The Netherlands – Appelflappen

What a better way to use up a couple of apples – turning them into a delicious and easy pud that you can douse in custard, cream or ice cream!  You don’t have to make your own pastry as it does turn this quick and easy pudding into something a bit more time-consuming, but if you have the time and inclination, it does give you a sense of achievement (and tastes good too).

If you wanted to try something a bit different, you could fill these with summer fruits, blackberries and apples or even cheese, onion and small chunks of potatoes if you’re a fan of savoury food (omitting the sugar on top of course!).  I’m following a Dutch recipe, and in my view there’s nothing better than apples and cinnamon – a match made in heaven.

Appelflappen are simply the Dutch version of apple turnovers.  I’ve no idea who first invented them, but I’m not complaining.



I adapted this recipe very slightly from a lovely blog called Weekend Bakery

makes 6 to 8

For the rough puff pastry

  • 250g all purpose flour
  • 250g cold salted butter in cubes
  • 125ml ice-cold water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

For the Appelflappen

  • One sheet of rough puff pastry (see recipe above)
  • One large tart apple (or 2 small ones) cut into chunks
  • 50g raisins soaked and drained
  • 1 tbsp (vanilla) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Whisked egg or milk for brushing
  • Granulated or demerara sugar for sprinkling on top

Making the rough puff pastry

Put the 125ml water in the freezer, so it is really cold when you use it.

In a large bowl, combine the flour with the salt. Cut the butter into cubes and add to the flour. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture begins to resemble bread crumbs, stopping when there are still plenty of small lumps of butter visible.

Remove the ice water from the freezer and add it to the mixture a bit at a time. You may not need all of the water – it just depends on how absorbent your flour is. Start stirring with the back of a knife and then bring it together with your (cool) hands to form a ball. It should not be a wet dough and should still have visible, pea sized, lumps of butter in it.  Wrap in cling film, press the ball into a disc shape and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, into a rectangle – maximum 5mm thick.  Then fold the dough, letter style, in thirds.  Bring the upper half to the centre of the dough and then fold the bottom half over the top. Give the dough a quarter turn and roll out again into a rectangle. Fold again into thirds and wrap in cling film, leaving to rest in the fridge for another 30 minutes.

Take the dough from the fridge and again roll it out into a rectangle, fold it into thirds and give it a quarter turn. Again roll out into a rectangle, this time until you have a thickness of about 3 mm.  If the dough is too thick it may not puff as well, especially if you want to use it with a filling.  Give the dough a light dusting of flour so it will unfold easier after the final rest. Now fold the dough into thirds and let it rest in the fridge for another 30 minutes.


Making the Appelflappen

Firstly soak the raisins for 15 minutes in hot water or, even better but not so authentic, you can add a splash of rum or almond liqueur (I just used water, but I think alcohol would make them even better!)  Drain and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 180°C (you may need to go up to 200°C to get them really crispy – it just depends on your oven. My oven is quite hot so tends to burn if I’m not careful). Peel the apples (not essential), remove the core and dice them into small chunks. Mix the apple chunks with the soaked raisins, (vanilla) sugar and cinnamon.  If you don’t have vanilla sugar and want a slight hint of vanilla in your recipe, add 1/4 tsp vanilla extract to the mixture (any more and it could make the pastry a bit soggy when cooking.  Alternatively, add 1/2 tsp to the raisins when soaking).

Take the sheet of puff pastry out of the fridge, unfold and cut it into 6 or 8 equal squares. Put a small heap of the apple raisin mix on top of each square. Brush to put a  a bit of water on the sides of the square.

Fold the square diagonally, so you get the shape of a triangle. Carefully press the edges and make sure they are sealed so no air can escape.  If you press down the edges with a fork it does seal it better and you get a nice pattern along the edge of the pastry.

Brush the top of the triangles with the whisked egg or milk and sprinkle on some granulated or Demerara sugar to get a nice sugary crust.

Put them in the oven for about 15 minutes, keeping a close eye on them to check the perfect point for your oven. They should be puffed, crisp and deep golden brown when ready. Transfer them to a rack to cool (at least slightly) before eating.

Serve with cream, ice cream, or custard or just on their own.  Also delicious cold.


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