whole wheat (no butter, no eggs)
After enjoying snowfall in the past two years – 2010 and 2011, it was natural to expect some beautiful snow filled moments this year too! December went away, January too was sliding away with very cold nights – without any trace of snow… my family was missing snow… my daughter missing the white snowman with his carrot nose… also missing those snow angels she used to make in front of our house…. my husband waiting to see those milky white flakes falling from the sky and to watch the trees turn silvery – snow sticking so perfectly to the branches… especially waking up in the morning to see everything bright white, from the balcony or the kitchen windows or the garden!
Me… I love nature…but not so comfortable with cold weather… be it chilly winds, cold winters or snowy roads. I love to watch the snowfall from indoors – with a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate… but packing oneself and moving out for the daily routine is something that bothers me every winter. So, I wasn’t really waiting for the snow … For someone who can appreciate the 35 degrees heat of Chennai and more than that in my native place down south… I just wait for winter to make his journey faster in any place I am! This time I was waiting for snow for one reason – just to wear my new snow boots I bought after the snow descended last year. Though I did not approve of my husband’s prayers for some snow this year, I supported his wish only for those snow boots – that I might not have a chance to wear it in the near future… (quite cruel though).
Then came the snow… delayed by nearly a couple of months… at the fag-end of winter. When the trees were ready to adorn themselves with leafy clothes, there was snow to give them some designer fairy clothing! I relished it from indoors…thanks to the Daring Duo of my family, I was pulled out of my burrow for some beautiful, appealing, splendid, exquisite (add many more equivalent words for beautiful) moments!
This news was published on february 4, 2012-
Today’s temperatures in the Netherlands reached their lowest point in 27 years on Saturday. The lowest temperature was recorded in Lelystad in the Flevopolder, a region of reclaimed land, at -21.8 degrees Celsius.
A spokesperson for meteorological agency weeronline.nl says temperatures reached -20 degrees in many parts of the country. The spokesperson called them “bizarre temperatures.”
The coldest temperature ever recorded in the Netherlands was -27.4 degrees in the town of Winterswijk in the east of the country near the German border on 27 January 1942. http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/netherlands-records-lowest-temperatures-27-years
The snow show…
the designer snow clothing
the frozen canal
making a mark
snow in the woods
the lonely bird
frozen canal converted into an ice skating rink
and the migratory birds
up above the snowy landscape…
frozen sea in Almere
These are some special pictures of the historic city of Leiden in the Netherlands. Pictures were clicked and sent by our friend Y and his betterhalf. A very special thanks to them for these exclusive pictures of the first feel of snow!
Some details of the city Leiden –
The city is famous for its almshouses, university, museums and glorious history. The spirit of the Golden Age lives on here, a place where Rembrandt was born and inspired so many other influential painters. By the end of the 15th century Leiden was the largest city in the county of Holland.
In 1575, Leiden had the distinction of becoming the first city in the northern Netherlands to have a university. Legend has it that the university was a reward for the heroic resistance to the Spanish occupation.
Nowadays, the restored historic city centre is an especially pleasant place to live. With all of its monuments, museums, ancient alleyways, canals and moats, Leiden also continues to attract an increasing number of tourists and day visitors who appreciate the city’s charms. – taken from http://portal.leiden.nl/en/tourism_leisure/discover/about_the_city
Leiden is a quite Dutch renaissance town situated on a tributary of the river Rhine. The river represented the Northern frontier of the Roman Empire and some old Roman fortifications have been excavated nearby. Leiden was one of the first places where one could actually bridge the Rhine. http://hum.leiden.edu/history/eu-studies/about/about-leiden.html
nature’s own beauty
apple trees in disguise
pictures of frozen river rhine…
rhine in its normal flow
Appeltaart/Appelgebak – Apple Pie
Now, having started relishing the dutch snow…and the supplementary cold weather… why not try something special and dutchy.. I took out this book – ‘Dutch cooking today’ -that one of our friends had gifted us. This book combines traditional recipes with modern dutch food consisting of sauces, cakes, snacks, soups, one-pan dishes, main courses and many more. After a quick search, I decided to try the Dutch Apple Pie which is called appeltaatrt or appelgebak in dutch.
English apple pie recipes go back to the 14th century. The first printed apple pie recipe was by Geoffrey Chaucer in 1381.
Dutch apple pie recipes also go back centuries. Dutch apple pie recipes usually call for cinnamon and lemon juice to be added to the pie. The first recipes probably appeared in the late 15th century or early 16th century. http://wanttoknowit.com/who-invented-apple-pie/
The subtle flavour of cinnamon and soaked raisins with apples makes this pie a simple yet superb dessert. It is usually served with vanilla saus in restaurants or had cold with ice-cream or cream (slagroom in dutch) topping.
My version of Dutch Apple Pie – Whole Wheat (no butter, no eggs) Apple Pie
I have made some minor changes in the pie crust. As usual, all-purpose flour is substituted with wheat flour; butter is substituted with cooking oil; egg has been avoided and yoghurt is added in its place. So, this can also be regarded as a low-fat pie..(hopefully)! Though, I have not researched on the fat value of this pie, reduction of all-purpose flour and butter might lead to fewer calories in terms of fat.
- wheat flour – 175 gms
- sugar – 75 gms
- cooking oil – 100 ml
- yoghurt – 2 tbsp
- salt – a pinch
- baking soda – a pinch
make two balls
for the pie crust
- apple – 2 or 3 medium
- raisins – 50 gms
- orange juice – 50 ml
- custard powder – 1 tbsp
- sugar – 1 tbsp
- cinnamon powder – 1 tsp
- apricot jam – 2 tsp
Method of Preparation
- Sieve wheat flour and baking soda and keep aside
- Mix wheat flour, sugar, salt, oil and yoghurt in a bowl
- Make a dough. Normally all-purpose flour and butter would make a firm dough – but wheat flour, oil and yoghurt combines into a soft dough
- In a cake tin with removable bottom, press 2/3 of the dough over the bottom and the sides
- Refrigerate the tin and remaining dough for about 10-15 minutes till set
- In a pan, bring raisins and orange juice to a boil and simmer until the liquid is evaporated
- Combine cut apples, raisins, custard powder, cinnamon powder and sugar and spread over the pastry base
- Roll out of the rest of the pastry and cut into 1 cm strips. Arrange in a criss-cross pattern on top of the apple mixture, pressing the pastry edges together
- Preheat oven at 175 degrees centigrade.
- Bake the apple pie at 175 degrees centigrade for about 45 minutes in the oven till golden brown. Check after nearly 40 minutes for the golden brown colour – too much browning might turn the crust hard
- Remove from the oven and glaze with apricot jam
- Allow to cool in the cake tin for 10 minutes
- Remove from the tin and serve.
filling inside the crust
ready to be baked (updated picture)
- Caster sugar is preferred as it would dissolve easily. If sugar is not too fine, powder it in a blender
- Baking soda is a doubtful ingredient. It is just that i felt the lack of egg might result in a harder base especially with wheat flour. Hence, baking soda is added. One can try without baking soda and let me know the result too
- Instead of pressing the dough in the cake tin, dough has been rolled into a chapati and pressed in the tin
- The apricot jam spread on the baked pie gives a fine glow to the pie
- The original recipe mentions apples without skin – the pain of removing skin has been avoided – and doesn’t make much difference in taste too.
goodness of apple