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4 Time Winner

Linzer Torte Tested Recipe

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Linzer Torte Recipe

A Linzertorte (Linzer Torte) has two delicious layers of rich and buttery, nut flavored pastry sandwiched together with preserves. What makes this torte so beautiful is the lattice design of the top crust and while black currant preserves are the traditional filling, raspberry as well as apricot and cranberry are often used in North America. As its name implies, Linzertorte originated in Linz, Austria and Rick Rodgers tells us in his excellent book 'Kaffeehaus' that printed recipes for this torte started to appear in the early 1700s.

The crust of a Linzertorte may vary in color depending on whether the almonds are whole or blanched, and if the almonds are toasted. My personal preference is to use almonds with their skins still on, and I like to toast the almonds as this brings out their wonderful flavor. For this recipe I have also used hazelnuts, but they can be omitted. Just increase the amount of almonds from 1 cup (150 grams) to 1 1/2 cups (225 grams). To prevent the toasted nuts from turning into a paste when ground, some of the sugar from the recipe is added during processing. The sugar absorbs the oil from the nuts and prevents the nuts from turning into a paste. This dough is easily made in your food processor and while some recipes call for piping the top crust's lattice design, for this recipe we are rolling out the dough and then cutting it into strips. When you are laying the strips of pastry on top of the raspberry preserves, do not worry if the pastry tears. Simply patch it up as best as you can as, after all, this is a very rustic looking torte.

Now, you can make your own raspberry preserves to fill this torte, or you can use a good quality commercially made preserve. My preference, if time allows, is to make my own so I have included a recipe which I have adapted from Carole Walter's 'Great Pies & Tarts'. It is very simple to make and it really brings out the tart yet sweet flavor of the raspberries. (The raspberry preserves can be made several days in advance of making the torte.) After the torte is baked and left to cool, I like to store it for a day or two before serving as I feel it needs time for all the flavors to soften and mingle. This torte looks so pretty with a dusting of confectioners' sugar and maybe a dollop of whipped cream.

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Raspberry Preserves:  Place the frozen unsweetened raspberries and the sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 to 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Do not let it burn. Remove from heat and pour into a heatproof measuring cup. Add a drop or two of lemon juice. Cover and place in the refrigerator while you make the crust. (The raspberry preserves can be made several days in advance. Cover and store in the refrigerator.)

Linzer Torte: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and position rack in the center of the oven. Place the almonds on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 - 10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Then place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until fragrant and the outer skins begin to flake and crack. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Once the almonds and hazelnuts have cooled, place in a food processor and process, along with 1/2 cup (65 grams) of flour, until finely ground. Add the remaining flour, sugar, lemon zest, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, salt, and baking powder and process until evenly combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Add the 2 egg yolks and vanilla extract and pulse until the dough just begins to come together. 

Gather the dough into a ball and then divide it into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Wrap the smaller ball of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour, or until firm enough to roll. Take the larger ball of dough and press it onto the bottom and up the sides of a buttered 9-10 inch (23-25 cm) tart pan or springform pan. If using a springform pan press the dough about 1 inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of the pan. 

Take the cooled raspberry preserves and spread them over the bottom of the crust. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Once the smaller ball of dough is firm, remove from the fridge and roll it between two sheets of wax paper into a circle that is about 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter. Using a pastry wheel or pizza cutter, cut the pastry into 1 inch (2.5 cm) strips. Place the strips of pastry on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.  When strips are firm, using an offset spatula, gently transfer the strips to the tart pan. Lay half the strips, evenly spaced, across the torte and then turn the pan a quarter turn and lay the remaining strips across the first strips. If desired, weave the top strips over and under the bottom strips. (Do not worry if the pastry tears, just press it back together as best as you can.) Trim the edges of the strips to fit the tart pan.

If you have any leftover scraps of dough, roll them into a long rope. Don't worry if the rope breaks. Just take the pieces of rope and place them around the outer edge of the tart where the ends of the lattice strips meets the bottom crust. Using a fork or your fingers, press the rope into the edges of the bottom crust to seal the edges.

Bake the tart in a preheated 350 degree F (177 degree C) oven for about 30 - 35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and set. Let the torte cool on a wire rack before unmolding.  Although you can serve this torte the same day as it is baked I like to cover and store it overnight before serving. This torte is lovely served warm with a dollop of whipped cream. Dust the top of the torte with confectioners' sugar.

This torte will keep for a few days at room temperature or in the refrigerator for about a week. It can also be frozen.

Serves 8.

Raspberry Preserves:

2 cups (225 grams) (8 ounces) frozen raspberries, unsweetened

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar, or to taste

lemon juice

Linzer Torte:

1 cup (150 grams) whole almonds (can use blanched almonds)

1/2 cup (60 grams) whole hazelnuts

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour

2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar

Zest of one lemon (the yellow outer rind of the lemon that contains the fruit's flavor and perfume)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

14 tablespoons (195 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2 large (40 grams) egg yolks

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Confectioners' (Icing or Powdered) Sugar for dusting





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