Monday, July 19, 2010

Maastricht, Netherlands: Dutch Pastries 101

When we hear tiramisu, we tend to think... oh an Italian dessert!  We hear macarons, and associated it to France and waffles are Belgian. Whatever their origins were, i'm sure there's still a debate up to now who made it first.

Have you ever ask yourself, how about the Dutch?  What's their specialty? 

I am lucky that I'm part of a Dutch family from the province of Limburg, bordering Germany and Belgium.  I was able to experience first hand the sweets that HT hubbie grew up with.

HT hubbie would always mention the word 'Vlaai' with a big smile on his face.  To us who are not familiar:

Vlaai is 'a pie made of flat spongy base and topped with fruits and whipped cream' (from

This is a typical treat that used to be served during special occasions in Limburg.  In modern times, Vlaai is available country wide where people would have easy access to this specialty in different bakkerij (bakery).

It was HT hubbie sister's birthday and I was given an advice that eating only one slice of vlaai is not pleasing for the host. So i prepared my tummy and was excited what's awaiting for us.  (since it's my first time).  A typical foodie who is happy to taste anything new.

Aardbeien Vlaai - this was my first choice as I love aardbei (strawberry).  And I made the right choice as this turned out to be home made by HT hubbie's sister.  This cake really made me mouth-watered the first time I laid my eyes on it.  It was love at first sight.  So I happily took one and it didn't fail me.  It carried just enough sweetness and complimented with the cream and the thin, smooth crust.  Home made is always the best.  Look at the abundant strawberries on top! 

Kruisbessen Vlaai - gooseberries, which is only available around the month of June and July*, made this vlaai a summer treat.  Hubbie was anxious at first that I might not like it, as gooseberries are usually tangy in taste.  The sugar, sweet components of the cream, the rich and sour taste of the gooseberries worked well together.

Kersen en Abrikozen Vlaai - half cherries and half apricot (not sure it was bought like this or just to halves put on 1 plate).  I had the cherries as my 2nd serving (yes, i had more than one!) of the vlaai and it was delicious! The pop of each cherries and the taste of its juice was heavenly everytime i took a mouthful of the vlaai.  I like the softness of the crust and the criss cross sugar-filled dough on top.  And something in this Vlaai makes me feel healthy even if i take another one.

Pudding greumele Vlaai (Custard crumble) -  I was not able to taste this vlaai as i was enjoying chatting with family members, and my tummy was topped up by now as well.  It must be those air i took from chit chat that made me full. Now when I look at this, I felt like I miss something. Just looking at the crumbles just reminds me of apple crumble...yum!
Hubbie managed to fill his craving as well, with 3 slices of these mjammie vlaaien he was a happy camper.

It was a fun fun night.  Just full of laughters, food and's always nice to share these with the family.

With Vlaai and kroket, i think i'm in love with the Netherlands.

Bakkerij de Lekkerbek
Maastricht, The Netherlands
*Aardbei Vlaai was home made



  1. the vlaai look so delicious! they should seriously consider freezing vlaai and shipping it to supermarkets all across the world so that everyone will get to taste it (:

  2. Looks so good! These pies! I'm a tart/pie lover. (: Oh I'll so love to have them all. I'm jealous Loraine!

  3. What a sweet sugar filled post! I dont think I would have any problems sampling each of those in one sitting :P The photo of the Aardbeien Vlaai reminds me of those fruit pies from Fruit Paradise but my classmate told me that those are pretty crappy :O Awww lucky lucky you, Loraine!

  4. Does every pastry in Holland looks so good? Kersen en Abrikozen Vlaai will be very nice as a birthday tart! Ahaha

  5. OMG! I want all that tarts/ pies for breakfast! :D

  6. Your pies look gorgeous. Why don't you go write the food section on lonely planet instead? :)

  7. Hi Ice, i knew this would make you mouth-water as i know your love for sweets :)

    Hi Charlene, yes that aardbeien was lovely...i hope i can make one someday.

    Daniel, from the Limburg province, i guess yes :) i haven't tried their mass market shop selling vlaai...i have to check out soon.

    Bella V, these are all pretty good for breakfast because of the light dough and sweets to perk up your morning.

    PY, thanks :) hahaha that's a good idea...but in the near future when i'm more experienced...haha

  8. this looks SO GOOD! The pies look amazing why can't we get any back here :( jealousy keeps striking when I read your blog Loraine :)

  9. Hi Jer Lin, if only i could send one to all of you and it would still look nice :)


  11. Hi Dorothy, that's why you have to visit me here :)

    Harris! How's the busy lad? :) yes, those tarts didn't fail us..the taste was as lovely.