Early summer is cherry time, mid summer is peach and plum time, and now that the weather is cooling down a bit the apples and pears are getting ready to be picked. Oh joy!! Apples play an important role in the Dutch kitchen: apple sauce is a standard condiment for many potato-based dishes (ever tried French fries with mayo and apple sauce? Don't knock it before you try it, it's the way Dutch children eat their fries) and a key ingredient in potato salad, Hete Bliksem (mashed apples and potatoes) and ofcourse in desserts: Dutch apple pie, apple beignets and the old-fashioned Dutch apple dumpling, the appelbol. Sweet, firm apples in a puff pastry cover and filled with soaked raisins and walnuts.....What a delight! You want a firm apple for this dessert: I used a Golden Delicious that Capucine picked for me, but a Jonagold or a Braeburn will do just as well.
Probably not a coincidence that these dishes do best in a wintery, cold setting. The appelbol is more often than not a sugary treat with morning coffee, a sweet ending to a long, windy walk along the beach or together with a cup of hot chocolate after ice skating on the canals. Appelbollen are usually served warm and without any additional adornments such as whipped cream, but the last several years people have been adding warm custard or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It's all good!
You can buy the puff pastry, but it's easy enough to make it yourself in case your store does not carry it or charges an exorbitant price. Here's a link to an easy recipe for home made puff pastry dough.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Wash the apples and core, but do not peel. Mix the raisins, walnuts, cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of sugar and add the apple juice or rum. Set aside and soak for a couple of minutes, then fill each apple with the mixture.