Oster­fladen a Swiss treat for Easter

Even un­skilled bak­ers can taste suc­cess with this scrump­tious fail-proof tart

Central Otago Mirror - - FEA­TURES -

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.

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