Nick Malgieri
Nick Malgieri

Erst-August Toertli

Adapted from Gastronomia Gabbani in Lugano

These easy tarts are perfect for celebrating Swiss National Day because the red jam of the filling contrasts perfectly with the confectioners’ sugar on the cross-shaped cookie that tops each one, making a round imitation of a Swiss flag.

Makes about 8 tarts

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg yolk

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)

Seedless raspberry jam for filling

Eight 3 to 4-inch tartlet pans, sprayed with vegetable cooking spray, and placed on a jellyroll pan, plus a second paper covered pan for baking the crosses

  1. For the dough, combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat with the paddle on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until whitened. Beating the butter and sugar aerates it and the air in the dough helps it to bake to a light texture. Add the egg yolk and continue beating until it is absorbed and the mixture is smooth. Use a large rubber spatula to incorporate the flour.
  2. Scrape the dough from the bowl to a floured with surface and shape the dough into a rectangle. Wrap and chill the dough until it is firm, about an hour.
  3. To form the crusts, cut off a third of the dough and place it on a floured surface. Flour the dough and gently knead it until it is pliable. Flour again under and on the dough and roll it a little thicker than 1/8-inch. Use a floured plain or fluted cutter to cut disks of dough and arrange them in the prepared pans. Use your fingertips to evenly press the dough into the pans. Continue making more tartlet crusts with the remaining dough. After kneading the second and third piece of dough, incorporate the scraps from the previous piece into it.
  4. Use the remaining dough to cut the same number of crosses, making them a little less in diameter than the pans.
  5. Bake the crusts and crosses at 350 degrees until golden, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Cool on a rack.
  7. To finish, fill the crusts with the jam and heavily dust the crosses with confectioners’ sugar. Place a cross on the jam in each crust.