Apfel Wähe or “Öpfel Waie“ in Swissgerman language (from Basel) is a very traditional recipe, every family has its recipe (or better recipes) and all are excellent.
The basic dough I used to make (Crust II) is a variation of the crust recipe form posted in the “Berner Kochbuch”, this is appreciated for the smooth thin and lightly salted dough. The second one is the recipe I adopted lately and I very appreciated for its flakey consistence.
If you are in a hurry, you may but pie crust or puff pastry instead; my family always say that all kind of homemade dough are better! Now I’m used to prepare the dough (even without measuring the ingredientsJ ) myself and in a few minutes the crust is ready. I’m very happy when somebody, usually my husband, helps me in peeling and slicing the apples. In this way this wonderful dessert is ready to be placed in the oven in only about 15 minutes! J Teamwork is always the best! J
Many people use cream instead milk for the filling, I know! I sincerely prefer it with milk not only because it is lighter, but also for the taste.
Apfel Wähe – Swiss Apple Tart
Crust I: Flaky crust
- 300 g all-purpose flour (you can mix 100 g whole wheat flour + 200 g all-purpose flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 170 g margarine, shortening or butter
- About 4 tablespoons iced water, quantity to adjust
Crust II: Smooth and lighter crust
- 250 g flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 80 g margarine or butter
- 90 ml water
- 3 kg apples, peeled cored and sliced
- 3 eggs
- 100 g sugar, best if brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 250 ml milk
Topping to dust
- Powdered sugar, to taste
- Cinnamon, to taste
- For the flaky version: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Cut in the margarine with a pastry blender or a fork until the mixture is course. Sprinkle with iced water, a tablespoon or less at a time and toss lightly with fork. It is very important not to add too much water, or your dough will be tough. Add just enough water until it holds together.
- For the Smooth curst: Combine all the ingredients and work/knead (best with a food processor or kneading machine) until smooth.
- Press the dough into a rectangle and smooth the edges with your hands. On a lightly floured surface roll the dough to the size of the baking tray + 3 cm on each side for the border. I perform this step on a silicon sheet, it’s easier to transfer it to the tray. If you don’t have a silicon sheet transfer your crust to your pie plate by folding it in half or eventually in quarters, so it is less prone to tearing. Once you have it positioned in the pie plate, unfold the crust and press it into the plate gently, so it hugs the pie plate. Note: I use a ceramic tray and I don’t need to grease it, depending on the material you have you may grease and dust with flour before lining it with the crust.
- Fold under the borders or cut out the excess and with a fork and pinch to make a fancy border. You can roll out the excess dough very thin and add it to the bottom of the crust overlapping the prepared base or use it to repair eventually holes or cracks.
- Preheat the oven to 175°C/325°F.
- Prepare the apples one by one and arrange the slices on the crust; you will see how many apples you need!
- In a mixing bowls combine egg, sugar, vanilla and cornstarch. Stir until smooth. Add milk and stir again to combine.
- Pour egg mixture over the apples and bake immediately for about 50-55 minutes or until the borders are golden brown and the bottom is done and light brown (check with a wooden spatula).
- You can enjoy this lukewarm or at room temperature. Dust with powdered sugar or cinnamon if you wish!
Specialties from Basel: