RECIPES | This summer I had the pleasure of visiting Switzerland for a week, and while there I discovered a very delicious tart. Büdner Nusstorte (Nut Tart), also known as Engadine Nusstorte (Engadine is where it was historically produced) is a speciality of the largest and Easternmost canton of Switzerland, Graubünden.
It’s a sweet walnut and soft caramel tart with a rich, flaky, buttery shortbread crust and is utterly delicious. Ironically, nuts aren’t actually grown in this part of Switzerland. The recipe was brought to the region by pastry chefs from the south in the early 1900s, and it really started to gain popularity from 1934, when confectioner Fausto Pult presented the it to the public at the Swiss Sample Fair in Basel.
Today Büdner Nusstorte is extremely popular and can be found in cafes, bakeries, supermarkets, and restaurants across Graubünden. I was lucky enough to visit Schneider’s, a bakery and chocolatier that’s been operating since 1915 and try my hand at making my own Büdner Nusstorte. Chief confectioner Mathias Heller took me through the steps and the end result was perfect. While I’ve been sworn to secrecy as regards Schneider’s recipe, if you want to make your own Büdner Nusstortes at home, here’s a modified recipe that you can use.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes / Makes: 1 tart
- 300g white flour
- 125g white sugar
- 175g butter
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp (15ml) vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 250g white sugar
- 300g chopped, roasted walnuts
- 200ml thickened cream
- 25g honey (optional)
- 1 tsp (15ml) lemon juice (optional)
- Combine all the dough ingredients until it’s firm and not sticky.
- Place 250g of dough to the side to cover the tart and roll the remainder to fit a 24cm wide, 3cm deep pie dish.
- Put the dough in the fridge, so that the butter doesn’t cook prematurely when you add the filling.
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F) and roast the walnuts for about 5-10 minutes, tossing every few minutes until they’re a shade darker with a toasty smell.
- To make the caramel, brown the sugar, cream, honey and lemon juice on a high heat, stirring constantly.
- Bring the mixture to the boil, reduce the heat, then bring to the boil again. Remove from the heat.
- Add the nuts to the caramel and mix well.
- Pour the caramel and nut mixture into the tart casing and place the rolled out lid on top.
- Place the tart into a cold oven and turn the heat up to 220°C (430°F). Bake for about 20 minutes, until the tart is a light golden brown colour.
- Enjoy your Büdner Nusstorte now, or store it in the fridge where it should last for about a month.
While people in Graubünden are all about the traditional recipe and stick to walnuts, I’m pretty sure that this would taste delicious with hazelnuts or peanuts as well. After you’ve perfected the original, why not try it using different nuts? I know I will.