The Engadiner Nusstorte

Summer changing into autumn is an experience that I was exposed to as a graduate student in the US. It was an experience that quickly and easily became a favorite. While, Durham, North Carolina is a small southern town known for its University presence, and its representation of local culture that invitingly included good eating, in retrospect it seems interesting to realize that some of my earliest experience of pastry in the United States was enriched in this town by a tiny, standing-room only patisserie that I’ve rarely seen empty when its glass cases were filled with all sorts of European-style treats.

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One autumn weekend morning when I was standing in front of the glass case at this patisserie I saw a tart with a label that I had to ask to pronounce. Engadiner (pronounced Engadi-nah by the staff) nusstorte rolled out like a song befitting the description of toasted walnuts folded into rich caramel and a little bit of kirsch encased in crumbly pastry crust, so much so I remember eating the tart, and dreaming about visiting the Engadine region sometime in autumn.

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Below is a method to make a version of the Engadiner Nusstorte

 

Ingredients:

 

Walnuts

 

Caramel sauce

 

Kirsch (optional)

 

Pastry dough like pâte sablée or short crust pastry

 

Toast some walnuts in the oven. Make the caramel sauce and add some kirsch to it off the heat. While the sauce cools down roll out the pastry dough into a tart ring and let rest. Mix the toasted walnuts into the room temperature caramel sauce. If using a bottom crust thicker than the top crust, blind bake the bottom crust before adding the caramel walnut filling. Roll out the top crust, brush with egg-wash and bake in a 300˚ oven until a golden crust is formed.

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The people in the Engadine region of Switzerland, I’m told, welcome the chill of autumn by eating this rich tart presumably with a hot drink to keep them warm. Interestingly, walnuts don’t seem local to the Engadine but their use in this nusstorte seems to be unique to the Engadine autumn.

 

 

6 thoughts on “The Engadiner Nusstorte

  1. Roxanne Odell

    Autumn weather brings many changes! Imagine eating this delicious and elegant pie. Imagine not only eating this scrumptious pie, but enjoying the chef's creation in his company, along with his wife, "mother-in-love", and newborn baby! A gastronomic experience heightened by sheer bliss and love! Robert and I were so fortunate to have been a part of this yesterday. Congratulations, Bala and family!

    Reply
    1. Bala

      Autumn indeed brings many changes, Roxanne! We feel very fortunate that you and Robert were part of it - thank you so much! I am glad that gastronomy could also play a role.

      Reply
    1. Bala

      Thank you, chef!

      I missed attending the anniversary cocktail,too and in particular meeting you all - based on the pictures and what I heard it seems to have been wonderful!

      I hope you've been well.
      Best regards,
      Bala.

      Reply
  2. Reva Pershad

    Bala, your post on the Engadiner Ness torte, its recipe; the excellent photograph
    accompanying it was truly fascinating. Food,for you, is a holistic experience; I am sure each bite you take is an emotional relishing.
    I just have to try out this walnut tart as it has all my favourite ingredients - toasted walnuts, caramel, kirsch; the golden crust pastry, of course.
    Walnuts take me straight to Kashmir, the home of walnuts Not only do I recall their crisp, fresh, sweet taste I also remember the beautiful walnut wood artefacts; furniture. MY first taste of kirsch to the lovely pastoral village of Kirchlindach, with Eiger in the background, where my Swiss hosts treated me to their delicious national dish-- Fondue! Sure warmed me up in the cold , even though summer, clime!
    So there you are! Food & places, food & people, food & climate - always go to make up the indelible impression of the gastronomic experience

    Reply
    1. Bala

      Thank you, Mrs. Pershad.

      It is a pleasure to read your recollections of walnuts in Kashmir, and in particular how the pleasure extends to the aesthetics of walnut-wood artifacts and furniture! Just as much, it was a pleasure to read your associations of fondue and kirsch with the beautiful Swiss landscape and your hosts.

      Thank you for sharing these lovely gastronomic memories!

      Reply

I look forward to reading your thoughts...