Monday, October 3, 2011

Onion Tart/Zweibelkuchen recipe and What is a Besenwirtschaft?

It's that time of year again in Germany.
Time for Onion Tart and New Wine.
Typically, to indulge in this autumn treat, you need only find a restaurant in your area.
However; Mac and I have found the most fun is to find a
Besenwirtschaft to have this treat.
What is a Besenwirtschaft?

Historically, somewhere around the year 800 Karl the Great allowed
winemakers to serve wine in their homes.
This tradition is alive and well here in
"Besen" means broom in German and you have only to look for a broom placed over or at the doorway of a private house or small local to sample the wines and specialties of Batten-Wurtenburg.
You never know what to expect when you enter a Besen,
perhaps you might be ushered into someone's living room or
they may have tables set up in their driveways. We love them because it's a chance to mix with the
locals and learn more about their culture.
Interestingly, these besenwirtschafts are to this day allowed to forego getting a restaurant or liquor license to sell directly to you as long as they limit their business to just four months of the year. 
Yes, you are eating homemade food at someones house, don't worry though, because by law here in Germany, health inspectors visit the Besens weekly.
Mac and I say, drive around and enjoy an adventure with the locals
at a besen this fall!
If you can read German,
is a good place to find a besen near you.
Now on to the recipe!
My favorite seasonal food at a besen is
or Onion Tart in English.
I am going to give you a recipe to try yourself if you don't live where you can try this
seasonal delight.
First cut up1 kg for you English cooks of white onions
For the Americans cup up 2 pounds of white onions.

Peel and cut onions into small pieces. If you are using bacon lardons instead of ham put these in the frying pan now with your onions, simmer slowly until cooked to a transparent consistency.

If you are using the diced ham use 8 ounces
227 grams for you Brits. and add it now. I like
a lot of ham in mine, but if you don't
half the quantity.
Of course, if you are vegetarian, leave the meat out!

Stir the ham in and warm it for a few minutes. Now stir in 1/4 cup of flour  into this mix.
Onions produce a lot of water so we want to thicken the sauce when it cooks by doing this.

In mixing bowl, mix together 16 oz. Light sour cream
For the British cooks, use 454gram of crème fraîche
and 4 large eggs.

Now add salt and pepper to taste and 1/2 teaspoon
caraway seeds.
Add 150 grams of Gouda cheese (about a cup of shredded cheese for you American cooks)
Combine the onion and ham mixture with the
sour cream, cheese and eggs.
Get a quiche or pie pan ready and place
ready-made pie crust in it.
(or your own home-made crust if you prefer)

Pour your combined mixture into the pie.
Heat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) and bake for approximately 50 minutes.

Oma's Zweibelkuchen!

Enjoy with a glass of New Wine.

Mac gives this time of year in Germany
two thumbs up! 

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