Bündner Nusstorte: A Swiss Specialty shortcrust pastry with a nut & honey filling

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My grandmother, who we call “Nani” in a typical Grisonian manner, absolutely adores Bündner Nusstorte. This, paired with a couple of other Grisonian dishes, might be one of the last remaining indicators that her family originally is from the mountain area of Switzerland, the canton Graubünden – the dialect has, much to my regret, been lost. So for this year’s 83rd birthday of my wonderful Nani, I attempted to recreat her favorite cake – with quite some success! So here we go:

Ingredients:

Shortcrust Pastry
300g flour
180g butter (cold, in pieces)
125g sugar
1 egg (organic, big)
pinch of salt
1-2 tablespoons of water

Filling
250g sugar
2-3 tablespoons of honey
300g walnuts, roughly chopped
2.5 dl of heavy cream
4 tablespoons of water

Preparation:
Combine flour, sugar and salt. Distribute and mix in the the butter by hand, it should have a crumbly consistency. Add the egg and combine everything to an even dough, you do not have to knead too much. Place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Roll out two thirds of the dough to a thickness of 3 mm and line a buttered a spring form (ca. 25 cm in diameter) with it so that the dough at the edge is approx. 4 cm high. Pierce the dough with a fork and put it back into the fridge.

For the filling, bring sugar and water to the boil in a large pan without stirring. Reduce heat, let the mixture simmer until a light brown caramel is formed. The caramelization process can be a bit time-consuming and frustrating the first couple of times, so don’t give up! When the caramel is formed, remove the pan from the heat and add in the nuts. Then, add the cream and the honey, combine everything to a thick mixture. Let it simmer for another 2-3 minutes, then remove from the heat and let it cool.

Preheat your oven to 180°.
Spread the filling onto the bottom of the dough. Roll out the rest of your dough, cut it out into a round lid for your cake and lay it onto your filling. Fold down the edge of the dough and press it down a bit. Score the edges with a fork for decoration.
For extra decoration, you can cut out hearts (or other forms) from the rest of your dough and place them onto your cake. Pierce the top lightly with your fork.
Bake your cake for 50-55 minutes until lightly golden brown, let it cool down completely – and enjoy!

Tip: The cake get’s better if you let it rest over night and if you keep it covered in foil and in the fridge it has a shelf life of up to 3 weeks.

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