It’s a birthday tradition around here that the birthday-ee gets to name their cake, and the wish must be fulfilled. This year I opted for a fond childhood memory – the Swiss fruit pizza/quiche called Wähe. Initial internet searches turned up nothing – but thanks to my intrepid sisters, I discovered I had been spelling it wrong. (It’s Wähe with umlauts, not Weihe, which is the Swiss dialect pronunciation.) There were several on line, but this was the one we ended up trying out:
Simple Swiss Fruit “Wähen” Recipe
one pack of frozen puff pastry (usually available in every supermarket)
3 whole, large eggs
1/2 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup of whole milk
1 teaspoon of corn starch
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt
Use fruits of your choice (best with apples, cherries, apricots, rhubarb or plums)
Let the puff pastry thaw. Sprinkle a little flour on a surface and roll the puff pastry out so you can fill a 9 inch tart form and do a little double dough on the sides of the tart form. Then fill up the form with the fruits of your choice. Use apricots half’s, or cherries, plum half’s or eights of apples. Use fresh fruits only. Once the fruits are tidily set in the form use a bowl to assemble the filling. Start with the three large, whole eggs (best at room temperature) and beat in the sugar. Than add the heavy cream, the whole milk, the vanilla and the salt. Completely dissolve the corn starch with two teaspoons of cold water and add to the mixture. Than pure the filling right over the fruit. Fill up the form quite well. The fruits should be almost covered with filling. Transfer the tart carefully to a preheated oven and bake it at 350 F for about 40 minutes. The top should have a nice golden color but must not become dark brown. Take the tart out of the oven and let it cool on a rack. This tart is at its best when almost cold.
[Courtesy of a 2-year-old post on Von Cigars Blog]
We tried one with a homemade crust, building up the edge to hold the custard. But without the proper shallow pie pan, the whole thing leaked into a fruity flan puddle. The second round was attempted with store-bought frozen pie crusts. If using frozen pie crusts, I would suggest cutting the edge off, for that flatter appearance. The ones I remember didn’t have the crust flange found on American pie crusts. More like a thin crust pizza. Also larger and flat like a pizza, with just one layer of fruit. These using American style pie crusts turned out thicker like quiche. It may take some experimenting, but the thick version tastes just the same.
According to the above blog, the back story on these pies is that it was a celebratory peasant substitute for meat on fishstick-Fridays, a tradition dating to medieval times. It looks like the tradition survived the Reformation by being delicious!