Technically this is a tart… because it’s baked in a tart pan? I don’t know. I’ve never seen any good definition to split pies and tarts aside from their pans. It’s always seemed kinda like pornography, you know a tart when you see one. Personally, I think of a tart being more refined and of European descent, the other rustic and more American (via English colonists). But both use a variation of a flour & fat crust filled with goodness.
Around the holidays I made a Bündner Nusstorte, a Swiss tart of shortcrust filled with a caramel and nuts. It’s been a nice change from the typical crust and fillings of the last thirty pies or so.
According to wikipedia, this version of the Nusstorte was developed by the Swiss baker Fausto Pult in 1912. Before him, bakers in the Graubünden region of Switzerland incorporated the nuts into the pastry dough. The history behind the original nusstorte is a familiar story of exchanging food traditions between immigrants and locals. Details are on the wikipedia page but come down to several centuries of Graubünden bakers living in Venice, learning to bake with native nuts, then being kicked out and forced to return home. With them came the inspiration for this tart, and over time, they adapted it to fit their local tastes.
This recipe is adapted from a Graubünden tourism site. It isn’t what I used, but I think it’s a better recipe: Graubünden Nut Pie
Pinch of Salt
300g Nuts, Chopped
Preheat oven to 375˚.
Grease a 24cm tart pan.
For the pastry dough, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Then cut the butter into the mixture. When mealy add the egg and work still smooth. Wrap and chill.
In a saucepan combine the sugar and honey with enough water to be like wet sand. Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil and cook till dark brown.
Stir in the chopped nuts, then the cream. Bring back to a boil, stir occasinoally, cook till desired color, and remove from heat. Let cool some.
With 2/3 of the pastry dough, line the tart pan. Leave 1/3” overhanging.
Roll the remaining 1/3 of the dough into a circle just large enough to cover the tart.
Pour/Scrape the cooled caramel filling into the tart. Cover with remaining third.
Brush with a light egg wash and bake 45-50 minutes till gold brown.
Cool and serve