Cook.Bake.Eat.Write.

Posts Tagged ‘pie

P1060740I’m confused–is it summer or fall? If it really is summer (it IS August), then why am I wearing a scarf every day, and why am I already thinking about booking my plane ticket home for Thanksgiving? Because this is San Francisco, and like Mark Twain once said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” Though I must have heard this quote at least 10 times since moving here, it is actually true.

This last weekend, I left the chill of the city to go Gravenstein apple-picking and picnicking in Sebastopol, a cute town about 50 miles North of San Francisco. I know–Sebasto-what? Sebasto-hole? No–Sebasto-pol! As in the Gravenstein apple CAPITAL OF THE WORLD!

It was altogether loads of fun–turning out to be an all-day apple-picnic extravaganza! I left with about 5 lbs. of fruit and a brain full of all the fab things I wanted to make–apple butter, apple jam, apple tart, and apple tarte tatin!!

The bounty of Sebastopol before my eyes, I set out to find the ultimate apple pastry–as in apples in the crust, apples in the filling and apples in the topping.

I didn’t find a recipe with apple in the crust (I suppose I could have just added it–you know like when you add lemon or orange zest–but maybe I will next time. Grated apple essence crust? Has anyone ever done this before?). However, I did find one that utilized apples in both filling and topping, namely a “Zuercher Pfarrhaustorte” (Zurich rectory tart) that I came across on 1x umruehren bitte. Apparently, it’s another Betti Bossi recipe–the Betty Crocker of Switzerland!

I eschewed all plans I had made that Sunday–skipping Ballet in the park and a birthday party (not a close friend; someone’s mom)–staying home instead to put together this ravishing pastry. And I’m so glad I did; I enjoyed every minute–even grinding the hazelnuts by hand with my pestle & mortar (I haven’t gotten round to buying a voltage converter for my food processor yet.)

This tart is perfect for these fresh summer days in the city–it’s all hazelnuts, grated apple and flaky, butter tart crust. According to Zora, the hazelnuts are replaceable with almonds. I also didn’t have quince jam, so I used apricot. Lovely, lovely (>^_^)<

Zürcher Pfarrhaustorte (from 1x umruehren bitte and Betti Bossi)
30 cm tart pan

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shortcrust pastry (recipe see below)

150 g hazelnuts, grated
2 eggs (M)
80 g sugar
1 ts cinnamon
juice of 1 lemon
2 apples, grated

4 apples, peeled, halved, cored and finely incised
2 tb quince jelly, melted (I used apricot.)

Roll out the pastry and line tart pan with baking paper and pastry. Poke small holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork. Put in fridge, until the rest of ingredients are ready.

Preheat oven to 220 C.

Sperate eggs.
Mix yolks, hazelnuts, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and grated apples.

Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form, fold them gently into the hazelnut/apple mix.

Spread the hazelnut/apple mix over the pastry. Put the halved apples on top, cut side down.
Coat apple halves with quince jelly.

Bake tart for 35 minutes.

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This is a traditional Swiss pie from the Romandie. It’s quite tricky to get the texture of the custard and the crust right. I made this for D.’s 28th birthday. I hope he likes it!  

Despite appearances (this image is from my pre-photography class days), the pie was a nice combination of creamy, curdy, bounce and crisp crust. 

Makes one 9 inch pie (8-10 slices).

Swiss Custard Pie (Nidlechueche)

TART DOUGH INGREDIENTS
300 g flour

1/2 tsp salt

100 g very cold butter

5-6 tbsp cold water

CUSTARD INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp flour

4 tbsp sugar

a dash cinnamon

2 large eggs

300 ml heavy cream

1/4 tsp vanilla

DIRECTIONS

1. Prepare the dough: In a mixing bowl, combine flour and salt.

2. With a knife, flake the butter into the mixing bowl.  Then, with your fingertips, gently rub the butter and flour together until evenly combined (small grains).

3. Add cold water.  Then quickly mix together.  Do not knead.

4. Refrigerate for 1 hour or put into the freezer until completely chilled through.

5. While the dough is chilling, prepare the custard: In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

6. Whisk in the 2 room temperature eggs, combining well (until dry ingredients are completely dissolved).

7. Add the room temperature heavy cream and vanilla to the mixture.  Mix well.

8. To assemble: Pre-heat oven to 240 deg. C. Grease and flour one 9 inch pie pan.

9. Pour custard into the pie pan.

10. Pour custard into the pie pan.

11. Place pie into the pre-heated oven. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden.

12. Remove from the oven and allow to completely cool. Do not refrigerate.

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