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Dutch Apple Tart (Appeltaart)

Dutch Apple Tart (appeltaart) is made with a brown sugar cookie crust & a simple apple filling. This authentic recipe is from my Dutch mother-in-law.

My husband moved from The Netherlands to the US after college and every once in a while he craves a taste of home.

This recipe is based on one that my husband xeroxed from his mom’s old cookbook. To adapt it for the US kitchen I converted the metric measurements to cups and ounces and used ingredients available to American bakers.

Otherwise, the recipe is very similar to how my mother-in-law made it since, probably, the 1950s.

original appeltaart recipe from Dutch cookbook

How Dutch Apple Tart is different than American Apple Pie:

A Dutch Apple Tart is different than an American Apple pie, and it’s definitely not what most Americans call a Dutch Apple Pie. What is known in America as Dutch Apple Pie is an apple pie with a crumb topping.

Dutch Apple Tart has a cookie-type crust and is baked in a spring form pan rather than a pie pan. The filling is simply apples with sugar and a little cinnamon. There’s no thickener in the filling so the juices are reabsorbed into the apples and the crust as it cools.


ingredients for dutch apple tart in glass bowls on a white surface.

Ingredient Notes

  • Apples – A firm apple that doesn’t fall apart when baked works best. Granny Smith is a good option that is widely available.
  • Sugar – The Dutch recipe calls for a type of sugar that we don’t get here in the US, so this recipe uses a mixture of brown and granulated sugar to get a similar result.
  • Bread Crumbs – The Dutch would use “beschuit”, which is a type of dry rusk toast to soak up the juice from the apples. This recipe employs dry bread crumbs for the same purpose.

How to make Dutch Apple Tart (appeltaart)

  • Whip the whites to full peak. Whisk in the yolks and vanilla.
  • Sift the over the batter and gently fold it in.
  • Fold just until all the flour is incorporated. Do not overmix.
  • Pipe the cookies onto the prepared baking sheet into 4″ long x 2″ wide “fingers”.
  • Lightly sprinkle the tops of the cookies with powdered sugar.
  • Bake until light brown and spongy about 10-12 minutes. Cool completely.
a spatula coated with custard.
  • Cook the custard over medium/low heat, stirring constantly, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Pour the custard into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.
  • Sandwich the ladyfingers with the preserves.
  • Cut a ladyfinger sandwich in half, lengthwise.
  • Stand the ladyfingers on end, with the cut side to the outside of a glass trifle bowl. Continue cutting and arranging the ladyfingers until the entire perimeter of the bowl is lined with a “striped” pattern.
  • Use half of the remaining uncut cookies to the line bottom of the bowl. You can break them up to fit pieces into any gaps between the cookies.
  • Sprinkle a ½ cup of the sherry over the cookies on the bottom and sides of the bowl. Pour half of the custard into the bowl. Arrange the remaining cookies over the custard and sprinkle with the remaining sherry.
  • Pour the other half the custard into the bowl.
  • Top the trifle with whipped cream and refrigerate at least 6 hours (preferably overnight) before serving.
a mixing bowl with ingredients for dutch apple tart dough.
  • Combine the dry ingredients with lemon zest in a mixing bowl.
  • With the mixer running, add the butter and mix until it looks like crumbs.
  • Add the egg.
  • Mix until the dough comes together.
A piece of tart dough and a bowl of sliced apples.
  • Divide the dough into 2/3 and 1/3 pieces and refrigerate until firm.
  • Toss the sliced apples with sugar and cinnamon.
a springform pan filled with tart dough and apples.
  • Roll the larger portion of dough to fit a 9″ springform pan.
  • Fit the dough into the pan. If the soft dough breaks apart just piece it back together, ensuring there are no gaps in the dough.
  • Sprinkle dry bread crumbs into the pan.
  • Pour the apples into the pan.
A sheet of dough cut into strips. Dough strips on top of an apple tart.
  • Roll the smaller portion of dough to a 10″ by 14″ rectangle. Cut the dough into 1″ strips.
  • Lay the strips in a lattice pattern over the apples. You can weave the lattice or simply lay them in a criss-cross pattern. Either way it bakes up with a pretty top.
  • Cut the dough from the sides to be level with the top.
a dutch apple tart before and after baking.
  • Brush the tart with egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  • Bake until the apples in the center are tender.

Pastry Chef tips for making a great Dutch Apple Tart:

  • You may want to adjust the amount of sugar in the filling based on your taste and the flavor of your apples.
  • The crust comes together like a cookie dough. It may be quite soft right after mixing so it’s best to chill it before rolling. The dough can be made ahead and refrigerated for 2-3 days or frozen for a month.
  • There’s a good chance the dough will break apart as you transfer it to the pan. It’s fine to just smoosh it back together to fill the pan.


The tart is best the day it’s baked, but keeps well for 2-3 days at room temperature. Leftovers can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for up to a month. I like to microwave a slice for just 10-15 seconds to warm up the apples a little.

As they say in Holland, “eet smakelijk”!

a slice of juicy dutch apple tart

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

Dutch Apple Tart Slice
Print Recipe
4.43 from 49 reviews

Dutch Apple Tart (Appeltaart)

A Dutch Apple Tart is different than an American Apple pie. It has a sweet crust and is baked in a spring form pan rather than a pie pan. The filling is simply apples with sugar and a little cinnamon. There’s no thickener in the filling so the juices are reabsorbed into the apples and the crust as it cools.
Prep Time1 hour
Bake Time1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time2 hours 15 minutes
12 slices


Tart Dough

  • 15 oz all purpose flour (3 cups)
  • 4 oz granulated sugar (½ cup)
  • 4 oz light brown sugar (½ cup)
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 lemon (finely grated zest)
  • 10 oz unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 large egg (whisked)


  • 3 pounds tart apples (peeled and cored)
  • 5 oz granulated sugar (½ cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 oz dry bread crumbs (¼ cup)
  • 1 large egg (whisked for egg wash)


  • Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Liberally butter a 9" spring form pan.

Make the Dough

  • Combine 15 oz all purpose flour, 4 oz granulated sugar, 4 oz light brown sugar, ½ teaspoon table salt and finely grated zest from 1 lemon in a mixing bowl. With the mixer running, toss in 10 oz unsalted butter and mix until thoroughly combined. With the mixer running, add 1 large egg and mix just until it forms a dough.
  • Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead together if there's any loose flour left. Split the dough into 2 uneven pieces, ⅔ and ⅓. Wrap the dough and chill it for at least a hour for it to firm up.
  • Roll the ⅔ portion of the dough into a 16" round. Lift the dough onto the rolling pin and unroll over the pan. The dough may break apart but you can just piece it together to line the pan.

Assemble the Tart

  • Cut 3 pounds tart apples into quarters and slice each quarter into ¼" thick slices. Toss the sliced apples with 5 oz granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon. Sprinkle 1 oz dry bread crumbs into the bottom of the tart shell and then pour the apples over the bread crumbs. The pan will be about ⅔ – ¾ full.
  • Brush the inside of the tart shell from the apples up with egg wash. Roll the remaining ⅓ portion of the dough into a 10" x 14" rectangle. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the dough into 1" wide strips. Arrange the strips in a lattice pattern over the apples. You don't need to actually weave the lattice, just lay the strips on top of each other. Trim the excess dough and brush the top of the crust with egg wash. Sprinkle the top of the tart with granulated sugar.
  • Place the pan onto a baking sheet and bake for about 1 ¼ hours until the apples in the middle are tender and the juices are bubbling. Cool completely in the pan.
  • To unmold the tart, run a knife around the edge to make sure the crust isn't sticking and then release the pan.


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9 inch; springform pan
Apple Peeler

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The tart keeps for several days at room temperature. Taste the apples and adjust the amount of sugar to your taste. I used “Gold Rush” apples which are a little less tart than “Granny Smith”.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 498kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 132mg | Potassium: 205mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 693IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!
Recipe Rating

Jess Parlin

Monday 10th of October 2022

Eileen, this tart is delicious ! My son is studying Netherlands in social studies and for his project decided to bring in this for his presentation to share with the class. It was a huge hit ! I know the importance of passing down recipes and have my mother in laws apple pie; the recipe card is well seasoned. I appreciate you sharing this recipe. I am making it again this weekend with fresh picked cortland apples.

Eileen Gray

Monday 10th of October 2022


Martine van Velden

Saturday 19th of March 2022

Amen! This is the real deal Eileen. And yes, to the breadcrumbs. They absorb the apple juices so beautifully. In our family we also add a splash of Amaretto to the breadcrumbs. Nice chunks of apples…But nothing can replace the taste of goudreinette apples. Just because of that I planted a few trees. I’m hoping for 5 apples this year so I can make one original appel taart.

Martine van Velden

Saturday 9th of April 2022

@Eileen Gray, now I’m curious and going to find some Gold Rush to compare.

Eileen Gray

Sunday 20th of March 2022

Thanks, Martine. A splash of Amaretto sound like a great addition. I looked up the goudreinette apples and they seem similar to my favorite baking apple, Gold Rush.

Kim Siekerman

Monday 30th of August 2021

Hi there, this recipe is from the Margriet cookbook if I remember it right. My mom had it on the inside of the kitchen cabinet door - imagine how often we ate it. One thing: you're using nearly double the amount of flour than in the original recipe, 420 grams is way too much! Not sure if something went awry in the conversion. It's meant to be quite sweet, not shortcrust pastry-like, so you use plenty of butter and sugar too, and don't mix! Chop the butter with two knives through the rest of the dry ingredients and then knead with a cool hand, for as short as possible, as overkneading makes it bready. We never used beschuit, I don't think you need them and breadcrumbs don't quite do the same thing im afraid. Nice adaptation though. For a real Dutch twist: add a teaspoon of speculaas spice!


Tuesday 10th of November 2020

Hi Eileen! If I'm making this a day ahead in preparation for Thanksgiving, how should I re-heat the whole tart? Thanks!

Eileen Gray

Tuesday 10th of November 2020

You can put it back into the springform pan and warm it in a low oven.


Friday 11th of October 2019

Hi Eileen, I'm going to try this recipe tomorrow. We told our friends we'd be bringing dessert for (Canadian) Thanksgiving, which is this weekend. Something about basterdsuiker: I usually use light brown sugar to replace it. The thing with Dutch basterdsuiker is that it contains something called invert sugar, an mixture of glucose and fructose that slows crystallization and smooths out the texture of baked goods.. But I'm going to try your mixture of regular and brown sugar, it sounds great.. My mother taught me to grate the apples rather than slice them (she used goudreinetten, over here I like Cortlands). You have to press some juice out before you mix in the sugar and cinnamon, but it's a lovely rich apple flavour and I find it helps with the doneness of the apples in the middle of the taart. Looking forward to it!


Tuesday 19th of October 2021

Thank you, Eileen for sharing your old world recipe with us! It was emjoyable to see the original recipe in Dutch!

@Christine, I made the tart/ pie recipe and followed your mom's suggestion of grating apples. Grated about half on a box grater and I am happy to report that it was the best appeltaart I have made in the last 15 years of making it! Served with warm vanilla custard - it was just heaven.

Eileen Gray

Friday 11th of October 2019

Thanks for the added info. Brown sugar has molasses in it, which has some invert sugar. I like a mix of white and brown sugar because the white sugar lets the crust crisp up a bit and the brown sugar adds flavor and some of the keeping qualities from the molasses. You can use a mix of dark brown and white sugar to get more of the molasses.