A friend gave me a small volume entitled “The Swiss Cookery Book”, collected by Helen Guggenbühl and published in 1967. She admitted to me that she’d rescued it from a heap of items thrown onto a skip by her husband, who was clearing out his deceased mother’s belongings.
I made this tart, to the hearty approbation of all, including the couple, and the husband explained that the book had been given to his mother by Nanny Dürst, who came from St Gallen. “They didn’t get on” he commented, “Nanny Dürst thought I was the cat’s pyjamas, and my mother didn’t think she gave enough care and attention to my younger brother. I remember rather liking Nanny Dürst….”
The tart is simple, although it does take a fair amount of time in the oven.
It comes out still wobbly, and it’s very creamy.
I use English cheddar and French brie rather than Swiss cheese though, so I have ‘internationalised’ it somewhat. The original, according to Frau Guggenbühl, came from Einsiedeln in the canton of Schwyz.
Serve this with a green salad, garnished with seeds and nuts, and dressed with a nut oil based dressing.
Recipe for Nanny Dürst’s internationally Swiss cheese tart
- 1 x 320g/11 oz shortcrust pasty sheet
- 350g/12 oz/3½ cups grated cheddar
- 350g/12 oz brie cut into small bits – include the rind
- 5 eggs
- 3 onions, peeled and chopped finely
- 360ml/1½ cups milk
- 2 tbsps water
- 1 tsp smoked salt
- Preheat the oven to 180°C
- Grease a largish quiche dish. I suggest also lining a flat baking tray with foil to put the tart on – it can tend to explode (see featured photo) and then you have a devil of a job cleaning either the oven or the baking tray. Ideally use a pyrex dish rather than anything else (follow this link to find out why).
- Line the quiche dish with the pastry sheet.
- Mix all the other ingredients together. Pour into the pastry.
- Bake for about 45 minutes – check it after thirty. It will still be a bit wobbly, but it will solidify a little as it cools.