Friday, November 2, 2012


Plum Tart 5 3 bis
It's wonderful to be back. Back among the mountains that remind us of our vulnerability, our ultimate lack of control over the world we live in. Mountains that demand humility, and yield so much peace in return.
- Alex Lowe
Autumn is my favorite season and it is also the perfect moment to take a vacation in the dazzling Swiss Alps, and more particularly in the Berner Oberland. It has to be said that nothing can quite beat the unique splendor and romantic ambiance of canton Bern's highlands when the trees have turned an intense shade of crimson and the fading sunlight bathes everything in gloriously fiery hues.

As a child, this is where I used to spend my October school holidays. Back then, I was already fascinated by this astonishing region and nowadays I am still profoundly attracted to its incredibly spellbinding magnificence. Hence, I incessantly keep returning there no matter the length of my stay - for one short day or for a week, it doesn't matter as long as I get my countryside "fix".

It is absolutely impossible not to fall madly in love with the Bernese Oberland. With its rugged snow-capped peaks, drop dead gorgeous waterfalls, stunning glaciers, soft and lush green dales, high-altitude emerald lakes, idillyc chalet villages and crisp clear air, this unbelievably beautiful and enthralling rural area of central Switzerland is a nature sanctuary which I like to compare to the Garden of Eden. And a paradise it is indeed as its spectacularly transcending landscapes, staggering panoramas as well as limitless trails through deep pine tree forests, rolling hills, rocky mountainsides and delightful meadows make it a hiking eldorado for both advanced and beginner trekkers. Whether you are a person who needs constant action and movement or somebody who is happy loafing around, there is no better place to enjoy your leisurely time.

Like most touristic havens, the Bernese Highlands are very popular during the summer and winter months. Personally, I prefer to go in this neck of the woods when fall is fully in bloom and the golden sceneries are so amazing that you lose the power of speech and tears of wonder/joy appear in your eyes. It is also a lot wiser to visit this lofty province at this period of the year, because rental prices are at their lowest and it is less crowded - you'll scarcely meet another soul (backpackers or skiers); the only living beings you'll come across will be the locals (mostly farmers) and their animals (cows, goats, cats, dogs, etc...).

In the past, my parents and I resided in a basic, yet comfy appartment with 70's retro furniture, an antique fire stove, a veranda and creeking/shaking pine floors which was part of an imposing and ancient (a few hundred years old) traditional farmhouse in which the owners lived. It was located outside the minuscule "town" of Zweisimmen (check out my posts on the subject) and was a bit isolated. The back of the building faced a thick and somewhat gloomy wood and the front overlooked the majestic Spillegerten (link to picture: 2nd photo from the top) and sublime Simmental valley. Apart from the muffled sound of the MOB train whistle in the distance, the bored moo of the cows and the soothing ring of their bells, silence prevailed. A sensational and extraordinarily relaxing experience!

For my very first getaway with P. since 1998 (!!!), I wanted to break the routine and rent an apartment which would offer similarly mind-blowing settings and an equally impressive scenic view, but which would be in another municipality. Our choice went to a small, simple, snug and welcoming two room duplex (self-catering) situated in the picturesque "suburbs" of Lenk (the district's population is 2450 and ruminants outnumber people), in Zelg, a tiny, bucolic and calm hamlet at the foot of the striking Mt. Wildstrubel and not far away from (only 500m) the tumbling Simmenfälle (waterfalls).

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.
- John Muir

Aside from being a dreamlike accomodation with a view to knock your socks off, another plus point of "Haus Salvisberg" is its handy proximity to cable car stations (Metschbahn & Betelbergbahn) as well as to numerous exquisite footpaths, (both easy and moderatly difficult) leading to moon-like summits, verdant montane grasslands, rustic alpine huts and magic cascades. Valuable assets that cannot be underlooked and which will enchant admirers of untouched wildness and passionate walkers alike.

As a matter of fact, from this ideal location, many fantastic excursions on well-marked and maintained tracks can be done. Since that is what P. and I came for, we indulged in a little sport by going out every single day and trekking from morning to evening through the harshest terrains as well as smoothest pastures. The vistas were so grandiose and entertaining that we could have wandered for hours on ends without being bored. There's so much overwhelming beauty in this corner of the world that we forgot how tired our limbs were and how numb, heavy and achy they felt - at the end of each journey we were knackered, but we were gleefully content and our heads were full of ravishing memories...

After having spent one week cooking uncomplicated meals, not baking at all and hardly being challenged culinary-wise, I was glad to rebound with my kitchen and put my brand new oven to work again. In order to celebrate our coming home, I prepared a semi guilt-free tart* with the last plums (one of my favorite dessert fruits) of the season and my trademark low-fat pastry.
This home classic and personal invention is easy to put together, but it is nonetheless almighty exquisite and deliciously homey. A heavenly treat which is best savored with a glass of quality Porto or a cup of tea and while nostalgically remembering past travel adventures.

* It contains about 95g butter less than the ones confectioned with shortcrust dough.

Plum Tart With Scone Pastry & Mascarpone
Recipe by Rosa Mayland, November 2012.

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients For The "Scone Pastry":

338g Plain flour
2 Tsp Baking powder
1 Tsp Fine sea salt
75g Unsalted butter
38g Castor sugar
Milk, enough to form a firm dough
Ingredients For The "Filling":
250g Mascarpone, softened
120g Light brown sugar
740g Plums, halved and stoned
Cinnamon, to taste

Method For The "Scone Pastry":

1. Heat the oven to 190°C (375°F) and grease a 28cm (11 inches) tart pan. 
2. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt, then rub in the butter.
3. Stir in the sugar.
4. Add the milk  and incorporate well (with the help of a knife) by cutting and turning the dough until it forms a clean ball.

5. Roll out the pastry and line the base of your tart pan.
6. Trim the edges and prick the base of the tart with a fork.

Method For The "Filling":
7. Spread the mascarpone over the base of the tart and sprinkle 50g light brown sugar over the cheese.
8. Place the plums, cut side up, in neat concentric circles in the tart shell. Cowd the fruits, but do not overlap.
9. Sprinkle the cinnamon and leftover sugar over the fruits.
10. Bake for about 40 to 50 minutes, until the fruits are soft and the crust is golden brown.
11. Cool on a wire rack.
12. Serve.


You can replace half of the plain flour by whole wheat flour and the castor sugar by light brown sugar.
For this recipe I used quetsch plums (the best plums, in my opinion), but any other type of plum (fresh or frozen) or fruit (pluots, mirabelles, apples, pears, peaches, etc...) will do.

Serving suggestions:

Serve for tea time or dessert, with a glass of Porto or a cup of tea.
Drizzle a little runny honey over the top of the tart if  you find that it is not sweet enough for your taste.

Plum Tart 6 3 bis

Tarte Aux Prunes Et Au Mascarpone
Recette par Rosa Mayland, Novembre 2012.

Pour 4 à 6 personnes.

Ingrédients Pour La "Pâte A Scones":
338g de Farine
38g de Sucre cristallisé
2 CC de Poudre à lever/pâte
1 CC de Sel de mer fin
75 g de Beurre non salé
Assez de lait pour former une boule de pâte

Ingrédients Pour La "Garniture":
250g de Mascarpone, ramolli
120g de Cassonade

740g de Prunes, coupées en deux et dénoyautées
Cannelle en poudre, selon goût

Méthode Pour La "Pâte A Scone":
1. Préchauffer le four à 190 ° C et graisser un moule à tarte de 28cm de diamètre.
2. Mélanger ensemble la farine, la poudre à lever et le sel, puis
ajouter le beurre et frotter la farine et le beurre entre les doigts afin d'obtenir un mélange qui ait une texture sabloneuse.

3. Incorporer le sucre.
4. Verser le lait, graduellement, tout en mélangeant bien (ne plus ajouter de lait quand la pâte aura atteint la bonne consistance/ni trop mouillée, ni trop collante) et former une boule.
5. Etaler la pâte et garnir votre moule à tarte avec.
6. Couper les bords qui dépassent et piquer le fond de la tarte avec une fourchette.

Plum Tart Lenk Betelberg 1 6 bis
Méthode Pour La "Garniture":
7. Etaler le mascarpone sur la base de la tarte et saupoudrer avec 50g de cassonade.
8. Garnir avec les prunes (côté coupé vers le haut et placée en cercles concentriques bien serrés).
9. Saupoudrer avec la cannelle et le sucre restant.
10. Cuire pendant environ 40 à 50 minutes, jusqu'à ce que les fruits soient tendres et que la pâte soit bien dorée.
11. Laisser refroidir sur une grille.
12. Servir.

Vous pouvez remplacer la moitié de la farine par de la farine complète et le sucre cristallisé par du sucre brun clair.
Pour cette recette j'ai utilisé des quetsches, mais n'importe quelles prunes (fraîches ou congelées) feront l'affaire. Bien entendu, d'autres fruits peuvent être utilisés (pluots, mirabelles, pommes, poires, pêches, etc...).

Suggestions d'accompagnement:
Servir à l'heure du thé ou pour le dessert, avec un verre de Porto ou une tasse de thé.
Si vous trouvez que la tarte n'est pas assez sucrée à votre goût,
arosez-la d'un filet de miel liquide.

Plum Tart 3 6 bis


  1. The tart looks awesome and so lovely flavors... deliciously done and beautiful clicks

  2. Quelle tarte! C'est du bonheur! Tout comme les photos d'ailleurs!

  3. Such a delightful tart, and the mascarpone is of course a splurge!

  4. What lovely holiday photos, and what a scrumptious tart!!

  5. Your place was perfect..good for pretty..the architecture is of course how I picture Switzerland:-)
    Your desert looks like something a grand master would want to paint.Les couleurs sont si riches.

  6. Great pics and I was just telling someone yesterday how I'd love to go back to Switzerland soon. Love your tart, sinful!

  7. Beautiful, both tart and the scenery. Gorgeous clicks, Rosa.

  8. Bonsoir!

    Quelle tarte à l'apparence succulente!
    Originale et traditionnelle mais qui donne l'eau à la bouche.
    Quelle chance vous avez d'avoir encore des prunes chez vous.

    Bonne soirée et weekend.


  9. What a beautiful plum tart!! And your photos of mountains are amazing... It's very different from scenery I see everyday!

  10. Quel beau et succulent partage !
    Merci pour tant de gourmandises et ces magnifiques photos !
    Amicalement Sandy

  11. J'en emporte un bout pour mon dessert...elle a l'air sensationnelle !
    bonne soirée

  12. Hi Rosa, like you I absolutely adore plums in baked goods. Glad you had a lowly break, mountains are one of the most therapeutic locations I can think of...

  13. Ah j'adore ces tartes, ca me rappelle les tartes aux quetsches de ma maman !


  14. The crust must be fantastic being similar to scones, wonderful with plums!

  15. Wonderful to have you back with a perfect recipe for autumn. It looks like you've had a relaxing time, peaceful and invigorating. Stunning pictures of the Alps.

    Hugs, Sandy

  16. What a gorgeous plum tart! I wish I could pin it all over the place! Your photos..whether they be food, scenic or anything..are simply amazing!

  17. I've been to the Alps and it's gorgeous there. So is your tart Rosa.

  18. That is one seriously amazing-looking tart Rosa! Absolutely-delicious-looking dessert and it's on my to do-list now thanks to you :).
    These are great panoramic mountain shots you posted today my friend, and what a place! Beautiful and peaceful escape, I'd love to visit your country one day. Gros bisous.

  19. I'm not a lover of mascarpone but the way you use it here Rosa, really attracts me, I must try it next time I make a pie! And the photos are fantastic too! xo

  20. originale cette pâte " légère" , à essayer avec des fruits juteux " de saison"
    Ça m'impressionne toujours tes montagnes, moi qui vit dans un coin plat de chez plat ( enfin presque, ça peu monter un peu sur des kilomètres, ça se sent en vélo)

  21. As usual, all your offerings are magnificent. You feed us well and take us sight-seeing too. The use of scone pastry as a crust is genius!

  22. Love plum anything. This morning in fact (as I have a lady coming for coffee sometime today) I made an upside down plum cake because I had a hankering for something plum. Then I come to your blog and voila, you are talking about plums.

    Love your scenery shots. We are into November dullness here.

  23. Good idea with the scone base, I do love plum desserts and the German ones where always my favorites when I lived there.

  24. Ta tarte a l'air en tout point succulente Rosa ! l'association mascarpone/ prune, j'en rêve maintenant ! Le seul souci c'est qu'il me faudra attendre l'année prochaine pour la tester, c'est malin ^^

  25. I will have to try your scone pastry instead of a traditional crust. I really like the idea of using less butter without losing any of the rich flavor. Thank you for taking us along on your amazing trip!

  26. As always Rosa gorgeous photos!!

    That plum tart with mascarpone I'm pretty sure that it has my name on it :)

    All the best,


  27. Looks like you had a fantastic time. Great pictures of both your holiday and this scrumptious looking plum tart. We haven't made a plum tart for several years - why not, I have no idea. But you've reminded me of how good they are. Thank you.

  28. Tes photos sont superbes Rosa - je n'ose dire comme d'habitude ;)
    Je retiens le mascarpone qui doit apporter un fondant extraordinaire à ta tarte.
    A tester donc !
    Bises Rosa et à bientôt

  29. Difficult decision: walk or rather eat your plum tarte !

  30. I love sugar plums! It's going to be season soon I think :D And lovely idea using scone pastry too!

  31. Such an evocative post - I want to go to the Bernese Oberland immediately! The tart is stunning, love the idea of scone dough as the base.

  32. I would love to see the Swiss Alps in the fall (and spring!). I've only ever been in the winter--well, it's beautiful, too. Would just love to return one day no matter the season. :)

    This plum tart is absolutely gorgeous and I bet it tastes just as wonderful.

  33. It looks amazing and I love the color of it!

  34. This tart looks absolutely stunning! Just my kind of pie!
    Looks like you had a fabulous time!

  35. Une jolie tarte gourmande et originale, je me laisserai bien tenter par une petite part !! Bonne semaine, bises

  36. The tart and the scenery...amazingly beautiful :D

  37. C'est vrai que les prunes cuisinées en dessert sont toujours délicieuses, et tu les mets magnifiquement en valeur!
    Bonne semaine.

  38. I have been so excited to see more of your beautiful recipes and photos ~ Switzerland is breathtaking right now (as is this tart). The colors are magical!! You shine Rosa :)

  39. Stunning shot of the plum tart slice. I love the crisp images of Bernese Oberland too!

  40. What gorgeous scenery! Nature at its best.
    And the tart! uuummm! delicious!the stunning pictures make me feel like grabbing it.

  41. sublime tarte gourmande, waowww

  42. Gorgeous tart! The color is so striking. And who doesn't love a little lovely mascarpone in their pastry? ;)

  43. plums are so beautiful and delicious when they're baked, and the other aspects of this tart only add to its decadence!

  44. Es una delicia me gustaría probar luce muy bonita¡¡ espectacular!! hugs,hugs.

  45. Dearest Rosa, This is simply BREATH-TAKING! Absolutely gorgeous clicks!!! Switzerland is definitely on my 'wish list' of places to visit. And that tart looks incredibly DELICIOSA :)

    BIG HUGS <3

  46. WOW!!!! Je salive Rosa, j,adore cette belle tarte!

  47. What beautiful colours the plums have in your tart! The Swiss scenery looks breathtaking, what a stunning country!

  48. The tart is gorgeous, as are all the other photos!

  49. Elle est sublime et doit être délicieuse cette tarte.
    Tes visuels sont splendides. Bravo pour ce beau talent que tu as.
    A bientôt. Des bises gourmandes !!

  50. Elle me plait beaucoup cette tarte avec les prunes et cette pâte épaisse crousti-moelleuse!

  51. Timely! This morning I was at the running errands when I realized I promised to make plum tart for teacher conferences today. Oops. Once I got home I realized there simply isn't time to bake something without disrupting my entire day. So I pulled out recipes off the net frantically. thankfully i found you. my tart is in the oven now . thanks!!!

  52. Rosa, tes photos sont si belles, paraissent si naturelles, elles donnent vraiment envie, de manger, d'aller se balader dans la montagne. Tres beau.

  53. No wonder you love it...your photos are wonderful!
    And that plum tart looks divine. The color alone makes me want to dig in!

  54. De toute beauté!! Tarte et images.. Tu es hallucinante ma belle Rosa XX

  55. Love your descriptions, Rosa, and couldn't help chuckling at the reference to 70s retro furniture! Beautiful pics as ever - it's a part of the world I've always meant to visit. First trip since 1998? Gosh, much deserved break indeed! Wonderful looking tart. My kinda girl with the glass of rouge...

  56. Your photos never fails to salivate me!!!

    Love plum tarts. So yum :)

  57. Une pure merveille : photos et recette, j'adore les prunes, et chez nous en Alsace on cueille les quetsches !
    Belle semaine, Sandrine.

  58. What incredible views! It must be so much fun to hike the trails there. And, you tart is a lovely way to welcome yourselves home. The plums look delicious!

  59. What a marvelous tart...the combination of plums and mascarpone sounds amazing. And your photos of the Alps are postcards!!! I hope to visit some day!!!

  60. What a lovely place, Rosa - and the tart is gorgeous. I love baking with plums - they have such a rich flavor when they are cooked - and the crust is genius!

  61. Beautiful tart, Rosa! I love plums and mascarpone. The Alps are gorgeous - I just had an aerial view flying from Venice to Munich on Sunday.

  62. Delicious food blog! I've found lots of yummy recipes here..feeling quite hungry now :)

  63. Tart looks totally scrumptious, and love, love your landscape shots Rosa! Have a wonderful day!

  64. That groundhog is freaking hilarious.... but the tart is no laughing matter! I am always so envious of the variety of plums available across the channel in Europe...

  65. Striking pics I'd love to go Switzerland soon. Love your tart,amazing!

  66. GORGEOUS place and that sculpture is so neat! The tart sounds absolutely delicious and love the dazzling red color.

  67. Swiss Alps is one the places on my list to go. Gorgeous scenery and mouthwatering tart. Glad to find your blog.

  68. It certainly sounds like a wonderful place, I'm glad to hear you enjoyed your time away!

  69. I'm in love. With Switzerland, with plums, with the tart. And especially with those welcoming photographs.

  70. The mountains and the tart are amazing. Beautiful!

  71. Quelle belle recette.
    Superbement mise en valeur !

  72. The scenery is just breathtaking...

  73. Looks incredible! It sounds great and looks perfectly crumbly and creamy. I love the contrast and pop of color in your pictures.

  74. This heavenly looking plum tart is surely the best way to celebrate the rebound with your kitchen! I like the sound of your crust. Gotta give it a try!

  75. Love the idea of using scone pastry. Lovely! Definitely hav to try.

  76. Vraiment superbes ces photos, la petite marmotte sculpté me fais trop craquer!

  77. Plums are the best in a tarts, lovely color! Beautiful pictures, Rosa!