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Recipe Collection

Anja’s Dutch Appletaart

Laura Edwards — 2019

Anja Baak set up Great Glen Charcuterie with her husband Jan Jacob around 10 years ago. I first met Anja not long after we established ourselves at Aran, as she would pop in and say hello on her various trips up and down the A9 road. It has always been a great joy to me how easily relationships form between independent businesses in Scotland, Anja’s being the first example of this for us.

On a recent trip to Amsterdam with my partner, I devoured a slice of nearly every single appeltaart available in order to recreate one for the bakery, which I so desperately wanted to do. I knew I had to ask Anja, who is originally from the Netherlands. She dutifully hand wrote her family recipe, and to my delight it was almost identical to those we enjoyed while away.

Photography: Laura Edwards, Sam Harris
Styling: Rosie Ramsden, Jess Dennison


250g caster sugar
zest of ½ and juice of 1 lemon
250g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
2 tablespoons cold water
500g self-raising flour
about 8 cooking apples, such as Bramleys, peeled and chopped into thumb-sized pieces
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon custard powder or 1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch)

small dash of vanilla bean paste
2 tablespoons apricot jam, plus extra to glaze
1 handful of raisins, or sultanas (golden raisins) if you can source them (optional)
1 egg, beaten
whipped cream, to serve

for the almond layer
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons ground almonds
1 egg


  1. Begin with the pastry. In a small bowl, mix the sugar, grated lemon zest and butter until smooth, add 1 cold tablespoon of the water and mix again, then add the flour. When it is well mixed, add another cold tablespoon of water and use your hands to bring together. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours.

  2. In a second bowl, mix the apples with the lemon juice, cinnamon, custard powder, and apricot jam. Set aside.

  3. Next, mix the ingredients for the almond layer into a thick paste.

  4. Preheat the oven to 160ºC (320ºF/Gas 4). Butter a shallow 20 cm (8 in) springform baking tin or pie dish.

  5. Roll out half of your pastry dough into a large round to fit your tin, with the pastry roughly 3mm (1/8 in) thick. Line the baking tin with this half of the pastry dough and set the other half aside. Gently spread the almond layer over the bottom. You can scatter this in if the paste is crumbly. Spoon the apple mixture on top as evenly as possible. Scatter over some raisins if using.

  6. Using the remaining half of the pastry dough, roll out a round roughly 2 mm (1/8 in) thick. Cut the dough into even strips, roughly 2 cm (3/4 in) thick, depending on how thick you want your lattice strips. Lay out 5 parallel strips on top of the filling, leaving equal space between them. Fold back every other strip so they are in half. Place another long strip where you have folded the others over so that the strip is at a 90-degree angle to the others. Unfold the folded strips over the individual strip. Now take the parallel strips that are running underneath the individual strip and fold them back over. Lay down a second perpendicular strip next to the first one, with some space between the strips. Unfold the folded parallel strips over the second strip. Continue this process until the lattice is complete. Trim the edges.

  7. Brush with the beaten egg and bake for 1 hour, until golden.

  8. When out of the oven, brush with some apricot jam, warmed through in a small saucepan. Leave to cool down in the tin. Serve with whipped cream.

Read more: Aran Bakery Cookbook

Flora’s bakery, Aran, in the little town of Dunkeld is reason enough to make the trip up to Scotland. But for the times that you can’t quite get there, her cookbook will give you your fix. Published by Hardie Grant (£22) with beautiful photography © Laura Edwards.

— about the author

Based in Dunkeld in the Scottish Highlands, Flora runs her bakery Aran and its little sister store Lòn. She has published two cookbooks, with her most recent book Aran featuring recipes for the beautiful, seasonal sweet and savoury bakes on offer at the bakery.

Her understated and delicate style is instantly recognisable, and her Instagram account is definitely worth a follow.

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