Gooseberry Meringue Pie from Limburg (Kruisbessenvlaai, Krosjelevlaai mit Sjoem)

Limburg is a province in the South of the Netherlands that is famous for its pies, known as vlaai. I’ve already posted recipes for a version with cherries, kersenvlaai, and one with apricots, abrikozenvlaai. One of the most famous types is … Continue reading Gooseberry Meringue Pie from Limburg (Kruisbessenvlaai, Krosjelevlaai mit Sjoem)

Dining in the Netherlands: Da Vinci**

There are not many female chefs with Michelin stars. Probably the best known in the Netherlands is Margo Reuten. Together with maître and sommelier Petro Kools she runs Da Vinci in Maasbracht in the south of the Netherlands in the province of Limburg. I’ve been curious about this restaurant for a while, and last night we finally went there. We arrived in style in a 1958 Rolls Royce, a hobby of the hotel we stayed at. We were welcomed by Petro and notice that Margo wasn’t around. Later we found out that for personal reasons she’s away from the restaurant for quite some time. Chefs have an important role in their kitchens, and we usually notice it when the chef isn’t there. That also seemed to be the case this time. Continue reading “Dining in the Netherlands: Da Vinci**”

Limburger Cherry Pie (Limburgse Kersenvlaai)

The province of Limburg in the South of the Netherlands is famous for its pies, called “Limburgse Vlaai” in Dutch or simply “Vla” in the local dialect. Vlaai is especially baked or bought for a birthday party.

You may think this looks like an Italian crostata di ciliegie (cherry tart), but the main difference is that a crostata or tart is made using flaky shortcrust pastry (pasta frolla) with 50 grams of butter for each 100 grams of flour, whereas vlaai is made with a yeast dough with only a small amount of butter. This gives the pastry a very different consistency.

There is a big difference between a ‘real’ freshly baked vlaai from Limburg and the industrially produced ones that are available all over the country. Kersenvlaai (vlaai with cherries) is one of the best known kinds. The pastry of the kersenvlaai I remember from my childhood tasted of cardboard. I can still remember the first time I had real kersenvlaai from Limburg, about 20 years ago. A friend of mine from Limburg was visiting, and since Limburg is so far away (3 hours is considered far in this small country of ours), my friend would be sleeping over. His mother had given him a kersenvlaai, bought from the local bakery in Nuth, as a gift for my family. That kersenvlaai was freshly baked and changed my opinion of vlaai completely. It was delicious! It is this kind of kersenvlaai that I tried to bake, and I think I came pretty close for my first attempt. It is fairly easy to do and very tasty, so I urge you to give this a try. You will be glad you did! Continue reading “Limburger Cherry Pie (Limburgse Kersenvlaai)”