Pear Torte Ticinese

Pear Torte Ticinese

Bruno
This pear torte has its origins in the Italian speaking Canton of Ticino in Switzerland. The Italian name of this torte would then be "Torta di pere alla Ticinese"
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Resting Dough 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Swiss
Servings 8

Equipment

  • Spring Form (see end of post)

Ingredients
  

Dough

  • 250 g Flour All Purpose
  • 150 g Butter unsalted, cold
  • 50 g Sugar
  • 2 ml Salt
  • 5 tbsp Water

Filling

  • 1 kg Pears Bosc, about 5-6
  • 4 Egg yolks
  • 100 g Sugar
  • 200 g Amaretti Cookies See notes
  • 150 ml Heavy cream 35%, Whipping cream

Instructions
 

For Dough

  • In a large bowl combine flour, sugar and salt
  • Cut butter into 1 – 2 cm cubes and add
  • Using your hands, quickly form into a crumbly dough mix
  • Continue to knead dough until you get a nice smooth consistency
  • Form dough into a ball, place on a plate and flatten it down a bit into a half round
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour

Tarte assembly

  • Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a diameter 5-6 cm larger than your spring form
  • Line form with dough pulling up dough on rim about 4-5 cm
  • Press dough carefully against rim and even out height
  • Using your thumb to make decorative impressions along the top of the dough rim
  • Use a fork to prick the dough bottom all over
  • Peel the pears, cut them in half and core them
  • Score the pear halves along their outside length spaced about 5mm and being careful not to cut all the way through
  • Arrange the pear halves radially on the tart bottom using a trimmed half for the middle piece

Filling

  • Using a rolling pin, crush and grind the Amaretti to about the size of coarse salt
  • In a medium bowl beat the egg yolks with the sugar until fluffy
  • Add the crushed Amaretti and fold in the cream
  • Pour and distribute the filling over the pears

To Bake

  • Preheat stove to 200°C
  • Bake on the middle rack for 30 minutes
  • Cool and let set before slicing

Notes

If you can’t find Amaretti cookies, you can make them yourself with this quick and super easy recipe found HERE
You can make the dough for this recipe by combining all ingredients in a food processor and pulsing it until you get to the “crumbly” stage and then finishing it by hand.
The tart crust can also be formed by by using half the dough just for the bottom and the other half cut into thirds, rolled and formed into the rim.
Keyword amaretti, pears, torte

The spring forms I use are “Wilton Excelle” in 24 cm (9″) or 26.7 cm (10″) size as per below.

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My “Easy Sunday Cake”

As the name says, the “Easy Sunday Cake” is incredibly easy to make and requires only a few ingredients, very little time to make and yet, is always a great hit with family and guests alike. Credit for the original recipe goes to my mother.

Jump to Recipe

Easy Sunday Cake

The “Easy Sunday Cake” is a light dessert that goes well with an after dinner coffee or digestive.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Swiss
Servings 12
Calories 347 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 250 g (8 oz) Flour Pastry or all purpose
  • 250 g (8 oz) Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 250 ml (1 cup) Milk
  • 150 ml (2/3 cup) Oil e.g. vegetable but NOT Olive oil
  • 1/2 package of Vanilla sugar
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) Baking powder
  • 100 g (3 – 4 oz) Hazelnuts or Filberts ground
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) Cocoa powder
  • Icing sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F)
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until foamy with a hand mixer.
  • Add milk and oil while continuing to mix on low speed
  • Incorporate flour, hazelnuts, baking powder, vanilla sugar and Cocoa powder
  • Pour mixture into a suitable baking pan (loaf, spring form, Bundt etc.)
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean
  • Let cake cool of and then finish with a dusting of icing sugar
Keyword cake, easy

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Polenta Gratin or “Polenta alla nonna”

If you love polenta or grits and you’re looking for hearty cool weather dish, this recipe will serve you well.

Polenta Gratin or “Polenta alla nonna”

Bruno
This polenta is actually a polenta, ham, tomato and cheese gratin. A very tasty dish for the cooler times of the year.This recipe uses a couple of ingredients you may not readily find but can easily find substitutes for.The first one of these is “Bramata Polenta” which can be replaced by any brand of coarse ground corn meal or “grits”.The other one is “Raclette” cheese. This can be substituted with (in order of my preference): Jarlsberg, Emmentaler (aka Swiss Cheese) or then Gruyere. If you’re really stuck, use “Mozz”.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Swiss
Servings 8
Calories 275 kcal

Ingredients
  

Polenta

  • 250 g Bramata Polenta coarse yellow corn meal
  • 10 g Butter
  • 1/2 tsp 2 ml salt
  • 1 L Water
  • 150 g Raclette cheese

Filling

  • 250 g Pancetta or cooked ham sliced
  • 1 Onion finely chopped
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 can 400g Tomatoes, stewed, diced, preferably Pelati or Romano
  • Salt pepper and nutmeg to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot, bring water, salt, and butter to a boil
  • Add the corn meal and cook on low heat until desired consistency is reached 9depending on the type of corn meal used, this may take from a few minutes to 1 hour)
  • Wile the polenta is cooking…
  • Preheat oven to 200 °C (395 °F)
  • Cut pancetta or ham, thin slices or small cubes
  • Chop onions and garlic, fine
  • In a sauce pan melt butter and saute onions and garlic
  • Add ham and cook briefly
  • Add tomatoes and cook 10-15 minutes
  • Add salt and pepper to taste (also add a pinch of dried basil, if desired)
  • Chop 100 g of the Raclette cheese into small cubes and gently stir into the polenta once it is fully cooked
  • With heat off, let sit for 5 minutes, then stir once more, adding a pinch of nutmeg if desired
  • Working very quickly now as polenta will solidify rapidly making it difficult to spread, add half the polenta to a buttered baking dish of sufficient size and evenly spread out
  • Add sauce and spread remaining polenta over top
  • Grate remaining Raclette cheese over top
  • Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until you have a nice golden brown top
  • Serve hot
Keyword bramata polenta, grits, polenta
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Linzer Torte

Another one of my mother’s recipes, the Linzer Torte is a torte that has its origins in Austria but is made in all neighbouring countries in various styles. The major differences are in the nuts ( hazelnuts, walnuts or almonds) and the filling used (redcurrant jam, raspberry jam, apricot jam, or even plum butter). My recipe uses filberts (the closest thing to hazelnuts we get in local supermarkets) and raspberry jam (because that’s what my mother used and she went to cooking school ;-). In reality, pretty much any kind of jam can be used, even marmalade, but tradition sort of calls for raspberry or redcurrant.

Linzer Torte

This is a pretty rich and filling torte. Servings should be fairly small slices. You can always get a second helping.
Prep Time 55 mins
Cook Time 27 mins
Total Time 1 hr 22 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Austrian, German, Swiss
Servings 8
Calories 435 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 200 g Flour
  • 200 g Sugar
  • 200 g Hazelnuts or Filberts ground
  • 150 g Butter
  • 1 tbsp “Birnenbrot” spice baking spice
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 500 g Raspberry jam

Instructions
 

  • Add flour to a large bowl
  • Cut butter into small cubes and toss into the flour
  • Using your hands, mix the flour and the butter into a nice crumbly texture
  • Add the sugar, grated nuts, baking powder, lemon zest and mix thoroughly
  • Beat the eggs and add along with the lemon juice
  • Knead the dough thoroughly. then let it rest for at least 30 minutes in the fridge
  • Divide the dough into thirds
  • Roll out the first third into a spring form bottom and set up the form
  • Take the second third and roll it into a sausage long enough to go around the inside rim and press it into the side of the form
  • Using a fork, puncture the bottom evenly all accross, then set the whole thing aside in the fridge
  • Taking the last third of the dough, roll it out into a rectangle big enough to make the lattices
  • Here comes one of Bruno’s tricks
  • Put this rolled out dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and stick it into the freezer for 20 minutes; it will make it a whole lot easier to make and handle the lattice work.
  • Remove the spring form from the fridge and cover the bottom with the raspberry jam
  • Take the lattice dough and cut it into strips
  • Place a series of strips across the torte spacing them the witdth of the strips and trimming them as necessary
  • Fold back every other strip in such a way that you can place the first opposing strip at an angle of about 60
  • Fold the folded back strips back to where they belong and fold back their countereparts
  • Repeat the above steps until you have completed the lattice work across the torte
  • Bake the torte in the oven, preheated to 180 – 200 °C, until you get a nice golden brown
Keyword hazelnuts, raspberry, torte
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Spätzli

Homemade pasta that beats anything you can buy in a store.

Spätzli

Bruno
Spätzli are a traditional Swiss (and German – Spätzle) home-made pasta that is easy to make, looks creative and tastes great fresh or fried.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Austrian, German, Swiss
Servings 6
Calories 215 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 250 g Wheat Flour
  • 2 small eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp sour cream
  • 5 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp butter to fry – if going to

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, add sifted flour and salt
  • In a medium sized bowl combine all other ingredients and wisk together
  • Add this mixture to the flour and wisk vigourously until you obtain a smooth dough and starts to produce large bubbles
  • Let rest to swell for 30 minutes
  • In a large pot, bring 2 litres of water to a boil
  • Scoop a good ladle of dough onto a wooden cutting board
  • Take a chef knife and dip it in the boiling water, then slice a small portion of dough and slide it into the boiling water making sure you dip the knife into the water at the same time again; this helps to prevent the dough from sticking to the knife. The amount and the shape of the dough “dropping” is up to you and you can vary both for additional fun. The traditional shape and size is about a 1/4 tsp of dough and has a slightly elongated shape
  • Repeat the above step in rapid succession until your first batch of dough is used up
  • When the Spätzli are done, they float to the top. Using a slotted spoon or small sieve, scoop out the Spätzli that are done, toss them in a colander and give them a quick rinse with cold water.
  • Continue until all the dough has been cooked
  • To serve, reheat as necessary or fry in butter to a nice golden brown
Keyword pasta
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