Thursday, January 11, 2007

Linzertorte


This is adapted from the original blue New York Times Cookbook by Craig Claiborne. My friend Kathleen gave it to me as a wedding present, inscribed with the following quote from Thomas Wolfe: "There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves." This recipe made it into the revision of The New York Times Cookbook with the only change being that the flour was not sifted, so sift or not, as you prefer.

Walter’s sister Margaret makes this, and after having it at her house after a (as usual) wonderful meal cooked by Tom, 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. Both ways the “dough” is a sort of sticky mess, and since the food processor makes it so easy, that’s the method I use. 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
1 ½ cups raw, unpeeled almonds, grated fine (use food processor for this step, but remember you are making almond “flour,” not almond butter)
½ cup granulated sugar
⅛ teaspoon cloves
⅛ teaspoon 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, and if you find you need to use more 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, and it is delicious here too.)
½ egg white, slightly beaten
Lightly sweetened softly whipped cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

First, grate the almonds while the food processor bowl is dry. Put them in a small bowl and using the food processor, chop the butter into the flour. Add the grated almonds and mix in by hand.

In a 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. The original recipe says to “knead” the dough, but it is really too sticky to actually knead even if you don't use a food processor.

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

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 rope-like rolls, and chilling the dough doesn’t help at all and just makes it break apart.

What I do is pinch little bits of dough touching each other across the torte, making a lattice pattern. (When you actually do this step yourself, you will see what I mean.) Fasten the strips to the dough around the rim of the pan by pressing lightly. These strips should be as thin as possible because the dough is so short (meaning loaded with butter), it spreads when it bakes. Do a maximum of four across in each direction.

Brush the lattice strips with egg white. (I know these instructions sound ambiguous, but once you do it, you will know what i mean, and it really, really works well, and the result is a torte that looks like it came from an Austrian pastry shop.)

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 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. Sprinkle the cake with confectioners’ sugar and, if desired, slivered almonds. For serving, top with softly whipped cream, which David Tanis says is best accomplished using an old-fashioned eggbeater, or, of course, vanilla ice cream.

Sprinkle the cake with confectioners’ sugar and, if desired, slivered almonds.

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

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