I was confused about the difference between a Dutch apple pie and an American apple pie, so I did some googlin’. Search results included apple pie topped with a slice of cheddar cheese. What?!
American apple pie
A quick Google image search shows that American apple pie is quite the patriotic pastry. It’s a pie with either a lattice or a closed top crust, preferably served on top of The Star-Spangled Banner. Because the only native American apples were small and sour rather than plump and sweet, European apples had to be brought over and apple trees had to be grown before there was to be any pie-making. The Dutch, British and Swedes introduced their apple pies to the New World in the 17th and 18th centuries and never looked back, with The New York Times in 1902 stating that ‘no pie-eating people can ever be permanently vanquished‘. American apple pie does look delicious.
You know what doesn’t look delicious? Melting cheddar cheese on top of apple pie, which is apparently a thing that many people (including celebrity chef Mario Batali) swear by. It sounds terrible. I want to try it.
Dutch apple pie
Googling Dutch apple pie shows that people usually mean a pie with a streusel topping, though a lattice top is also considered to be a Dutch apple pie. Both indeed exist in The Netherlands, though the lattice top pie is the traditional, standard apple pie that’s very similar to the American apple pie. If you want a crumbly streusel top, you’ll have to look for an appelkruimeltaart; an apple crumble pie.
Both are delicious if you get a good one, but I’m often disappointed when I order a slice of apple pie in The Netherlands. Unless the cafe is famous for its apple pie, it’s typically not fresh and it will be served straight from the fridge, cold onto your plate. It’s rather dismal and I don’t understand why we accept it as the standard way of serving apple pie. I joke about Americans and their apple pie patriotism, but I could only wish The Dutch would be half as proud of their apple pies. Next time someone serves cold apple pie from the fridge, I suggest WE RIOT!
Best apple pie in Amsterdam!
My favourite apple pie in Amsterdam! Big, buttery and not too many raisins, though you could argue that any number above zero is a raisin too many. Mmm, that crust. Blog in bio today: Dutch vs American apple pie. Also found out today: some Americans melt cheddar cheese on top of their apple pie. What?!
Of course there are still places where Dutch apple pie is served with dignity. In a really nice part of Amsterdam where I used to live, there’s a small cafe called Winkel 43 that’s famous for their homemade apple pie. Best time to go is on a sunny day so you can join the locals (and other apple pie-loving tourists) on their terrace. If it’s too busy, bring your own forks and take away the apple pie and have a quick picnic at any random pretty spot in Amsterdam. Their apple pie is always freshly baked with a buttery crust, a nutty flavour and large chunks of soft apple. You get a huge slice with a generous dollop of whipped cream. And no cheddar cheese, I promise.