Monday, September 26, 2011

Linzer Torte

This fantastic dessert, named after the city of Linz, originates in Austria. It's one of the oldest cakes in the world, dating back to 1653. The pastry is a very short, crumbly dough made of sugar, flour, ground blanched almonds, eggs, butter and spices/flavorings. It's typically spread with a thin filling of preserves (traditionally current, but often raspberry or apricot) and then covered with a lattice top using the pastry dough. Because of the leavening agent (baking soda) in the dough, the crust rises in the oven and puffs up to cover the filling. This dessert is seriously all about the crust! If you remember from previous posts, the fact that the pastry is a short dough means that there is a lot of butter. The butter keeps the dough from toughening after the flour is combined with the liquid.

Linzer Torte
makes one 9" torte

8 oz flour
5 oz almond flour (or blanched ground almonds)
6 oz sugar
1 t baking soda
1/4 t ground cloves
6 oz butter
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 t lemon zest
1 t vanilla

This recipe uses a mixing method known as the "mealy dough" method. All dry ingredients are combined and mixed together. The butter is added cold, in small chunks, and mixed into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, like cornmeal.

The egg/yolk can be mixed together with the vanilla and lemon zest and then added to the dough. It should then be mixed just until it comes together. This dough will be crumbly and very soft, not likely a dough you would want to roll out. Take about half of it and press it into a 9" cake pan (or pie dish) with a buttered and parchment-covered bottom. Spread about 5 oz of preserves on top of the dough, staying within an inch of the edges. Pipe the remaining dough over the top in a lattice pattern using a decorating bag and a large round tip (1/4" at least). This will be tough to squeeze out, so you may want to heat up the bag for 10 seconds in the microwave to soften the dough a little. Also pipe round dots of dough around the edge of the torte. Brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with sliced or chopped almonds.

Bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes. Run a knife around the edge when it comes out of the oven and allow to cool before removing from the pan. Enjoy this delicious dessert!

1 comment:

Knitstress Mary said...

When you do start doing mail orders to family?