The ride through the Tyrol alongside the mighty Inn river is as enchanting as any route in the European Alps, but not all the way on a Railjet. It is useless for sightseeing. Everything is a blur. Blink and you’ll miss it.
So while our first trip on this marvellous high-speed luxurious train was memorable it isn’t as pleasing as the ride on the regional train. So we are on the stopping train from Innsbruck to Landeck-Zams. Then the intercity to Feldkirch.
Mind you if we had thought about it we could have bought a boat up country from Istanbul and cruised all the way from the Black Sea upstream on the Danube into the Inn. One of the most enchanting dishes of Austria is schmarrn.
Originally known as Kaiserschmarrn, for obvious reasons, this aristocratic dish has been transformed into a traditional dish with several variations because of its enduring popularity.
Ask an Austrian to suggest their favourite food, and one that is traditional and representative of the country’s food culture, and this is the answer. And it was once untouchable. Made only with cream, eggs, flour, raisins and sugar it epitomised haute cuisine. Then it lost its kingly status, no more so than in the Tyrol where this torn pancake became all things to all people. The raisins were replaced by red cherries, pine nuts were preferred by those with a creative streak, almonds and hazelnuts got in on the act, and then Radio Tyrol decided that the schmarrn could become an oven-baked version of the rösti. They came up with a recipe using streaky bacon and waxy potatoes combined with the basic schmarrn ingredients – cream, eggs, flour, milk. Go to Tyrol Radio. But for us it is back to basics – Tyrol style of course.
This is the pine nuts version. Absolutely delicious.
300 ml / 10 fl oz cream (or 200 ml / 6⅔ fl oz milk) 240 g (4) eggs, separated 175 g / 6 oz white wheat flour 45 g / 3 tbsp pine nuts 45 g / 3 tbsp vanilla sugar 40 g / 1⅓ oz butter Salt, pinch Icing sugar, for garnish
Whisk egg whites into a stiff froth. Beat egg yolks and cream or milk, add flour, sugar and salt then the pine nuts. Fold in egg whites. Melt butter in a large frying pan, pour in the mixture, fry over a medium heat until brown. Turn and brown the other side. Break with two forks, add a little more butter and brown thoroughly. Place on serving plates, garnish with icing sugar.