Osterfladen — A Traditional Swiss Easter Pie

As soon as the last Fasnacht “Räppli” (confetti) are swept up, armies of chocolate bunnies and mountains of chocolate eggs of all sizes and flavors start to pile up in stores—a clear sign that Easter is only a few short weeks away.

Easter is a movable holiday—that means its exact date changes from year to year. In 325 AD, the Church decided to set Easter on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the beginning of Spring (March 21). As a result, the earliest date for Easter Sunday is March 22. The last time this happened was in 1818, and the next time will be 2285. Similarly, the latest possible date is April 25, which last happened in 1943 and next will occur in 2038.

Other than decorating home and garden with some spring/Easter accessories and indulging in lots of chocolate, there aren’t many traditions associated with Easter in this region. One of them is a specific sweet pastry with a soft filling called an “Osterfladen” that is only sold shortly before Easter. However, if you like baking, you can also easily make one yourself. There are of course numerous recipes and variations; they all have a crust and then a filling that typically contains either rice or semolina. Here is one recipe—enjoy!

Swiss Osterfladen

For the crust

For the filling

Round pie form of 28 cm diameter


For the crust, mix flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Add the cold butter, cut into small pieces, and mix into a crumbly mass. Make an indentation into the dough and add the beaten egg and the cream. Mix into a smooth dough but without kneading too much. Wrap in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough to about 2-3 mm thickness at a slightly larger size than your pie pan to allow for sides. Place dough in pan and chill for another 20 minutes.

For the filling, heat the cream, milk, and raisins and bring to a boil. Add the semolina or cornmeal while constantly stirring. Turn off the stove and let the mixture stand for 15 minutes while occasionally stirring; allow to cool. Separate the eggs and add the yolks together with the sugar, lemon zest, and almonds to the cream mixture. Beat the egg white and carefully fold under the mixture.

Preheat the oven to 200 oC. Spread the filling on the crust and bake for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool and decorate to your liking with powdered sugar and a stencil, decorative candies (eg, jelly beans), etc. Enjoy!