Apple Day – Zürcher Pfarrhaustorte (Zurich rectory tart)

apple day - September 28, 2007
For Apple Day I wanted to prepare a Swiss speciality, because an apple also plays an relevant role in the history of brave Swiss. ;-) (read more below)

I have chosen the following recipe of a Betty Bossi cook book. It’s called Zürcher Pfarrhaustorte (Zurich rectory tart). I don’t know if in the past this tart was only served in rectories. Anyway today everybody can afford it.

I did some minor changes to the recipe. I reduced the amount of sugar from 100 to 80 g. Normally it’s baked in a 24 cm Springform, but I prefer a flat cake respectively tart.

If you don’t like hazelnuts you can replace with almonds. The taste of the tart will be smoother.

Zürcher Pfarrhaustorte
30 cm tart pan

Apple Day - Zürcher Pfarrhaustorte

shortcrust pastry (recipe see below)

150 g hazelnuts, grated
2 eggs (M)
80 g sugar
1 ts cinnamon
juice of 1 lemon
2 apples, grated

4 apples, peeled, halved, cored and finely incised
2 tb quince jelly, melted

Roll out the pastry and line tart pan with baking paper and pastry. Poke small holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork. Put in fridge, until the rest of ingredients are ready.

Preheat oven to 220 C.

Sperate eggs.
Mix yolks, hazelnuts, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and grated apples.

Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form, fold them gently into the hazelnut/apple mix.

Spread the hazelnut/apple mix over the pastry. Put the halved apples on top, cut side down.
Coat apple halves with quince jelly.

Bake tart for 35 minutes.

Apple Day - Zürcher Pfarrhaustorte

Shortcrust pastry

250 g flour
125 g cold butter, cut in small pieces
2 tb sugar
1 pinch of salt
lemon zest
1 egg (M)
1 tb cream

Sift the flour, sugar, lemon zest and salt into a bowl.
Add the butter. With cool fingertips, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Mix egg and cream, add to the dough. Mix lightly into a dough.
Press the dough between the palm of your hands to homogenize it. Do not overknead the dough or it will turn very sandy and fragile.
Let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight. To use, roll lightly with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface or directly on baking paper.

How to make shortcrust pastry:
Shortcrust pastry is the most common type of pastry, used for both sweet and savory pies, tarts, pasties and quiches. The usual recipe is half the quantity of fat to flour. The higher the fat content the „shorter“ or more crumbly the pastry. All the ingredients need to be kept cool and handled as little as possible.


The legend of Wilhelm Tell

At the end of the 13th century the sheriffs of Habsburg tyrannized and subdued the people who lived in the area that we today call Switzerland. The most cruel of them all was Gessler who used extremely humiliating methods. Peacock feathers At a time he had placed his hat – decorated with peacock feathers – on a pole at the market-place of Altdorf and announced that every man who passed the market-place should fall down on his knees as a sign of appreciation and reverence.

One day Wilhelm Tell – a hunter from the nearby valley of Schächen – passed the market-place with his son Walter without paying attention to the hat. Gessler had him arrested immediately and told him that his only chance to stay alive was if he could hit the apple that Gessler had placed on the head of his son Walter- with a cross-bow. Tell’s arrow hit the apple and, when Gessler saw that Tell had brought a second arrow, he asked why. Tell replied that it was intended for Gessler if he had hit his son instead of the apple. Gessler was furious, had Tell dragged on to his boat which was ready for departure to his castle in Küssnacht at the north-western shores of Lake Lucerne. Suddenly there was a raging storm and the boat was close to heeling over. Gessler got scared to death and decided to release Tell from his fetters hoping that he could save them all with his strong arms. Tell stood in towards land and some rock that he knew near Sisikon. He escaped at one single bound. The boat drove on and Tell knew that he was lost. Therefore he hurried to Küssnacht where he hid in a bush near the gorge that led to Gessler’s castle. When Gessler arrived Tell hit him with an arrow straight through his heart.

Wilhelm Tell – the true story ;-)

8 Gedanken zu „Apple Day – Zürcher Pfarrhaustorte (Zurich rectory tart)

  1. A good old Swiss speciality! Yummy! I love apple tarts and that one goes straight to my heart as it’s what I’ve always eaten since I’m a kid…

    Sorry not to have been able to participate.



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