Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rheinish Apple tart

I was doing my regular shopping at the local drugstore Budnikowsky and found this rack of books donated by people living locally for a good cause. These books are given away for 1 Euro each as a donation and the money goes to Budnianer Hilfe e.V., helping children and their families of the socially and economically unprivileged.
Usually I do like to have a glance over them. This time one book lying in the front attracted my attention and I just couldn't resist not looking into this book with an old but attractive cover. After glancing through it I found a number of interesting recipes and a number of tempting photos. It was a cookbook from the early 70's in quite a good condition. It was a hard bound book with a nice cover photo of a grape tart and, on opening it, I found, though a bit pale, but really thick and strong pages with a number of photos in between.
While going through the book, I came across this delicious and tempting picture of a traditional Rheinish apple tart I liked immediately after seeing the simple recipe. Coming from a historical region Rheinland , earlier a Prussian Province during 1822 till 1946, and is still more or less a defined region which is now a part of the German state North Rhein-Westphalia (in German: Nordrhein-Westfalen) and includes some famous cities like Cologne and Bonn or the historic city of Aachen, to mention just a few.
The whole region including its neighbouring regions are well known for their historical and natural beauty and the castles found apparently on almost every hill there.
Rheinland also happens to be the birthplace of many famous people. To name a few, Beethovan (does he need introduction?!), Adenauer - the first Chancellor of Germany, Heinrich Böll - a Nobel price winning writer, and the more recent ones which many of you might know: Michael Schumacher (Formula 1? Ferrari? For more details, go here) and Heidi Klum!

So, it is not surprising that the region is well known for its culinary specialities as well. One of them being this simple, yet delicate, recipe of an apple tart I found in this book. It is called Rheinische Apfeltorte in German and "Appeltaat" in the region of its origin - Rheinland.

Servings : 12
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Baking time: 35 minutes


Shortcrust pastry:
300 g all purpose flour
100 g sugar
1 packet vanilla sugar ( or 1 tsp vanilla essence)
1 pinch salt
1 egg
200 g butter or margerine, cold and cut into small cubes
flour to roll out the pastry

100 g currents
750 g tart apples (I used james grieves)
3 tbsp sugar (60 g)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I left it out)


  • add the flour in a large bowl, make a well in the center and add the remaining ingredients
  • knead the ingredients of the pastry together into a ball and keep in the refrigerator covered for 30 minutes
  • in the mean time prepare the filling: cover the currents in boiling water and soak for 5 minutes in a bowl and drain
  • peel, core and slice the apples, cover with sugar and cinnamon mixture (I simply mixed sugar with the apples)
  • roll out the dough on a floured surface into a 1 cm thick pastry
  • line the bottom and sides of the spring form with the shortcrust pastry
  • put the currents in a layer over the pastry , leaving out a small portion to mix with the apples
  • arrange the apples on top either in circles or in parallel rows or as per liking
  • bake for 30 minutes in a preheated oven at 200°C
  • take it out of oven, once done, and let it cool down a bit beofre cutting into pieces
  • serve warm or cold, which tastes equally good.
I had a small portion of the pastry left which I sprinkled on top of the fruits.

See Rheinish Apple Tart on Key Ingredient.

We ate the first round of the tart immidiately after taking it out of the oven. I have no words to describe how good it was. The apples just melted in the mouth. It is a wonderful variety of tart apples especially good for baking, but that it was that good was totally unexpected for me. The currents rounded up the taste of the apples so well. I was happy later that I had just the right amount left, as I don't always have them at home. But a much better choice than raisins. And equally good was my decision to soak them properly till they became softer.

This tart eaten cold tasted as good. And my verdict: It was hea.........venly!

The details of the Book:
"Backen leicht gemacht"
Kochkunst Bibliothek


Red Chillies said...

PG, i have become that way too! all i do is glance cookbooks. the apple tart looks yumm! Thank you very much for the award "deep bow"

Renu said...

Even french people alkso cook apple tart very well, I used to lovce this and that seetting of apples on the top in a symmetrical way...., In India I used to serve it as desserts with either cream or custard.

~nm said...

It looks heavenly for sure!

PG said...

RC, you are most welcome! I bow too :)
Renu, I'm sure the French are wonderful at that. And yes, normally I would also serve it with cream, but the apples had turned so soft creamy that they didn't really demand any cream. And then it was only for our weekend dessert. :)

NM, wish someone would invent maschines which could zap things from once place to another in seconds! you know, like in Star Trek...

PG said...

Just wanted to add: I put the apples along with Rishab, my (impatient!-) son, so it was practically impossible to put the slices symetrically. Though, I'm not so good at it in any case and the slices were also not cut so symmetrical either and I don't like to waste. And, the pleasure of working with my sonny boy was much greater :)

The Caked Crusader said...

I love apple tart - and this is a new version to me! I'm very excited it and can promise that this has joined my "to bake" list!
Thanks for sharing

Ivy said...

I love anything with baked apples and cinnamon in it. Must try this recipe, it sounds great.

Sunshinemom said...

I love tarts and apple and cinnamon make a great filling for me! Looks very scrumptious!