Engadiner Nusstorte

Katarina stepped up to the table this week with a nutty delicacy from mountainous Switzerland. She described it as a “calorie bomb” and she wasn’t wrong, but it was exactly what we all needed to kick start a frosty day at work. Second servings went down even quicker than firsts, and a good time was had by all.

“A dense caramel walnut pastry cake- think of it like a pecan pie with a lid! Traditional from the Graubunden part of Switzerland. The crust is quite biscuit like.”

Ingredients

Pastry
350 g flour
250 g butter
200 g sugar
1 pinch salt
1 lemons, rind of
1 eggs

Filling

500 g sugar
500 g walnuts
500 g cream
50 g tbsps honey
1 egg yolks

Directions

Cream butter and sugar.
Mix flour, rind, salt and egg on high speed until a dough is formed.
Divide the dough into 1/3 and 2/3 parts, wrap well in foil and chill for minimum 1/2 hour.
In the meantime, heat the sugar for the filling until it caramelises to a very light brown.
Heat the cream (can be in microwave) and add it to the caramel, stirring rapidly.
Add the honey, heat until it reaches a rolling boil.
Add nuts and stir well. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Mix well and allow to cool.

Roll out the larger of the pastry dough rolls and fit into a greased 24cm springform pan to cover the base and sides.
Pour in the cooled filling.
Roll out the remaining dough to form a lid for the cake. Put on top of the filling and join the edges well.
Paint the top of the cake lightly with whisked egg yolk.

Cook the cake at about 180 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Take the cake out of the oven and allow to cool. Do not remove outside of tin until cool! The cake should be totally cold before serving – I put mine in the fridge on the base, and only take it off the base once it’s cold and the filling has set. Otherwise if the filling is still hot the bottom will sag when you pick it up.

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Published in: on May 22, 2012 at 20:00  Leave a Comment  

Quince & Plum Pie

It still being the season for quince, Shona made us all a pie, merging stewed quince and plums to create an exquisite taste that captivated the hungry Cake Clubbers. Then she served it up with yoghurt AND ice cream. Mademoiselle, with this pie, you are spoiling us!

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Published in: on May 25, 2011 at 18:10  Leave a Comment  

Golden Peach Pie

The first cake club day of April saw torrential rain and a distinct chill in the air. At five to ten, the cake clubbers were just saving their work and getting up from their chairs when, oh horror! Is that the fire alarm blaring rudely down the corridor? The cake club and all their shivering colleagues milled aimlessly around in the car park for fifteen minutes while the local firemen investigated. Katarina begged them to turn off the oven in the tea room, lest the cake be spoiled, and was promptly labelled the Firestarter. No no! She cried, I was just warming it up, but now I am worried for my golden peach pie. No no! The cake club joined in, we were just joking, of course it was not our cake that set off the alarm, please can we go inside and eat it now?

Fortunately for all concerned, a fault in the wiring was discovered, the alarm turned off and the hungry cake clubbers allowed in to warm their hands on a nice cup of tea, and their stomachs on a perfectly warmed and not at all burned slice of peach pie. And they all lived happily ever after.

Pfirsich Wähe – in Swiss just to be different 🙂

Crust
200 g flour
125 g butter
Rub together until very fine and crumbly
Add 1 egg
1 pinch of salt
Add water if necessary, kneed gently and only until combined

Line a round baking tray with baking paper, then roll out dough and put in tray.

Grind up 100 g almonds, sprinkle on bottom of dough.
Half peaches and put them inside up on almonds.

Filling
2 eggs
200 ml cream
150 ml milk
2 tbsp sugar

Mix together and pour over peaches

Bake for approx. 30 – 40 min or until golden brown

Published in: on April 25, 2011 at 18:55  Leave a Comment  

Gade Oepfel Chueche

Using a recipe from a restaurant that lies in the Nor’eastern mountains of Switzerland, Katarina recently served up Oepfel Chueche, or for those of us (most of us) whose tongues inexplicably proved better at wrapping around the cake rather than the syllables of the name, Swiss Mountain Apple Cake. The restaurant is called Gade, which means ‘stable’ in the Swiss Toggenburg dialect, and this cozy little restaurant used to be a cow stable. The Cake Clubbers unanimously agreed that if this is the kind of food they serve up every day, they didn’t need to have bothered reburbishing – we’d all happily sit on straw bales amongst the cows to get another slice of this cake. Katarina’s report follows.

The recipe reflects very much who the mountain people of this area are. It is a down-to-earth, simple, rich and nourishing cake. Products like butter, flour and apples which were readily available were used. People worked physically very hard in the mountains, therefore a rich diet with lots of calories was common. It takes almost an hour to make the cake and another hour to bake it. This again reflects the nature of these people. The work they did was hard and took long; they put a lot of love into everything they did and the outcome was beautiful! (It certainly was! Ed.)

Gade Oepfel Chueche

3 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
250 g butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 lemon rind
1 eggs
milk
6-8 apples

Combine flour and sugar. Rub in all the butter. Take your time and use both hands until the flour, sugar and butter are completely smooth and fine. Add baking powder, lemon rind, the egg and if necessary a little bit of milk to combine the dough. Kneed it well. Put it in the fridge to firm up a bit.

Divide the dough into 3 parts. Put baking paper into a round baking dish of about 23 cm. If you have not baking paper or round dish, just make sure whatever you use, butter and flour it well or else the cake will stick very hard. Use 1/3 of dough for bottom of cake, make a long roll of the other one for the sides of the cake and use the last 1/3 for the lid.

Peel and core the apples. Grate them with the coarse blade into a bowl. Then take one handful after the other and press is hard to get the juice out as much as possible before you place the grated apples into the cake. You can drink the beautiful apple juice at the end. Then place the lid on top and cut a wee whole in whatever shape you like into it. This way when the apples are cooking inside the cake the steam can escape.

Bake the cake for approx. one hour on about 220 degrees Celsius.

En Guete!

Published in: on November 21, 2010 at 21:10  Leave a Comment  

Brandy Alexander Pie

In the second of the winter cake updates, we have Andrea’s Brandy Alexander Pie. This came pre-sliced, and shockingly had to be photographed using a mobile phone, as the usual artist was away and the photographer de jour was ill-prepared. Nonetheless, the word came back to your diligent blogger that this was a pie deserving of high praise and accolades, and was greatly enjoyed by all present. Andrea’s recipe follows.

3 packets Griffins Afghan biscuits
180g butter
Blend in food processor
Press biscuit mixture onto bottom and up side of shallow 20 to 25 cm diameter pie or flan dish

175g butter
225 g icing sugar
120 g plain chocolate, melted
3 tablespoons brandy (or rum or whisky)
150 ml whipped cream
Cream butter and icing sugar in food processor
Add melted chocolate and brandy to creamed sugar/butter mix and whizz in food processor again
Whip cream
Fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture

Spoon mixture onto biscuit crust
Decorate pie with chocolate curls
Refigerate at least 1 hr before serving

Serve with whipped cream or fresh fruit or both.

Published in: on July 5, 2010 at 21:33  Leave a Comment  

Apple Pie

Second up on manly dessert day was a fine example of an American apple pie, complete with lattice pastry. It was so good that some members of the club started speculating as to whether home made ice cream would also come under our jurisdiction. Chris’s recipe follows.

The all important crust:
1 cup flour
About 300g chilled butter

Use a pastry tool to break the butter into small pieces, the smaller the better but it needs to be solid, not liquid. Add butter to flour and work it together with a blender (or clean hands) until the butter has been fully incorporated into the flour and has a small ‘pebble’ like consistency. Handle it as little as possible, i.e. don’t over massage the dough. This amount will give you a single bottom crust, for a top crust double the recipe. Best to do it all at once, because it will be messy. Line your pie dish with the dough.

The apple filling:
5-7 largish apples, something not too sweet. I used Kiwi crisp, but something more tart works well too. Peel and slice into smallish pieces, though not wafer thin. If you use sweet apples add about 1/2 cup sugar (I used brown sugar) and a pinch of salt. For tart apples you’ll want to add a bit more sugar (and the salt). Add about a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon and mix it all together. You’re aiming to have enough apples so that they form a mound within the pie dish, as they will cook down a bit. Preheat to 232°C and bake for about 10 min, then turn down temperature to 175°C and bake for about 45 minutes.

To maximize flavor, serve it hot! This is important! And it takes more than 10 minutes in a warm oven to heat it up, so give it at least 30 minutes.

Published in: on April 19, 2010 at 22:09  Leave a Comment  

Banana Sour Cream Pie

Janine was this week’s hottest home baker, with an individual-pie-based offering. Her report follows.

Easy to make and rather delicious. Lovely creamy filling with lemon and sour cream to give it a gentle tangy taste. This was adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook. Adding extra lemon juice and bananas increases the intensity of the flavour.

Base
1 packet of arrowroot biscuits or similar
6 Tbs melted butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds (optional)

Blitz the biscuits in the food processor to a crumb. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Press firmly into a 9 inch pie dish, building up thick sides with a nice edge.

Filling
300 gm softened regular cream cheese (a 250 gm pottle is fine)
125 gm sour cream
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbs fresh lemon or lime juice (4-6 Tbs lemon juice gives it an extra tang)
3/4 cup mashed ripe banana (2-3 ripe but not squishy bananas)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Add all the ingredients to the food processor. Beat together until well blended. Pour into crust. Chill 3-4 hours at least, overnight ideal. Garnish with chocolate flakes and strawberries before serving.

Published in: on March 25, 2010 at 20:15  Leave a Comment