This is a recipe that makes me glad I started a blog and got serious about learning to cook and bake. I could have missed out on this dessert entirely, and that is unthinkable. I love it so much. Let me list the ways... it's not too difficult to make, it's crunchy around the edges, it has raspberry jam in the middle, it's very festive, it's not too sweet, and it looks really pretty. May I present: The Linzer Torte.
The Linzer Torte is named after the Austrian city of Linz and is a holiday classic in Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, and Germany. There are of course many variations on the recipe, but it is always made with ground nuts in the crust, a jammy filling and a lattice design on top. For my torte I used almond meal in the crust and raspberry jam inside. Did I mention how good it is?
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups almond meal
1 cup sugar
zest from one lemon
2-4 Tablespoons cold water
For the filling:
2 Tablespoons fine bread crumbs
1 cup best quality raspberry jam
Preheat the oven to 400.
Combine the flour, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a large bowl. Do yourself a favor and choose a bowl larger than seems necessary. Cut the (cold!) butter into pieces and toss it in the flour mixture. Use your finger tips to smush and smear the butter in to the flour. The idea is to incorporate the butter while still leaving it flaky and cold. Use a fork to finish the mixing and smashing. Place this bowl in
Meanwhile, measure the sugar and almond meal in to another bowl and zest the lemon into it. Break the egg in a small dish and beat it with a fork. Take the flour/butter mixture out of the freezer and add the sugar and almond meal. Mix and add the egg and 2 Tablespoons of cold water. You will need to use your hands to mix and knead the dough until it becomes cohesive. You may add one or two more tablespoons cold water if necessary. Divide the dough in half. Press half the dough in to the pan and bake for 15 minutes. While that's baking, place the remaining dough between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Roll it out to about the same size as your pan, then place it on a flat pan and put it in the freezer.
Take the pan out of the oven after 15 minutes and let cool slightly. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the crust, then spread on the jam. Take the other half of the crust out of the freezer and cut it in strips. Lay the strips over the jam in a criss cross pattern. I did not attempt to actually 'weave' this top crust as it is very crumbly and fragile and I think it looks fine anyway.
You can use scraps of crust to fill in any gaps around the edges and make everything even. Beat the egg yolk with a splash of water and brush all over the crust. Place in the oven and turn down to 350 degrees. Bake for one hour or until beautiful and golden brown with a bubbly center. Let cool completely before serving. It's wonderfully crunchy around the edges, with the sweet and tart raspberry center and mild spicy flavor of the cinnamon and cloves.