A great deal of delectable fruit is grown in Holland. Apples, in particular, have long flourished in the mildly cold, dampish climate. They are noted for their excellent flavor and fine color.
Holland's favorite dessert is the pancake, which is prepared and served in fascinating variety. Flensfes, or pancakes, are simply made with a thin batter of flour, eggs, and milk and fried in butter. They may be small, medium, or very large, and are spread with syrups, confections, or applesauce.
A cake called flensfes is composed of a stack of about seven pancakes, spread only with applesauce, or also with fruit puree, and is served in pie-shaped wedges.
Apple pancakes or applepanmekmeken are made of a slightly thicker batter, topped with apple slices, fried on both sides in butter, and served with syrup, molasses, or brown sugar and cinnamon.
Dutch cooks also prepare excellent apple cakes, and apple balls (cored, peeled apples wrapped in pastry and baked). Simple but delectable puddings are made of layers of applesauce and buttered bread slices, dried apples and thickened fruit sauce, and cooked apples and crumbled rwieback.
Apple fritters (appelbeignets) are a treasured Dutch specialty made by dipping slices of cored, peeled apples in a beer batter and frying them in deep fat or oil. Stacks of the warm fritters, sprinkled with confectioners' sugar, are prepared annually in Dutch homes to serve children at the traditional early December Saint Nicholas celebration.
Given below are recipes for three Dutch apple desserts.
(Makes about 16) 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup beer Fat for deep-frying 4 cooking apples, preferably greenings, cored, peeled, and sliced in 1/2 inch rings Confectioners' sugar
Combine flour, salt, and 1/3 cup beer in a medium-sized bowl. Add remaining beer and mix to make a smooth thick batter. Heat fat to 375 degrees on a frying thermometer. Dip apple slices into batter and fry a few at a time, about 3 minutes, until golden and puffed. Drain on absorbent paper. Serve warm sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.
(Makes 1 cake) 1 cup all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup shortening or margarine 1/2 cup milk 1 egg, well beaten 3 medium-sized tart apples 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar into a large bowl. Cut in shortening or margarine. Combine milk and egg, add to dry ingreidents. Mix well. Spread in a greased 8-inch-square baking pan. Core, peel, and slice apples. Arrange in rows, overlapping, over batter, slightly pressing down. Sprinkle with mixture of remaining sugar and cinnamon, and then melted butter. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven about 40 minutes, until baked. Cut in squares and serve warm.
(6 servings) 8 tart apples, peeled and sliced 10 tablespoons butter or margarine 2/3 cup sugar 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup hot milk 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind Pinch salt 3 eggs, separated 3 rwieback, crumbled
Simmer apples, 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, and 1/3 cup sugar in a medium-sized saucepan 10 minutes. Melt 1/2 cup butter in another saucepan; blend in flour. Gradually add milk; and then add lemon rind, salt, egg yolks, and remaining 1/3 cup sugar. Cook, stirring, until smooth and thickened. Beat whites until stiff. Add apples and fold in egg whites. Alternate layers of apple mixture and crumbled rwieback in a buttered 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Dot with 1 tablespoon butter. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven 45 minutes. Serve warm.