Years ago in Switzerland Friday was the day when Swiss housewives were busy washing, by hand of course. Men accepted that the normal three course meal would not be served at mid day and were willing to make do withWähen,as they are known of in the German speaking part of the country. (Pronounced vayern, singular is vayer))
They are really just open pies,or tarts,and quick and easy to make. They are not cakes to be served at tea or coffee time as a lot of Tourists think they are but a complete meal in itself. All Swiss love them,and so do I
All you need is an oven proof tart or flan tin or dish. We have special ones here measuring about 27cm in diameter with a side 3 to 4cm high. The dish must have a side, an ordinary plate won’t do. Pastry, eggs, cream or milk, and a filling, plus sugar if you are making a sweet one, salt and other spices as liked if it is going to be savoury.
The pastry can be any, bought or home made. My Mother in Law made the savoury ones out of Bun Pastry, which makes a thicker bottom,good for vegetables or fruit with a lot of juice .
If you want to be bothered, it is of course more authentic.
You will need :
250gr. of flour
10gr. of yeast
1-1 1/2 dl. of water and milk
50gr of melted butter
1/2 tablespoon of salt.
Mix yeast with slightly warm water/milk, add slightly warm melted butter .
Pour into bowl with salt and sieved flour, and need till smooth.Leave to rise,covered with wet cloth or cling foil.
Roll out 2 cm. thick. Cover base and sides of greased dish, making sure not to pull pastry. Prick bottom and fill with your choice.
Your favourite might be Onion
5 Large Onions,sliced
Fry lightly in Butter or fat , you could also add snippets of bacon.
Spread over pastry.
For the “Guss” you will need
250ml single cream,or mixed milk and cream,
1 1/2 tablespoons of flour
Salt and pepper.
pour “Guss” over onions in dish,and bake for about 30 minutes at 200-220 ° C
Eat warm or cold.
The Guss is the basic covering, or fluid that goes into every Wähe. In a fruit one you can leave out flour but two tablespoons of sugar must be added.
You can experiment yourself of course using all vegetables but covering it with Guss. One very traditional Wähe is Cheese
here you will need to scatter about 250gr of roughly grated cheese on to the pastry (we use a mixture of Gruyere and Emmental but I’m sure Cheddar would do nicely)
Pour Guss over it ,add salt and pepper. Mix it all together a bit with a fork,and bake as directed.
Even a filling of fried minced meat with leek or onions and grated carrots or red peppers work well.
If you are going to make a fruit one, it is a good idea to sprinkle the pastry with ground hazel nuts or almonds which absorb the juice a bit.
Sliced apples, apricots cut into quarters, rhubarb cut into 2cm long pieces, plumbs cut into halves or quarters,or stoned cherries make good tarts.
Fruit should be arranged in rings from outside to the center to cover pastry entirely and look decorative. Depending on fruit sprinkle with one to two tablespoons of sugar, and cinnamon if liked,before pouring the sugared guss over it. (We are not worrying about calories, it’s a meal)
For fruit tart I use shortcrust pastry.For quickness ready made ,so I always have some in the fridge,together with eggs and cream.
You can adapt the Guss,with richer cream, or more milk than cream. If you find it’s not setting sufficiently you can always add a little flour to the mixture.
Have fun experimenting, and I wish you all en Guete