large bowl and add the mixed fruit. Leave to soak for about ten minutes. Drain and dry the mixed fruit with paper towels and set aside
- peel, core and cut the apples into slices and pieces. Mix with the mixed fruit, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of vandotsch speculaas spice, 1 tablespoon of custard and 4 tablespoons apricot jam.
- preheat the oven to 180°C.
- take the dough and make sure it is at room temperature and knead it breafly. Use approx. 4/5th of the dough, and put the remainder aside. Roll the dough into a round shape that is slightly larger than the cake tin to 5mm thickness
- grease your springform pan with butter and dust with a little flour
- line it with the dough and press the dough up to 2 to 3 cm from the edges of the springform pan
Tip: The basis for a good apple pie - create a layer between the dough and the apple mixture, and this is what I did . . . .
- break up the speculaas biscuits, making sure that approximately half are small pieces and cover the bottom. Sprinkle a little bit of custard on top of the crushed biscuits
- spoon the apple mixture on top of the crushed biscuits. Press it down.
- with the leftover dough make long thin strings and put them on top of the apple mixture into a kind of plait pattern. Brush the dough strings with the egg yolk and sprinkle with a little sugar.
- bake for 50 minutes at 180°C. Increase the temperature to 200°C and bake for another 10 minutes, until top is well browned. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool.
Tip: Check your speculaas apple cake regularly so that the top is not black.
Once your cake has cooled down, heat the rest of the apricot jam and mix with the remaining lemon juice in a saucepan and brush the cake with it. Cover the cake. Make sure to allow your vandotsch speculaas apple cake to cool before cutting. Store in the fridge.
Bon appetit - eet smakelijk!
How to make vandotsch speculaas apple pie
Cinnamon, lemon juice, raisins and sugar are generally mixed in with the apple filling. Atop the filling, strands of dough not only decorate the pie but also hold the filling in place, keeping it visible. Alternatively, the pie can be covered with icing sugar.