Tag Archive for Tart

Lemon Meringue Pie

Usually, these kinds of tarts have a lemon curd-like filling, that has to be cooked before pouring into the pastry case. This one you can just mix and pour in. Even though it is made with condensed milk, it doesn’t have that sickly sweetness that is associated with sweetened condensed milk. It makes a lovely fresh, lemony, soft filling that just holds it’s shape. I love it together with the crisp pastry and the fluffy meringue.

Once baked, the pie can be eaten warm or cold. The meringue will shrink a little after a while. Also, it might ooze some sugar syrup, which isn’t pretty, but doesn’t impair the flavour. The pie can be kept up to 2 days (refridgerated).


Lemon Meringue Pie
Adapted from “Mary Berry’s Baking Bible”

pastry for 1 crust

1 can condensed milk
3 egg yolks
finely grated rind and juice of 3 lemons

3 egg whites
175 g sugar

Preheat the oven to 220C. Roll out the dough. Line a pie-dish with it. Take a sheet of baking paper, crumble it, then smooth it out again. Use this to line the dough, then pour in pie weights or dry beans. Place in the oven, bake 12-15 minutes (the edges should be lightly golden). Remove baking paper and weights, and return the crust to the oven for another 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling by mixing the condensed milk, egg yolks, lemon rind and lemon juice. Whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gradually add the sugar, a spoon at the time, whisking well between each addition. Whisk until very stiff and all the sugar has been added.
Turn down the oven to 190C. Pour the lemon filling in the crust. Dollop the meringue on top and swirl a little, or use a piping bag to pipe it on. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the meringue is light brown. Leave to cool for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving.

Tarte aux Pommes à l’Alsacienne

A French apple pie with custard. Crisp short pastry, creamy rich custard and juicy apples. It looks very fancy, but can be made in the same time as a Dutch apple pie.

TarteAuxPommesà l'Alsacienne2

Tarte aux Pommes à l’Alsacienne (serves 8)
Adapted from “Ripailles – Stéphane Reynaud”

Pâte Brisée (enough for 2 crusts, freeze half)
250 g flour
125 g butter
1 egg
50 ml cream

Sift the flour, make a hollow and add the egg, the cream and the softened butter.
Knead the mixture together, pushing down hard with the palm of your hand to completely incorporate the flour. Add a little water if necessary.
Form into 2 disks and wrap with cling film. Place the first one in the fridge for 30 minutes. Wrap the second one with a second layer of cling film and place in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. Move from the freezer to the fridge the evening before you want to use it.

Tarte aux Pommes à l’Alsacienne
1/2 recipe pâte brisée
4 apples
200 ml cream
100 ml milk
100 g brown sugar
1 vanilla pod, seeds only
3 eggs

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Roll out the chilled pastry and use it to line a deep pie dish.
Peel the apples, cut them into quarters and core. Slice them, but leave the bottom attached. Arrange pretty on the pastry.
Whisk the eggs with the cream and milk, and add the sugar and vanilla. Pour this mixture over the tart, it is easiest to do this when you already placed the pie dish in the oven, this prevents spilling.
Cook the pie for 30 minutes, or until the top has browned and the custard still has a slight wobble.

Dutch food: advocaat star cake

This cake breathes Christmas for me, because it’s luxurious, boozy, and star-shaped. You can serve it as an indulgent treat with coffee, but it is chique enough to serve as dessert. It does take some time to make, but it has to refrigerate overnight to firm up, so you have to make it in advance anyway. One downside: it contains alcohol, so it is not suitable for kids and pregnant women. It also contains raw eggs, so it is not suitable for the elderly and immunocompromised either.

Advocaat is a typical Dutch “drink”. It is made with egg yolks, sugar and brandy, and is often served in a small glass with a rosette of whipped cream, and a spoon to eat it (it’s quite thick). It is quite sweet and creamy (similar to custard), and has a slight kick from the booze (14-20% alcohol). Thinner advocaat (pourable/drinkable) is made with the whole egg and goes abroad. For some reason, they don’t like the thick stuff in other countries. This thinner version is similar to eggnog.

For my advocaat, I used a whole egg, because I had no use for the leftover egg white. And indeed, my advocaat was less viscous than the advocaat I know. Officially, you use brandy to make advocaat, but it works fine with whisky, rum, cognac and wodka too. I used whisky, because I didn’t want to buy a bottle of something especially for this recipe, and it turned out delicious, although it did taste a bit more alcoholic than the advocaat you buy in the supermarket. The shelf life is a bit of a mystery, some people say you can keep it for a few days in the fridge, others say you can keep it for weeks. To be safe, I would stick with the first. The recipe below will make way more than you need, either make it all and serve the remainder at cocktail hour, or make less. I made a batch with 1 egg (I weighed the egg and adjusted the other ingredients to that) and that was enough for the half sized cake I made. Make with 2 eggs to have enough for the full sized cake.

Advocaat Star Cake

Advocaat (lots)
Slightly adapted from Eerst Koken

250 g egg yolks or whole eggs
250 g sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
300 ml booze (brandy, whisky, rum, cognac, wodka)

Mix egg yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla extract in a heat-proof bowl. Place on top of a pan with simmering water. Add the booze and keep whisking until the mixture thickens. Directly take it from the heat and keep whisking until it has cooled slightly. Leave to cool completely before storing in the fridge in a clean container, or using it for the cake.

Advocaat star cake (for 8-12 people)
Adapted from “Blueband Kookboek Gebak”

4 eggs, split
90 g sugar, divided (35 g + 55 g)
pinch of salt
2 sachets vanilla sugar
2 tsp grated lemon zest
60 g flour
40 g corn starch
10 g slivered almonds
butter or oil to grease the tin

Preheat the oven to 165C. Cover the bottom of a 24 cm round springform with baking paper, then grease the bottom and sides.
Mix the egg yolks with 35 g sugar in a large(!) bowl until pale and creamy, until it pours from the whisks in a ribbon (use an electric mixer for this, it will take a while).
Whisk the egg whites stiff with a pinch of salt. Gradually add 55 g sugar and the vanilla sugar while whisking and keep whisking until the sugar has dissolved.
Scoop the egg whites on top of the yolks, together with the lemon zest. Sift the flour and cornstarch on top and fold everything carefully together. Carefully pour it into the prepared baking tin. Level the top and sprinkle over the almonds.
Bake 50 minutes in the preheated oven, leave to cool in the form for 15 minutes, then carefully take out and leave to cool completely on a cake rack.

8 sheets gelatin
2 eggs, split
100 g sugar
200 ml milk
250 ml whipping cream
300 ml advocaat
icing sugar

Soak the gelatin in cold water.
Mix the egg yolks, sugar and milk in a heat proof bowl. Place on top of a pan with simmering water. Keep mixing until the mixture thickens, then directly take it from the heat and keep whisking until it has cooled slightly. Add the gelatin sheets (squeezed, to get rid of extra water) one by one while mixing. Leave this custard to cool until it starts to get stiff.
Whisk the eggwhites until stiff. Whisk the cream until stiff. Add both to the custard, together with the advocaat, and fold together. Leave to set until it just holds its shape, but is liquid enough to transfer to the cake.
Slice the cake horizontally in half. Take the top half and slice it into 8 points, but stop 2 cm from the edge, to hold them together.
Pour or scoop the advocaat mixture on the bottom half of the cake, keeping the edge free. Place the top half on top. Carefully press the edges, so that the top opens up and forms a star. Dust the cake with icing sugar. Place in the fridge overnight (or at least 4 hours) to set.

Note: To make a smaller sized cake, suitable for 6-8 persons, half the recipe and use an 18 cm round baking tin.

Dutch food: Stroopwafelarretjescake

Why would you make something with dry, plain and boring biscuits if you can make it with rich, caramelly, flavoursome stroopwafels? Arretjescake is a traditional Dutch treat, originally made with biscuits, sugar, fat for deep-frying (either beef fat or something plant-based) and cocoa powder, although the exact ingredients are different according to the region, and the same kind of cakes are made in other countries as well. It is not a cake in the traditional sense of the word, and it has to firm in the fridge instead of being baked. It became popular in the Netherlands after the recipe was in a promotional booklet from an oil/fat/margarine factory. The “Nederlandsche Oliefabrieken (NOF) Calvé-Delft” used the booklet, made in comic book style and figuring Arretje Nof as the main character, to promote the use of their products (hence the name of the cake).

I had to search quite a bit for a recipe, because I wanted one that used real chocolate for taste. I also wanted it to contain no eggs, because I was to serve it to a company with some kids present (which can’t safely eat raw eggs, just as pregnant woman, the elderly and immunocompromised people cannot). I also did not want to use beef fat because I was not sure if there would be any vegetarians present, and I dislike the use of margarine-like products so I did not want to use plant-based hard fat for deep-frying as well. But to keep it authentic I wanted to use some kind of hard fat, so I used extra virgin coconut oil. It worked great and gave the whole thing a tiny, mild flavour of coconut. I loved this, and haven’t heard from anyone that didn’t like it, but when you are an intense coconut hater I can imagine that even this tiny bit of coconut flavour is too much. Futhermore I chose a recipe that did not use extra sugar, because using stroopwafels instead of biscuits makes it already sweeter than it would normally be.

It is definitely best to serve this cake in tiny portions because it is so rich, and either directly from the fridge or only about 15 minutes left on room temperature, because it tends to melt quite fast. The fast melting can be a nuisance, but also makes it extra tasty because it makes the cake extra melt-in-the-mouth. Because of the liquid in the chocolate mixture, the stroopwafels get softer and almost melt into the chocolate mixture, and the sweet and creamy chocolate and the caramelly stroopwafels combine perfectly. If you want to make this in advance, you can. Just make sure you cover it well and keep it in the fridge, it should last for a few days.


Inspired on a recipe from Dr. Oetker 1000 Die besten Backrezepte

100 g dark chocolate
200 g milk chocolate
75 g coconut oil
100 g cream
8 g (1 packet) vanilla sugar
400 g (1 packet) stroopwafels

Prepare a muffin tin (20×26) or a cake tin (25×11) by lining it with cling film. Use a muffin tin when you want to serve the arretjescake in small squares (as I did), use a cake tin when you want to serve it in slices.
Chop both chocolates and place it with the coconut oil and the cream in a heat-proof bowl. Place this above a pan with boiling water to melt everything au bain marie. Stir occasionally and take from the heat when molten. Add the sugar and mix well.
Start by placing a layer of stroopwafels in the tin. Cut them according to the size of your tin, I used 2 stroopwafels cut in halve and a whole one placed in the middle. Alternatively you can use mini-stroopwafels or chop up the stroopwafels and place a layer of this in the bottom of the tin. Pour over a thin layer of the chocolate mixture. Place another layer of stroopwafels, then again pour a thin layer of chocolate on top. Repeat until you’ve used up both the stroopwafels and the chocolate mixture.
Place the stroopwafelarretjescake for at least 5 hours in the fridge, but preferably overnight. Use the cling film to release it from the tin after cooling, cut with a sharp knife and serve immediately.

Dutch Food: Boterkoek

Boterkoek (literally butter cookie bar) is a much loved pastry in the Netherlands. It is a flat and round, and made with lots of butter (hence the name). Because it is very rich, it is best to serve small portions. And because butter gives this pastry not only its name, but also its flavour, it is best to use a very good butter.


From “Blueband Kookboek Gebak”

125 g butter
100 g fine sugar
1 packet of vanilla sugar (8 gram)
pinch of salt
150 g flour

Cream butter, sugar, vanilla sugar and salt together. Stir through the flour until a rough dough forms, then knead by hand until the dough is smooth. Wrap in cling film, then leave to rest for 1 hour in the fridge.
Grease a 24 cm boterkoek tin (or springform). Preheat the oven to 200C.
Take the rested dough. Press it out into the tin. Use a blunt knife to decorate the boterkoek with a pattern (optional) and brush with a little cold water. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden. Leave to cook the boterkoek in the tin, then carefully remove it.

Apricot tart with crème fraîche

Simple, fast and delicious!

Apricot Tart

Apricot tart with crème fraîche (serves 6)
Adapted from “Het Basiskookboek – AH”

1 can ready made croissant dough (you can use puff pastry instead)
200 ml crème fraîche
2 eggs
50 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
300 g soaked dried apricots
2 tbsp almond shavings
butter or oil

Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease a quiche/tart/pie tin (22-24 cm) with butter or oil. Line the tin with the dough. Make sure you close the seems well by pressing the dough together.
Mix crème fraîche, eggs, sugar and vanilla with a whisk. Halve the apricots and arrange them evenly onto the dough. Pour the cream mixture over it. Sprinkle with the almonds.
Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden and cooked. It is normal that the crust gets quite dark when using the croissant dough.

Note: depending on the tin you use and the size of the can of dough, you can have some excess dough. use this to roll into croissants and bake at the same time as the tart.

Possible variations:
– use a different kind of dried fruit, or a mixture (tutti frutti).
– use sliced fresh pears instead of apricots.
– spread a layer of almond paste on the dough before arranging the fruit.

German Apricot Tart

A simple but delicious tart. The dough can be a bit tricky to work with, but it has a delicious flavour. As a variation, use different fruit.

German Apricot Tart

German Apricot Tart
From Dr. Oetker – Die besten 1000 Backrezepte

400 g canned apricot halves (weight without the liquid)
250 ml milk
200 g cream
50 g sugar
1 package pudding/custard powder (for 500 ml milk, to cook)

300 g flour + extra for rolling
1 package baking powder (16 gram)
150 g fat-free quark
100 ml milk
100 ml oil (neutral tasting like sunflower)
75 g sugar
1 package vanilla sugar or 1 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Place the apricot halves in a sieve to leak out, shake them occasionally to make sure that all the liquid drains off.
Make the pudding according to package instructions with milk, cream, sugar and pudding powder. Prevent a skin from forming by stirring regularly or placing a bit of cling film directly on top.
Mix flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Add quark, milk, oil, sugar, vanilla sugar and salt. Mix with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are incorporated, then knead about 30 seconds by hand. The dough will stay quite sticky and the longer you mix, the stickier it will get.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a spring form of 26 cm.
Take 2/3 of the dough and roll it out on a floured surface to a circle of 30 cm diameter. Normally I roll out dough between two sheets of baking paper, or between cling film, but this case it won’t work. Transfer the rolled dough to the spring form. Roll out the rest of the dough and cut it into strips of about 2 cm. Take the pudding and spread it in the pastry case. Arrange the apricot halves neatly on top. Use the dough strips to form a raster on top of the tart. Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 45 minutes. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then take it out of the form and leave to cool completely on a rack.

Apple Crostata

Originally a crostata is an Italian tart, but after some googling I found out that these crostata’s aren’t the real thing… the Americans had their way with this term, and this recipe is indeed more like an American crostata than like an Italian one. The same thing happened to the French galette; in the American interpretation both are a free-form rustic tart. You can fill them with virtually anything you like, fruit, jam, but also dulce de leche, frangipane, pastry cream or nutella, and savoury options also can be very delicious (try this ricotta and courgette version).

I went with an apple filling, because I made these as a spin on Dutch apple pie, that is also why the individual tarts are reasonably large (the average piece of apple pie is quite substantial). They tend to collapse during baking, which makes them not the prettiest of pastries gives them a rustic look, but they compensate that in their deliciousness. The magic of this pastry dough lies in two important factors: everything should be cold, very cold; and the dough should be barely worked, just kneaded enough to incorporate all the ingredients. Then you will end up with beautiful, almost layered, crisp and flaky pastry. This is not easy when you’re not experienced in making doughs like this, so if you mess up, just try again (the messed up tarts still taste delicious).

Apple Crostata (4 individual tarts)

150 gram flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
115 gram butter, in small cubes, cold
few drops of vanilla extract
60 ml water, (ice)cold

2 small apples, peeled, cored and cubed
1 tbsp sugar
pinch of cinnamon

To finish
Splash of milk or a little beaten egg

Mix the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter. Rub the butter into the flour (flatten a cube of butter between your fingers, drop it into the flour, grab it again between your fingers and rub to mix it with the flour). Mix the water and the vanilla extract (this makes sure that the vanilla extract gets evenly distributed through the dough). Add this to the butter-flour mixture and use a spatula to mix until a barely coherent dough forms. Knead a few times with cool hands (if they are hot, rinse them with cold water before kneading) until it forms a ball. Flatten it into a disk, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for one hour.
Mix the apple cubes with the sugar and cinnamon for the filling. Preheat the oven at 190C. Cover a baking tray with baking paper.
Cut the dough in 4. Place 3 of the pieces back in the fridge. Roll the 4th with a rolling pin into a rough circle of 3 mm thickness. Place a quarter of the filling in the middle of the dough circle. Fold the edges of the dough over the filling, press the overlapping pieces so that they stick to each other. Place on the prepared baking tray. Do the same with the other 3 pieces of dough.
Brush the top of the tarts (only the dough) with some milk or beaten egg. Place the baking tray in the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes. The dough on top will be brown when the they are ready. Leave the crostata’s to cool on a wire rack before serving (this prevents a soggy bottom).

Note: if you make a larger batch, don’t try to fit more than 5 on a (half sheet) baking tray. Otherwise they will collapse into each other, which makes them even less pretty and also makes it harder to cook them evenly.

Portugese Custard Tarts

Pastel de Nata (also known as Pastel de Belém) is the national pastry of Portugal. It was originally invented to use up leftover egg yolks and although leftover egg yolks are not a problem any more, this pastry is available in all pastry shops in Portugal. They are a bit fiddly to prepare yourself, but they are worth it. The crisp pastry contrasts beautifully with the creamy custard, the caramelized brown tops give it a bit more oomph and the small amount of cinnamon gives it a delicate, aromatic taste.

Portugese Custard Tarts

Portuguese Custard Tarts (12 small tarts)
Adapted from Edible Garden

3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
400 ml milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 squares of puff pastry (in the Netherlands most puff pastry comes pre-rolled in smallish squares)

Heat the milk until barely cooking. Mix together the sugar and cornflour in a bowl, mix together, then add the yolks, mix well again. Slowly pour the hot milk on the yolk-sugar-cornflour mixing, while stirring constantly. Pour the mixture back into the pan, place it over medium heat and cook until the mixture thickens, simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes. Keep stirring constantly. Remove from the heat, pour over into a bowl and add the vanilla extract. Leave to cool.
Grease a muffin tin and preheat the oven to 200C. Thaw the puff pastry.
Slice each square of puff pastry into 4. Roll each quarter out to get the pastry a little thinner. Place in the muffin tin. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on the pastry.
Scoop custard to about 3/4 level of the pastry and bake for about 25 minutes. They should get quite brown on top. Leave to cool on a rack and eat fresh (they don’t store well).
Note: depending on your muffin tin, you may not need all the pastry cream. Don’t worry, it is also delicious to eat it on its own!

Fruit delice and chocolate pear cake

Delice (fruit-moussetaart)

This delice consist of three layers. The first is a sponge layer, soaked with simple syrup and fruit puree. The second is a mousse layer, made with cream, Italian meringue, fruit puree (in this case forest fruits) and fruit juice/liqueur, all set lightly with gelatin. The top is a fruit glace, made with a mixture of fruit puree and simple syrup. It tastes really fruity, creamy and light as a dream. The amount of gelatin is just right, so that the mousse is barely set, making it even lighter. You can find the recipe of this tart in James Martins Dessert book.

Pear and chocolate cake

This pear and chocolate cake is a variation on my basic cake recipe. Just make half a recipe of cake batter, spread it out in a tin and neatly arrange slices of pear on top. It is best to push them down a bit to prevent the edges to burn. Because the cake is much thinner than normal, it only needs 30-45 minutes to bake. After letting  the cake cool down, you can melt some chocolate, put it in a piping bag with a small hole, and decorate the cake with it. The combination of cake, pear and chocolate works great!