Have you ever tried a pastry that’s both fruity and creamy at the same time? Before moving from The Netherlands to The Philippines very soon, I decided to try a couple of typical Dutch foods that I either didn’t have before or only a very long time ago.
As such, I decided to try out a couple of types of Dutch “vlaai”.
What is a Dutch vlaai?
Vlaai is a delicious Dutch dessert that comes from the Limburg region in the Netherlands. It’s like a pie, but with a special twist. Instead of a regular pie crust, vlaai has a thin and crispy dough base.
What makes vlaai so special is the filling. It can be filled with all sorts of tasty things like cherries, apricots, plums, or creamy custard. People in Limburg have been making and enjoying vlaai for a very long time, and it’s an important part of their culture.
You can think of vlaai as a sweet treat that you might have at celebrations, with your family, or just when you want something yummy. It’s a special dessert that shows off the delicious side of Dutch food, and I would say it is a must try for Dutch foodies and expats in The Netherlands that want a slice of Dutch culture.
Vlaai #1: Kruimelvlaai
The first vlaai I tried was this “kruimelvlaai” from a supermarket called Jumbo. Spoiler alert: this was actually the best tasting vlaai of them all! (At least, in my opinion. ^_^)
Kruimelvlaai with creamy or pudding filling is a delightful Dutch pastry. Its soft, buttery crust holds a rich, smooth, and luscious interior. The magic happens on top, where a sweet, crumbly streusel layer adds a delightful contrast of textures — crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Vlaai #2: Fruitvlaai
Then I had an assortment of fruitvlaai; apple vlaai, cherry vlaai and apricot vlaai. These were my least favorite.
Fruitvlaai, a Dutch dessert hailing from Limburg loved by many (but not me xD), is a delightful choice for Dutch foodies who love fruit in their pastries. These varieties with apple, apricot, and cherry, without a doubt are a unique twist on traditional pies. The soft, tender crust forms a perfect base for the star of the show—the sweet, juicy fruit. If you’re into that, that is.
Every bite is a taste of Dutch culinary tradition, a nod to Limburg’s heritage, and a joy for Dutch foodies seeking a delicious slice of the Netherlands.
I also tried a “puddingkruimelvlaai” from the supermarket Albert Heijn. This one is my second favorite. Okay, that is long word if you don’t speak Dutch. Let me break it down for you:
- Pudding: This part of the word refers to the creamy filling.
- Kruimel: “Kruimel” means “crumb” or “crumble” in Dutch. It typically refers to the crumbly topping on the vlaai.
- Vlaai: “Vlaai” is the name for a type of Dutch pastry or pie, often with a soft crust and various fillings.
So, when you put it all together, “Puddingkruimelvlaai” describes a type of Dutch pastry that has a creamy pudding filling and a crumbly topping.
Lastly, I bought a “rijstevlaai” and it’s not that good in my opinion, but still better than the fruit vlaai. Rijstevlaai is a Dutch dessert known for its creamy rice pudding filling. It often carries a subtle hint of vanilla. The crust, soft and buttery, provides a pleasant contrast to the creamy interior.
The name “rijstevlaai” literally means “rice pie” in Dutch. However, despite its name, modern rijstevlaai typically does not contain rice as an ingredient. Instead, it refers to the creamy rice pudding filling that is a key component of this traditional Dutch pastry. So, while the word “rijst” (rice) is in the name, the dessert itself is primarily a sweet, creamy pie with a rice pudding-like filling, rather than a pie made with rice grains.
In conclusion, my tasty journey through the world of Dutch vlaai has been a rewarding experience. I got to know my country’s unique food types a bit better and I tasted some delicious desserts!
I wholeheartedly recommend fellow Dutch foodies, travelers and expats in The Netherlands to savor these quintessential Dutch treats that have their origin in Limburg. Whether you prefer the fruity delights or the creamy indulgences, vlaai offers a delicious taste of Dutch tradition that’s not to be missed.