There is a beautiful part of Switzerland known as the Bündnerland and from here come some of my favourite foods like Tuorta da nusch, Silser Kugeln (especially from Furnaria Grond), Salsiz and Pizokel. I use to live in the Engadin which is a part of the Canton of Graubünden. It is rustic and majestic while also providing a sense of peace and of course great food.
Tuorta da nusch which also know as a Bündnernuss Torte or Nut Tart is a classic dessert from here. It is actually quite simple to make and contains loads of delicious walnuts and a creamy caramel like filling. Of course I had to make this classic dairy free and got to work. The original recipe I always use is from Betty Bossi, which as a Swiss, I basically grew up with. I have a couple of Betty Bossi books here in Dubai and when I am home I enjoy looking through Betty Bossi books to see what else is new and what can inspire me.
My grandmother has a super collection of recipe books (not in the hoarder way!) and one of them is from when she just got married. I find it really special being able to read through older recipes and see what inspired her when she was a young bride. Do you have a favourite recipe book?
Tuorta da nusch Recipe
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry Dough
300 g flour
1 pinch salt
125 gr brown sugar
175 gr dairy free margarine, cold
In a large bowl add in the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Add in the cold margarine and cut it in until a crumbly mass forms. Add in the egg and quickly bring together. Do not kneed the dough. Cover and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes. While the dough is resting you can start on the filling.
250 gr sugar, white is best as you can see the colour changing
3 tbsp water
300 gr walnuts, roasted and roughly chopped
200 mL full fat coconut cream
3 tbsp Forest Honey
In a wide pan add in the sugar and water and heat up with out stirring. Reduce the heat and with gentle back and forth motions (to help the caramel move around and burn) move the pan. The caramel should be cooking but not boiling. Do this until a light brown caramel colour comes. Take the pan off of the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Add the walnuts and the coconut cream to the pan and mix together. Return the pan to the low heat and cook until the caramel has dissolved. This will take about 10 minutes. Mix in the honey and then allow to cool.
You will need a 24cm Ø spring form as well as a baking paper. I prefer to roll out the dough for the form on the wax paper to help it transfer.
To make the lid of the Tuorta da nusch put aside 1/3 of the dough for the lid and 2/3 for the form.
Lid: roll out 1/3 of the dough on to a cold flour dusted surface. It should have a thickness of 4mm. Set aside to cool.
Form: roll out the remaining 2/3 on to the wax paper. It should have a thickness of 4mm. Using a fork poke holes onto the bottom. Set aside to cool.
Let the dough cool for a couple of minutes and the fill the form with the walnut caramel filling. Gently transfer the lip on top and using a wetted fork press down all along the lid to close it.
You will see the with mine the caramel actually came out as my spring form is too wide. This is not a problem (other than aesthetically) and can be solved by making more dough for the next time or just investing in a 24 cm Ø spring form. By making extra dough you can also add shapes on top of the lid. This makes it a sweet surprise. I especially like to add little leaves and vines for in the autumn.
Bake the Tuorta da nusch for 40 minutes in the lower half of a preheated 200c oven. When done remove it from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Like many tarts it tastes better the day after once it has been allowed to settle and the flavours combine. You can also wrap it in foil/keep it in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks.