When you enter a bakery in Switzerland, you may find a fruit-topped pastry known as a Jalousie. After seeing these for years, I always assumed the name was French, as the word jalousie means “jealousy.” I imagined people would feel jealous watching you eat one of these pastries, and so that was my rationale for the name, which turned out to be completely wrong!
During a recent visit to the Crest bakery in Flims, I finally asked the person behind the counter about the etymology of the Jalousie. She explained that jalousie (jalousien, plural) means “venetian blinds” in German. The pastry earned this name because the sliced fruit is layered in a cascading way like window blinds. Later, when I looked up jalousie in a French-English dictionary, I learned that this word can also mean “venetian blinds” in French. So, while many bakery items in Switzerland have different names in French and German (e.g., zopf vs. tresse, gipfel vs. croissant or mailänderli vs. milanais), the Jalousie pastry is generally known in both of these linguistic regions by the same name.
For a super-quick summer dessert, check out my recipe below for Aprikosen-Jalousien, a.k.a. “apricot blinds” from Switzerland. I think they would be delicious served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. However, I really like them on their own — not too sweet, and the flavor of baked apricots really comes through.
- fresh apricots
- puff pastry (pâte feuilletée)
- an egg, beaten
- powdered sugar
- finely chopped pistachios
- Preheat oven to 200°C / 400°F.
- Cut the puff pastry into rectangles. I used a curved pastry wheel for slightly crimped edge. Lay them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Halve the fresh apricots and cut them into slices. Place a row of these slices in the center of the puff pastry rectangles. Brush the edges of the puff pastry with some of the beaten egg.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, until the puff pastry has risen and turned golden brown. While they are still warm, use a pastry brush to spread a thin layer of warmed honey on the apricots.
- Give them a dusting of powdered sugar and then sprinkle on some of the finely chopped pistachios.