Appel Speculaastaart.  What the what?!?!

I have made a friend in the Great Blogisphere.  Her name is Celladoore.  She has amazing recipes that are from places that I’ve never been to and made of things that I’ve never heard of.  I love reading them and then doing research on how to create them here.  I say that because no matter how hard I look for some of the ingredients that are sold in Europe, I can’t purchase them here in the Northwest.  So, what can I do?  Google like crazy and figure out how to make it happen!

Appel Speculaastart is basically a spiced apple tart made with Speculaas.  What are Speculaas you may ask?  Well, I am here to give to you the answer.  They are a Dutch holiday cookie that is very thin, crunchy and full of spices.  They are typically eaten during the Christmas season.  Celladoore says that they are famous but apparently not here as I could find them absolutely nowhere!

So, Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, off to Google I go!  I found a recipe from Martha Stewart.  I didn’t have the traditional windmill cookie presses so I used some leaf pie cutter presses to make mine.  They turned out to be beautiful and delicious!  They remind me a little bit of a ginger snap but it is still definitely not a ginger snap.


The Appel Speculaastaart is so visually unique and the taste is prachtig (that’s magnificent in Dutch – again, thank you Google)!


1 stick plus 1/2 TBSP butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup plus 2 TBSP granulated sugar
1 egg (room temperature)
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder


Additional spices – cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, white pepper, cardamom and ginger


1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs
11 TBSP butter, melted
1 cup speculaas (click link for recipe)
5-6 Honey Crisp apples
3 dashes bitters
1/2 cup flaked almonds


To Top:

For the Crust:
Cream the sugar with the butter and then beat in the egg.  Sift the flour and baking powder into the butter mixture.  Knead until smooth.  Press into a flat ball.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 20 minutes.


Mix together the additional spices to desires amounts – cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, white pepper, cardamom and ginger.

Grease spring-form pan and sprinkle the additional spices to coat the bottom and outside edges of pan making sure to coat the entire surface.

specspice specspicecoat

For the Filling:
Peel, core and chop apple into small chunks.  Place in bowl and add 3 dashes bitters, mix and let sit.


Crumble the speculaas with a food processor.

Beat eggs, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon.  Stir in the melted butter.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Remove the crust from the refrigerator and let it rest for about 10 minutes.  Roll the crust into a large circle and fit inside spring-form, covering the bottom and edges.

Layer the speculaas, then the apples.  Pour the filling over the apples.  Top with flaked almonds.

speccrust speccrustspec specapplay specpan

Place onto baking sheet and bake at 350° for 70-80 minutes.  If the almonds begin to become to brown, cover with aluminum foil but be sure to uncover for the last 10 minutes of baking.

At the last 10 minutes of baking, remove from oven and drizzle with honey.  Return to oven and bake the remaining 10 minutes. 

Remove from oven and allow to cool before serving.


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