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A Trip to St. Gallen

Earlier this month we had a short weekend trip with friends (Shery, her husband Thomas, her brother Vincent and their 2 girls, Helena and Lucia) to Unterterzen, in St. Gallen. The reason for our trip was to see Christian, a friend who moved to Switzerland earlier this year to teach.

Our rental apartment was along Lake Walen and we were greeted with a beautiful view of the lake with a backdrop of snow-kissed mountains. We arrived late Friday afternoon, and our friends, who were driving in from Luxembourg, arrived early evening. They had already gone sightseeing as they left their house at 8 am.

Becca and Sarah were excited to see their girls and we had planned for them to bunk together on the sofa beds in the living room. But of course, Sarah had other plans and slept with Tobi and me.

The writer with her family at the Liechtenstein center; right, chairlift up Flumserberg*
Liechtenstein cathedral; right, hiking path in Liechtenstein*Liechtenstein cathedral; right, hiking path in Liechtenstein*

When researching for this trip, we realized that Liechtenstein was only a 30-minute drive away, so Shery and I strong-armed our German husbands to go on a short day trip.

We drove to Vaduz with the intention of visiting the castle. Unfortunately, the Prince of Liechtenstein and his family still lives on the premises, so it is not open to the public. Suffice to say, the girls were not happy. Instead, we made a hike from the castle (which was situated on top of a mountain) down to the city center. Sarah was already complaining on our walk down. She was already thinking of the hike back up!! But, we bribed her with ice cream and some sweet breads and she made the hike up with no objections! We were so proud of her and Becca. Apparently, all they needed was some peer pressure, as Helena and Lucia are used to hiking and were walking with no complaints.

The city center, as expected, was small, but beautiful in that old European style.

That evening, Christian had dinner with us, and we made adobo!! I have yet to meet a non-Filipino who doesn´t love our national dish.

Sunday after our checkout, we drove to Flumserberg. I was so happy I was not driving as the roads were winding up the mountain!! I was holding on tight as Tobi drove. He just laughed at me. He was making all those turns with no issues at all, I would have driven so slow that drivers behind me would have been so annoyed.

Lake Walen; right, Vaduz Castle*

Once we got to the foot of the mountain, we took a chairlift, and oh my, my heart was pounding and I was so nervous. I was holding on to Sarah the entire time, because she could slip through! But she and Becca enjoyed the ride. They were talking all throughout the ride and pointing out what they were seeing. We then hiked a bit up the mountain, some parts of which were already covered in snow! The scenery was a nice culmination to our short trip.

Here is a tart that I loved to make ages ago. I got the recipe from Tita Angie, whom I first met when I moved to Luxembourg.

Luxembourgish Apple Tart

For the tart dough

2 c all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp fine sea salt

8 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and chilled

2 tbsp sugar

1 egg

2 tbsp heavy cream, chilled

  1. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and beat until light and fluffy. Add cream and mix well.
  3. Add the flour mixture and mix forming a soft dough. Add some more cream if the dough seems a bit dry.
  4. Pat into a disc and encase in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  5. When chilled, roll out thinly (around ½ cm thick) into a 12 or 13 inch round and fit into 9-inch tart pan. Prick all over with a fork and refrigerate or freeze until needed.

For the filling:

1 ¼ cups all-purpose cream

¼ to 1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg

Pinch of salt

4 to 5 large apples, sliced thinly

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.
  2. Mix filling ingredients, except the apples, in a medium bowl.
  3. Pour into the crust. Arrange the apple slices on top of the filling.

Bake for 30 minutes, then lower the temperature to 375°F/180°C and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Leave the tart to cool in the oven.*

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