Osterfladen a Swiss treat for Easter
Even unskilled bakers can taste success with this scrumptious fail-proof tart
When we lived in Zurich, Switzerland, we always knew Easter was fast approaching as all the little bakeries would start producing these delicious tarts. A Swiss specialty at Easter, this old fashioned yet scrumptious tart is easy to make. It has a fail-proof pastry, and simple rice custard filling so even those not so confident at baking (like me) will nail this humble delight.
I never used to associate tarts with Easter until I lived in Europe, where I learned they were popular at this time of year in many orthodox European countries. Traditionally, Christian families did not eat animal products, not even eggs, during Lent, making all these foods important and more relished over the celebration of Easter.
Chocolate is as important to Switzerland as watches and banking and even more so at Easter. Companies like Nestle and Lindt compete to out do each other in the Easter egg stakes with excessive and extravagant chocolate creations on display in all the Swiss villages and cities. We lived about 1 kilometre from the Lindt factory outside of Zurich, so if the wind was blowing the right way, we got the most mouth watering smells of sweet melting chocolate.
This recipe may invoke memories for those that enjoyed eating or creating rice pudding. Rice is the base of the tart filling, cooked in milk, sweetened, pureed and then ground hazelnut and lemon zest is added. You can use three slices of white bread soaked in milk instead of the rice, and add sultanas once all ingredients are added for a slight variation to the recipe.
Swiss Easter Tart – Osterfladen Ingredients
1 cups plus 1 tablespoon plain flour 165g butter, cut into 10 even chunks 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt cup sugar cup long-grain rice 3 cups milk 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
cup ground hazelnuts 3 large eggs Icing sugar to sprinkle over
1. Combine 1 cups flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar, teaspoon salt and the baking powder in food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Add 9 portions of the butter and pulse 3 to 4 times until butter blended through. Pour in 3 tablespoons cold water. Pulse again to combine. Note, it will not be a proper dough yet. Tip mixture out on lightly floured bench and knead gently to form a dough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour. 2. Cook rice according to instructions on the pack. Drain and return to saucepan. Add milk, remaining chunk of butter, cup sugar and remaining salt. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer until mixture has thickened, between 20-30 mins. Stir occasionally. 3. Cool mixture until it’s warm then puree in food processor. Pour into a bowl and add lemon zest. Mix in ground hazelnuts and 1 tablespoon flour then stir in eggs one at a time until completely combined. 4. Pre-heat oven to 180. Take pastry from fridge and lightly dust bench with flour. Use a lightly flour-dusted rolling pin to roll out the pastry to about a 30cm circle. Place into a tart pan with a removable base. Press dough down evenly into tart tin. Trim the edges with a knife. Pour filling into pastry. 5. Bake for 35-45 mins until the filling is set and the top a nice golden colour. Cool and then dust with icing sugar and you are ready to serve. Serves 8-10.
Swiss Easter Tart – Osterfladen.