Is it bad that it is nearing the middle of March, and I am just now getting around to making something that was on my holiday goodies baking list? Is it also bad that the only reason I got around to making it was because it was part of my pastry school curriculum? No? Not a problem? Okay great, I knew you'd understand.
I had actually wanted to make linzer cookies, but somehow ended up with a linzer torte, which I have since decided is basically one giant cookie, so I am going to cross it off my list anyway. I am really good at talking myself into or out of anything.
This is my kind of tart. Simple to make, with just a few ingredients, but it still manages to pack a huge amount of spicy, nutty, fruity flavor. Top it off with a fancy lattice top, and it is beautiful and tasty enough to impress your friends, and even win hearts.
Raspberry Linzer Tortefrom Professional Baking by Wayne Gisslen
makes one 9 inch torte
8 oz. butter, softened
6 oz. sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 oz almond flour (or finely ground blanched almonds)
1.6 oz. eggs (usually a bit less than a large egg, or one medium size egg) at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 oz. pastry flour
1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup raspberry jam
In a stand mixture, combine the butter, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg on low speed just until smooth. Add the almond flour and mix until combined. Add the vanilla and egg, and mix again just until combined. Add the flour in one addition and mix until evenly blended. Turn out of bowl, and divide into two equal pieces.
Take the first half, smash down gently into a 1/2 in thick disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. The second half, shape into disc again, but this time, place between two sheets of plastic wrap and roll out until 1/8 inch thick. Leave the dough in the plastic wrap, then chill both halves for at least two hours.
When the dough is nice and chilled, take the thicker disc out first, leaving the rolled-out one in the refrigerator until ready to use. Remove plastic wrap, and place disc on lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out until about 1/8 inch thick. Gently move disc to 9" or 10" tart pan with removable bottom, and gently press the dough into all of the corners, lifting up the edges to help fill the spaces. Be careful not to stretch the dough, this will cause shrinkage. Using your thumb, press off any excess dough hanging off the sides to create a crisp edge.
Spread the bottom of the tart shell with a thin 1/8-1/4 thick layer of raspberry jam. Take out the rolled portion of dough, and cut into 3/4 inch strips. Arrange in a lattice pattern (there is a good photo tutorial here) and pinch off any excess dough.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-35 minutes, until crust is a light golden brown. Let cool completely, the sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar prior to serving.