Bernese Onion Pie

traditional Bernese onion pie

Happy onion day! Yes, I really said happy onion day, you heard right, because who might have guessed it, it`s actually onion day, at least in my city Bern. This special day is always celebrated on the fourth Monday of the month November and an old tradition here in my hometown. In fact people here call it “Zibelemärit”, which means onion market if you translate it. The festivities start early in the morning, approximately 6 a.m., in the town center. Dozens of booths sell all different kinds of onions & onion braids, food, drinks and confetti. In the afternoon there is a big confetti fight holding place in the town center as well. Towards 6 p.m. the onion market and it`s confetti fight come to an end. 

The onion market or onion day at least dates back to the 19th century and therefor looks back on a rich tradition in Bern. Same goes for the onion pie…Bernese people generally consume cheese pie or onion pie on this very day. You can not only buy both of these pie varieties at the market, but just everywhere during onion day. So do you agree, that today is the perfect day to share this traditional Bernese recipe with you?

The moist and slightly aromatic flavor of the onions is brought to full expression with a creamy and fluffy egg-cream-mixture and a butter based crumbled dough.

ingredients for Bernese onion pie

What you need (for one pie):

for the dough:

  • 200g white all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 80g butter
  • 20g margarine
  • 1/2dl water
  • baking parchment
  • round baking pan (28cm diameter)

for the filling:

  • 2 big white onions
  • 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 2 eggs, medium size
  • 2dl cream 
  • salt & pepper
making crumbled dough for pie
preparing dough for pie


for the dough:

  • preheat oven at 200° degrees
  • pour flour & salt on a clean surface
  • add butter & margarine, make sure both aren`t too warm, you don`t want your dough to be too soft
  • mix everything by slightly rubbing the dough through your fingers
  • slowly add water in several steps, quickly mix water into dough without kneading, just rubbing
  • lay dough on parchment paper, lay another parchment paper on top of your dough
  • gently press down the dough, then use a rolling pin to roll out the dough
  • move dough, with the parchment paper still on, onto your baking pan, remove top parchment paper
  • refrigerate for about 30 minutes
preparing filling for onion pie

for the filling:

  • peel, halve and cut onion into medium sized pieces
  • heat margarine in a pan, add onions
  • braise for about 15 minutes on low heat until the onions are translucent
  • prick the bottom of your dough with a fork and cover completely with onions
  • whisk together eggs, cream, salt and pepper in a bowl and pour homogeneously over the onions
  • bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, until your pie get`s a golden brown crust, make sure the bottom of your pie get`s well cooked, so you may switch your oven functions to bottom heat in the middle of the baking process
  • serve immediately or store well covered in the fridge for 2 days.
Bernese onion pie perfect for onion day

There you got one aroma explosion of a pie, highly-enriched by the juiciness and rustic taste of the onions. Besides there`s always a reason traditional meals are that popular, right? They must me mouthwatering good, otherwise nobody would eat them. Do you know any traditional dish, maybe from your country, that`s definitely worth a try? 

Read you soon,

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