Apple Pie In Amsterdam

“Instead of ….writing  – I go make an apple pie, or study The Joy of Cooking, reading it like a rare novel”

-Sylvia Plath


I know that Americans like to claim apple pie for their own (…”as American as apple pie”)… but in fact, I think the best place on earth to eat apple pie is in Amsterdam … at Winkel 43 to be precise (there are other places – follow this link to The 15 best places for an apple pie in Amsterdam – but note, Winkel 43 heads this list).  Their website doesn’t seem to work, but the address is Noordermarkt 43, 1015 NA Amsterdam.


Sitting outside in the sun at Winkel 43 in Amsterdam

Another place where I’ve had not just a wonderful apple pie, but also a terrific cup of tea in Amsterdam, is The Four Leaves tea house, a tranquil spot just by the Rijksmuseum. I drank Je Ne Sais Quoi tea with my pastry – a black tea (slightly bitter tannin) but with a hint of vanilla – a perfect pairing.

An alcoholic alternative to moistening the raisins in orange juice, in the traditional way, is to soak them overnight in calvados, or apple brandy.

I prefer not to cover the pie completely with pastry but to use strips (as in Madame Benoit’s tortière) as I think the whole thing is less stodgy – less is more.

Listen to Wagner’s rousing Flying Dutchman while you make this (see video extract, below) – the pie will be finished and done before you know it.


recipe for Dutch apple pie
The vanilla whipped cream is essential – don’t leave it out!


Recipe for authentic apple pie from Amsterdam

Serves about 12


  • 300g/2¼ cups flour
  • 115g/½ cup caster sugar plus two more tbsps. and another tbsp. for the cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • 200g/7 oz butter – chilled
  • 1 egg yolk – I sometimes use the white as a sort of added glaze.
  • 100g/⅔ cup raisins
  • 120ml/½ cup orange juice
  • 1 kg/2 lbs – about six – nice eating apples, peeled and sliced (I tend to just chop, but if you slice you achieve more of the layered effect of the Winkel 43 pie)
  • 2 tbsps custard powder
  • 2 tsps cinnamon
  • 2 tbsps apricot jam
  • 300g/1¼ cups whipping cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla paste


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. Mix the flour, the half cup of sugar and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and mix in. Add the egg yolk. Mix all together with your hands and form the pastry into a ball.
  3. Grease a removable bottom cake tin.
  4. Roll out ⅔ of the dough and use this to line the bottom and sides of the cake tin. Put the tin and the remaining dough in the fridge.
  5. Simmer the raisins and the orange juice together in a small saucepan until the orange juice has evaporated – five to ten minutes. Alternatively, you can simply soak in calvados!
  6. Mix the custard powder, cinnamon and two tbsps. sugar together in a small bowl.
  7. Lay a layer of apple slices over the pastry base, sprinkle over a little of the sugar mix, another layer, a bit more sugar mix and so on until the apple is used up. Top with raisins and sprinkle over the remaining sugar mix.
  8. Roll out the rest of the pastry, cut into strips, approximately 1 cm/½” thick and criss cross over the pie. Press to secure.
  9. Bake for about 40 minutes until the pastry is golden. Glaze with the jam (warm it a little if it’s difficult to spread) and leave to cool for about ten minutes.
  10. Meanwhile add the vanilla paste and a tbsp. of caster sugar to the cream and whip it up (you can do this up to four hours in advance).
  11. Once cool, take the pie out of the tin – you can serve it cold, but I happen to like it warm – if you do too put it in a warming oven.
  12. Serve together with the whipped cream.


This post is dedicted to Felix van Litsenburg.


recipe for Dutch apple pie
My version…. very, very nearly as good…and maybe the plaited pie crust is even better…


Wagner’s Flying Dutchman


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