Jeûne genevois

The Jeûne genevois is a public holiday specific to Geneva. It falls on the Thursday after the first Sunday in September. On this special day, the people of Geneva traditionally eat prune tart.


The practice of fasting could be observed in the Swiss cantons as far back as the 15th century. The Diet, an assembly of the representatives of the cantons in place until 1848, organised penance and thanksgiving days. Each canton could decide what form these fasts would take.

Image de tarte aux pruneaux

Origin of the Jeûne genevois

The origin of the Jeûne genevois dates back to the first fast recorded in Geneva, at the beginning of October 1567 following the repression of Protestants from Lyon. From 1640, fasting was seen as a moral and religious act and became an annual practice at the initiative of reformed cantons. It was seen as an act of humility and solidarity with the poorest members of society.

A traditional prune tart

In Geneva, prune tarts are traditionally prepared on this special day. They were initially the only meal of the day and could be prepared the previous day. 

For more information and bibliographical references concerning the prune tarts of the Jeûne genevois, consult the page “Why do we eat prune tarts on the day of the Jeûne genevois” of the InterroGE service.

The receipe

Find the puneaux tart recipe signed by Guillaume Chabry, pastry chef and barrista of the Le Fix and Horace coffee bars in Geneva.

  • Dissolve 9 grams of salt in 90 grams of water;
  • Mix 100 grams of wholemeal flour, 200 grams of white flour with 150 grams of butter. Add salted water and knead lightly;
  • Let the dough rest for 30 minutes in the fridge;
  • Roll out the dough;
  • Place 50 grams of ground hazelnuts (or almonds) mixed with 10 grams of flour at the bottom of the pie;
  • Cut 1200 grams of prunes in half and place them on the pie shell. If you have too many prunes, you can cut them in half and freeze them for a next pie;
  • Bake for about 1 hour at 180 °C, until the pastry is golden brown.

GRTA prunes

To make a pie with Geneva prunes, please consult the Genève Terroir website, which lists the producers of prunes with the guaranteed brand "Genève Région - Terre Avenir" (GRTA) and the page "Where to buy local food and drinks in Geneva" to find the other ingredients.

Article modifié le 06.09.2023 à 15:36