SWISS WALNUT PIE – “TOURTA da NUSCH”
One of the most famous and simple “Pie” from the Swiss mountains. A favourite in every household in Switzerland and a must bring back home present / gift if visiting the region of “Engadin“. Engadin is a long high Alpine valley region in the eastern Swiss Alps located in the canton of Graubünden in the most south-eastern Switzerland with about 25,000 inhabitants. The language of “Romansh” (only spoken in the valley of Engadin) is the 4th official language spoken in Switzerland and has its origin from Latin / Romans. The Engadin is protected by high mountain ranges on all sides and is famous for its sunny climate, beautiful landscapes and outdoor activities. (Source – Wikipedia)
One of the most famous and visited places in Engadin is St. Moritz.
The origin of the “Engadiner Nusstorte” is not certain and entails a few different stories and claims. The most plausible one is that during the Middle Ages many confectioners from Graubünden (including the valley of Engadin) moved to Venice and for 300 years specialised in sweets (confectioners – sugar bakers). When they were expelled in 1766, the Graubünden confectioners travelled around Europe before many of them settled back in Graubünden (Engadin). The idea of nut pastries could have easily come from one of these wandering confectioners as the climate in the valley of Engadin is too cold for nut trees to thrive.
Well, here is my Recipe for this wonderful Swiss Walnut Pie. You do not need too many ingredients for this Recipe. Remember, simplicity and technique is the key here. Have a go, try it out. I am sure you will love this one.
Quantity: 8-10 Port | 1 Pie pan non-stick, 22 diacm
Preparation time 20 min | Resting time 60 min | Baking time 30-40 min
QUANTITY UNIT PRODUCE
300 GR Flour white plain
150 GR Sugar white
150 GR Butter unsalted
1 PC Egg whole
1 PINCH Salt cooking
300 GR Sugar white
250 GR Walnuts, peeled and cut
200 ML Cream (full-fat)
Mise en place / Pre-Preparation
-Sieve flour, cut butter into small cubes (set aside till reached room temperature)
-Add all ingredients into a bowl and form to a dough
-Set aside (covered) in fridge for 40-60 minutes.
-Take dough out, keep approx. 250 gr aside for the cover.
-Roll out the rest of the dough and line out pie tin (buttered and sugared – not necessary if non-stick) with 3 cm high edge
-Caramelise the sugar, add walnuts – ensure that they all are coated with the caramelized sugar
-Add the cream and let bring to the boil twice
-Let cool down
-Then add mixture (not too hot) evenly into the lined out pie tin
-Cover with rolled out dough (cover) and cover the pie tin. Ensure that the cover reaches the 3cm high edge (enclosed)
-With a fork make some holes into the dough (cover), then brush with egg wash
-Put into a cold oven (top and bottom heat) for 10 minutes putting it on high heat, then turn doen the temperature to 170 – 180 C for approx. 25-35 min or / and till golden brown
-Take out, let cool down on a wire rack / tray completely before slicing / serving
-Goes best with some whipped cream, a nice coffee with a Grappa
Martin – Chef and Guide Dog User
Remarks / Comments:
-The dough is very crumbly and hard to handle. Best to keep in the fridge and only take out when working (rolling out) with it immediately
–Attention when caramelising sugar – do not touch the hot sugar – sugar burns are very painful. Pay attention when adding the cream (not too cold) otherwise some caramelised sugar will splash onto your hands and/or fingers!