December 19, 2015
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1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1¾ cups almonds
½ cup raspberry preserves (the best you can find)
1/3 cup red or black currant jam
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1¾ cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Every Christmas my father went uptown to Yorkville to purchase a Linzer torte; it reminded him of his Berlin childhood.
The year I was twelve I surprised him by baking one myself.
Much later I learned that the classic recipe requires considerably more effort than mine, but to this day I prefer this super-easy version. To me it will always be the taste of Christmas.
Cream the butter with the confectioner’s sugar. Beat in 1 egg and 1 egg yolk (save the leftover white).
Toast the almonds and grind them very fine. Add the nuts to the butter mixture, along with the flour, a pinch of salt, and the cinnamon. The dough will be very stiff. Form it into a disk, wrap it well, and refrigerate it for at least half an hour.
Separate one-third of the dough from the rest, and lightly roll out the larger piece on a floured surface so that it fits into an 8-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, pressing it up the sides. Don’t worry if the dough falls apart; just patch and press it into the pan. Brush with the reserved egg white and set aside.
Meanwhile, mix the raspberry preserves with the currant jam. Grate in the zest of the lemon, enjoying the wonderful citric scent. Add the juice of the lemon, mix well, and pour the filling into the crust.
Roll out the reserved dough and make ½-inch strips.
Weave a lattice over the top of the jam; the dough will very likely break, but you can patch it, which will give your torte a pleasantly rustic quality. Brush with the remaining egg white and bake in a 350-degree oven for about 1 hour.
Sift a little confectioner’s sugar over the torte as it comes out of the oven, and let it cool completely before serving.
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