Thursday, January 11, 2007

Linzertorte


This recipe is adapted from the original blue New York Times Cookbook by Craig Claiborne, which was the second cookbook I owned.  My friend Kathleen gave it to me as a wedding present, inscribed with the following quote:

There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves.   Thomas Wolfe 

The only change to this recipe in the revision of The New York Times Cookbook  is that the flour is not sifted, so sift or not, as you prefer.

Walter’s sister Margaret makes this, and after having it at her house at the end of a wonderful meal, I added it to my repertoire too. This is a lovely dessert - delicious and beautiful.

The original recipe calls for doing everything by hand, but I do it in a food processor. Remember to use unpeeled almonds since they give the crust its delightful color.

Linzertorte
Adapted from The New York Times Cookbook by Craig Claiborne

Serves 6 to 8

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1½ cups raw unpeeled almonds, grated fine (You sill use the food processor for this step, but remember you are making almond “flour,” not almond butter, so proceed cautiously.)
½ cup granulated sugar
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 egg yolks
⅔ cup raspberry jam (Use the absolute best jam you can find – this really makes a difference, but in a pinch Hero works fine.  If you find you need to use a little more than ⅔ of a cup to cover the bottom of the torte, that’s okay. I have also used my favorite Queen's Blend Preserves by Hafi, which is a combination of red raspberries and wild blueberries, or the IKEA brand of the same combination, and the torte is especially delicious with that combination too.)
½ egg white, slightly beaten
Lightly sweetened softly whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

First, grate the almonds while the food processor bowl is dry then put them in a small bowl, and using the food processor again, chop the butter into the flour. Add the grated almonds to the processor and process until just mix in.

In a separate bowl mix the sugar with the cloves, cinnamon, and egg yolks. Add to the flour mixture in the food processor, and mix the dough until smooth and well blended.

Turn two-thirds of the dough into a nine-inch ungreased springform cake pan. Press the dough over the bottom and half way up the sides. Spread with jam.

Now for the lattice.  The instruction in the book says to roll egg-sized balls of the remaining dough between your palms to make long rolls about one-third to one-half-inch in diameter and about eight inches long, and then place the rolls on a baking sheet, and chill until firm. For the life of me, I cannot roll these pieces into eight-inch rope-like rolls.

What I do is pinch pieces of dough into rolls the correct width and as long as I can make them directly onto a cookie sheet, and then put the sheet into the refrigerator to chill.  This only takes a few minutes.  These strips should be as thin as possible because the dough is so short (meaning loaded with butter), it spreads when it bakes.

To create a lattice across the top of the torte, I lift the chilled rolls off the cookie sheet with a spatula and put them on the torte with my fingers.  The pieces won't be long enough to reach across, but as long as the pieces barely touch one another, when the torte cooks the lattice will be okay.  The chilled rolls warm and soften quickly so sometimes I have to re-chill them for a few minutes to keep going.  Once you have the strips across in one direction, when you do the other direction, only put little pieces where they need to go.  In other words, do not put more dough on top of dough because it will be too thick.  The strips only have to barely touch the dough around the rim of the pan.

I usually do four strips in one direction (the first strips) and then three in the other because I don't want to cover too much of the raspberry jam.

I know these instructions sound ambiguous, but once you do it, you will see what I mean, and the result will be beautiful.

Brush the lattice strips with the beaten egg white.

Bake on the lower shelf of the oven until the lattice strips are golden brown, about one hour and fifteen minutes. But keep checking because the almond-loaded dough can burn.  I have had it be cooked within 50 minutes.

Set the pan on a rack and partly cool the torte before removing the rim of the pan. You can sprinkle the cake with confectioners’ sugar, but I usually don't. I top it with softly whipped cream, which David Tanis says is best accomplished using an old-fashioned eggbeater.  It's also good with vanilla ice cream.

Print recipe.

5 comments:

  1. Hi Vic

    I'm doing 'leave a comment' for the first time and not that savvy with intenet stuff so please be patient with me.

    I've been looking for a linzertorte recipe for the longest time. I've eaten 2 types, one is with a darker, harder, denser, somewhat crumbly crust (some can be very dry). The other with a softer, golden, moister and somewhat densed almond cake like crust. I must say, I prefer the golden one. Kindly decribe the one you made. I've been trying out a few recipes and they just did not turn out the taste and texture that I was looking for. Thanks.
    Grace

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  2. Hi, Grace,

    My linzertorte is the dry, crumbly kind so it's not what you are looking for, although it is jewel-like beautiful and delicious. In David Bouley's cookbook East of Paris, there is a recipe for a cake-like linzertorte. My copy of the book is upstate, and I won't be up there for two weeks, but if you would like me to email that recipe to you for you to try when I am there, I will be happy to do that. Just email me at vicsrecipes@gmail.com so I know where to send it. The recipe for the Original Plum Torte is very easy and very good (not on a par with a wonderful linzertorte of course), and it is cake-like, so if you have never made it, you might want to try it in the meantime if you never have. Anyway, let me know if you want the David Bouley recipe. Thanks for your comment.

    Vic

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  3. Hi Vic

    So kind of you to offer me the recipe, thanks. I'll drop you a email soon. I'm really enjoying your blog. And I'll certainly try out your recipes.

    Grace

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for your response. I'm really glad you're enjoying my blog. It's a lot of fun.

    Vic

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  5. Dear Grace,

    I have the book with the cake-like Linzertorte in it now so if you want that recipe, let me know. I don't want to post it in general until I try it, but I will eventually get around to trying it because it sounds good.

    Vic

    ReplyDelete