Hete bliksem with a lard cutlet, served on a blue plate, seen from the side

Traditional Dutch Food: Hete Bliksem

The next blog in the Dutch Traditional Food Series, this time about hete bliksem. Other foods I’ve covered are Friet, Muisjes and the Frikandel.

Let’s find out the origins and history of hete bliksem. The name explained and the different names around.See what it’s made of, how to eat them the Dutch way.

Origins of Hete Bliksem

Hete bliksem is a stamppot which goes back years. Origins of the dish are unsure. It either originated on the Veluwe in the Netherlands, in Germany or in the province of Limburg in the Netherlands and Belgium.


A theory is that the dish originated on the Veluwe with the farmers. They wanted to use the ugly, not sellable apples, and made this dish with it. The flavor of the apples was still good, however they didn’t look beautiful anymore, so couldn’t be sold.

Another theory is that the recipe dates from the period that potatoes were introduced in Limburg. It was a way to combine a new product with a domestic product.


Hete bliksem with a lard cutlet, served on a blue plate, seen from the side
Hete bliksem with a lard cutlet

Hete bliksem means hot lightning. It probably got this name since the apples and with this the whole dish, remains hot for a long time. The apples or pears contain a lot of fluid which keeps it hot a long time. So hot you could burn your tong or palate on it.

Different Names

Hete bliksem is also called stamppot zoetappeltjes in the North of the Netherlands. Only sweet apples are used in this version. Another name used in the North of the Netherlands is pronkjewail. Then only dried or soaked apples are being used and treacle is added.

In some parts of the North and the West of the Netherlands the dish is named hemel en aarde (heaven and earth). Heaven for the apples, earth for the potatoes, since the apples come from a tree (the sky) and potatoes come out of the earth. In Germany the dish has the name Himmel und Erde (heaven and earth).

What’s in It?

The dish contains potatoes, apples or pears and onion. The division is half potatoes, ¼ apples and ¼ onion. You prepare mashed potatoes and applesauce. Boil the onions. Mix everything and season with pepper and salt.

It’s an easy stamppot with not a lot of ingredients. However it’s a nutritious meal.

How do You Eat Hete Bliksem?

Hete bliksem is a stamppot that’s eaten as dinner, mostly in the Winter months when the weather is colder. It can be served with blood sausage, bratwurst, bacon or a slice of pork belly.

Hete bliksem with a lard cutlet, served on a blue plate, seen from above
Hete bliksem with a lard cutlet

It’s not often sold in restaurants in the Netherlands. It’s a bit of a forgotten dish.

That’s All About Hete Bliksem

So now you know everything there is to know about this old Dutch dish.

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