New recipes and updates

Get new recipes
in your inbox

Cuisine Fiend

Find a recipe by ingredient

Swiss cheese tart

Sat, 22 June, 2024

Swiss cheese tart, käsewähe, is a cross between a fondue pie and a cheesy quiche. A savoury cheese cake which is a traditional staple in Basel or Berne.

swiss cheese tart

A cheesecake with Emmental

Alpine cheesecake is a tart or an open pie with savoury cheese filling: käsewähe also spelt Chäswähe. Wähe is the pastry base, close in meaning to a tart or flan, and it also comes with other fillings, both savoury and sweet.

It’s a cross-Alpine dish, popular in Switzerland as well as in the German and French Alps where it’s called gâteau au fromage. You can buy it in every Swiss bakery and it’s a common street food at fêtes and carnivals.

The plain cheese filling is one option, but they come in bacon and onion versions too.


How to make wholemeal shortcrust base

This is a delightful shortcrust pastry recipe, and I recommend you bookmark it, like I have done, for any future pie and tart endeavours.

It’s easy too: cold butter rubbed or cut into the mix of wholemeal and white flours, but it’s fine to use all white if you like. Then there are no eggs, only cold water to be mixed in gently until the dough just about comes together.

It needs to chill, like all shortcrusts do so they don’t turn out too crumbly, and you can keep it in the fridge overnight or even for a couple of days. If so, bring it back to room temperature or you won’t roll it for love or money.

shortcrust pastry

How to make the cheese filling

This is really wonderful: less stodgy than a fondue, more substantial and cheesy than a quiche and you can customise it to your taste.

The cheese to use better be Swiss! However, Appenzeller that is recommended in my Swiss source is not readily available in the UK. Swiss Gruyere or Emmental will be fine, and at a push you can probably use Cheddar or any good melting cheese you can get.

Grated cheese, plain yoghurt, an egg and milk can be easily beaten with a spoon, adding a spoonful of flour, some salt and nutmeg because it flavours cheese dishes so well.

cheese filling

Preparing the tart

If you want to use shop-bought shortcrust pastry base, go for it though it will be nothing as good as the one in this recipe. Either way, use it at room temperature and bake straight away. If the pastry is too cold going into the oven, the middle of the base won’t bake before the filling burns.

If you’ve made your own pastry (well done!), roll it out and line a flan or tart dish about 24cm/9 inch. Slice the excess pastry with a knife level with the rim of the dish: this is no fancy crimping edge product.

tart base

Jab the bottom all over with a fork, then pour in the filling and dispatch it into the oven.

assembling tart

Baking the cheese tart

The closer to the bottom heating element it’s placed, the better. Since the cheese filling cooks much quicker, it is better not to use fan (convection) in your electric oven but the conventional up and down heat, if it’s an option.

Alternatively, you can place the dish on a heavy baking tray or a pizza stone and loosely cover the top with foil if it’s browning too much.

When it’s out, leave it to settle for a minute, then tuck in. It makes a fantastic snack, lunch, also dinner if paired with green salad. And it’s just as good at room temperature, or even cold because it will keep in the fridge for a day or two.

shortcrust savoury cheese flan

More cheesy Alpine recipes

Heston Blumenthal's recipe for the best, smoothest cheese fondue. What to dip in cheese fondue? Here's a light choice of vegetable crudites, apple and pear.

Tartiflette is the best potato and bacon dish ever invented. Reblochon cheese is traditionally used in tartiflette, but at a push replace it with raclette and/or camembert. Tartiflette is easy to make and delicious with plain green salad.

Camembert en croute: baked Camembert wrapped in homemade shortcrust pastry. A divine cheese parcel in cornmeal shortcrust with Cheddar and thyme. Who doesn't love baked cheese?

More savoury tart recipes

Tomato crostata with honey and thyme flavour on flaky pastry made from scratch, with a sneaky cheese addition. Crostata or galette is a sweet or savoury open, rustic pie.

Caramelised leek and Cheddar tart on shortcrust pastry, homemade or shop bought, is a fabulous, easy dish, as good to serve warm as it is cold.

Fig and prosciutto tart with ready-rolled puff pastry takes about five minutes to prepare and twenty to bake. A divine, seasonal lunch or starter dish, best made with gorgeous Bursa figs.

cheesy flan

Swiss cheese tart

Servings: 4Time: 1 hour


  • For the shortcrust base:
  • 65g (½ cup) wholemeal flour
  • 135g (1¼ cups) plain flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 75g (5 tbsp plus 1 tsp) unsalted butter, cold
  • 100ml (½ cup minus 1 tbsp) water
  • For the filling:
  • 200g (2 cups) grated hard Swiss cheese (Emmental, Gruyere or Appenzeller)
  • 145g (½ cup) plain yoghurt
  • 1 egg
  • 120ml (½ cup) milk
  • 1 tsp flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg


1. To make the pastry, stir the flours and salt in a bowl, dice in the cold butter and rub it into the flour until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs.

2. Add the water and stir only until the dough comes together, don’t overmix. Gather it into a ball, flatten into a disc and wrap in foil. Chill for 30 minutes and up to overnight, but in the latter case bring it to room temperature.

3. While the dough is chilling, mix all the filling ingredients and preheat the oven to 220C no fan/425F/gas 7 with the rack set at the lowest level. Prepare a tart or flan tin or dish about 24cm/9 inch.

4. Roll out the dough to a circle larger than your tin and transfer it into it on the rolling pin. Push the dough into the corners and trim the excess level with the rim. Jab it all over with a fork.

5. Pour the filling into the tart case and bake for 30-40 minutes until the pastry edges start to brown and the cheese is bubbling and charred. You might want to cover the top loosely with foil if your dough was very cold.

6. Let it rest for a few minutes before cutting. Serve hot or at room temperature.

NEW recipe finder

Ingredients lying around and no idea what to cook with them? Then use my NEW Recipe Finder for inspiration!

Recipe Finder

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published

Characters left 800
Recipe rating
Email address*
Web site name
Be notified by email when a comment is posted

* required

Cuisine Fiend's

most recent

About me

Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


Sign up to receive the weekly recipes updates

Follow Fiend