Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Linzer Torte

You may have read about my attempt to make Linzer cookies back in December that turned out great. I made the cookies because I was intimidated by the idea of making a true Linzer Torte. And you know what? It was easier than the cookies! For those of you who don't know, Linzer Torte is from Austria - the city of Linz to be exact. It is made with nut flours - either almond or hazelnut or a combination of both - I used both. Raspberry jam is the most traditional filling, but I had some good strawberry jam so I decided to use that. I think it would be really good with sour cherry jam or red currant jam as well. Anyway, I decided to make the strawberry jam a little more tart so I added in some lemon juice so the Torte wouldn't be too sweet. The only difficult part was rolling out the lattice pieces as my dough was not quite cold enough. And, I made the strips a little wide this first time and next time I will make them a little thinner and add more. But, otherwise, it was so easy to make and it was delicious! It's kind of a cross between a cookie and a cake and delightful with a glass of milk or a cup of tea.

Linzer Torte
1 cup softened butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups ground almonds or hazelnuts or a mixture of the two
Zest of one small lemon
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 cup of raspberry, strawberry or sour cherry jam
2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Combine butter and sugar until creamed. Add eggs and mix well. In another bowl, mix flour, ground almonds or hazelnuts, cinnamon and cloves. Add to wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Place in refrigerator to cool for at least ½ hour.

Meanwhile, mix jam with lemon juice.

Take ¾ of the dough and press into bottom of a greased Springform pan. Spread the jam evenly across the top of the dough stopping ½ inch before the edges. Roll out remaining dough and cut into 1” strips. Arrange strips in lattice (criss-cross) across the top of the jam. Push the edges of the lattice strip into the bottom crust. Place into a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the lattice crust turns golden brown. Cake can be served warm but is even better the next day. It can be sprinkled with powdered sugar to serve.

Five Element Analysis

This is a dessert, so you wouldn't expect it to be very balanced by itself. The nut flours bring in the Water Element and the wheat flour adds the Wood Element. Strawberries or raspberries or sour cherries or red currants belong to the Fire Element. The sweetness from the sugars brings in the Earth Element. It is only missing the Metal Element and that can be added with a big glass of milk. It's a pretty balanced dessert after all!

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