Today is the largest national holiday in the Netherlands, Kings Day. Kings Day is a bit of a difficult holiday to describe. It originates from the 19th century when the great-grandmother of the current king was reigning. The government decided that it was necessary to have a national holiday to celebrate the monarch. And so, Queensday was born. The holiday is held every year on the monarch’s birthday. Except during the reign of the previous queen, who wanted to keep it during her mother’s birthday to honer her.
Since 2013 we have king, which didn’t have for over a century the previous three monarchs were all queens. Nowadays we celebrate the kings birthday on the 27th of April. While I say we celebrate the king, we actually just use it as an excuse to have the largest party of the year. In the video below you can get a bit of a feeling of what Kings Day means.
For us in the USA we sadly can not party on a boat. That is especially difficult here in Tucson where we are getting or first 40+ C day of the year this week, pfoeh. So we decided to make and eat the traditional Kings Day pastry, Tompoes. The Tompoes is a pastry that consists of two layers of puff pastry with custard cream in between and colored icing on top. Tradition dictates that the icing is pink, and this is a pretty hard rule. You can not do something else without getting some disapproving Dutch eyes on you.
Except on Kingsday, then you are allowed to switch to orange icing on top. So we made some orange Tompoezen for ourselves. The recipe is relatively easy but takes a bit of time. You need to make the custard a day before so that there is enough time to solidify a bit. The next day you bake some puff pastry sheets that are cut into rectangles. You grab one sheet of baked puff pastry and you just put some custard on it. Then you add the second sheet and you color the top with some icing. And well that is it. You can add whipping cream on the top according to your own preference.
The most difficult part of the Tompoes is the whole thing. Because the pastry sheets are crispy you can not really cut into it. Usually what people do is take off the top and it eat. Then they use a fork or spoon to eat the custard. And finally, they eat the bottom pastry. But there are many different variants. Here we have a video that shows 12 different ways that people can be classified into based on their way of eating a Tompoes (commentary in Dutch).
With this I end the blog post of the day. The song of the day is the Dutch National Anthem, which is one of the oldest national anthems in the world. It was composed in 1572 during the 100 year war against the Spanish king.