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Maria’s Favorite Linzertorte

Each year, at my day job, we throw a department Thanksgiving party with all the fixings. It’s basically a huge pot luck, where the company provides the ham and the turkey. As usual, I decided to provide one of the desserts. Usually, I bring in one of my standard cookie recipes, but this year I decided to rummage through my stack of recipes that I had cut out and taped into a binder to find something new.

I knew that others were going to bring in the standard pumpkin pie, cheesecake or apple pie. I had been watching one of the numerous baking contests and realized I hadn’t made a tart since I was in high school (with my mother’s help). I knew that I had a recipe for a Linzertorte and decided that I would try my hand at that. I’m not sure which magazine I cut this one out off, but after searching for it online, I believe it is originally from the “Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe VT.” I read through the recipe and realized that it seemed fairly simple. The only problem I foresaw was the lattice work on the top of the tart.

I have never been very good at rolling out pastry. I always have problems with the dough sticking to the rolling pin or the surface on which I’m working. Adding too much flour to your dough can either make the dough too tough or crumbly. I saw a great hack on “The Great British Baking Show,” where one of the contestants used a sheet of parchment paper on top of their dough. I discovered that either parchment paper or plastic wrap would work as well. Recently, I also saw someone on “Christmas Cookie Challenge” using a Silpat (Silicone Baking Mat) instead.

Unfortunately, it was very hot in my apartment the day I was baking, so I was having problems with the lattice working breaking, because the butter was melting and sticking to everything. I decided that rather than having to roll out pastry 8 inches long, that I would just use a small snowflake cookie cutter to cut out the dough for the top decorative crust instead. Granted, it made the tart more Christmas-y than Thanksgiving-y, but I thought it worked well. I had left over dough after decorating the tart, so I just rolled them out and baked them as cookies, since the dough is very similar to that of the Linzer Cookie.

You will need two 8 inch tart pans with a removable bottom. The recipe doesn’t specify how long to bake the tart, but I baked it for approximately 30 – 35 minutes. Other recipes indicate the tart should be baked at 350 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes.

Maria's Favorite Linzertorte

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Print

Credit: Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe VT

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3 rounded cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts, ground
  • 1/2 cup currant jam
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • Confectioner’s Sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Flour and grease two 8 inch tart pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg, walnuts, flour and spices. Mix into a dough and then roll into a ball. Divide the dough into quarters. (I suggest that if your kitchen is warm, that you set the unused dough in the refrigerator until needed.)
  4. Press a quarter of the dough into the bottom of each tart pan. Cut one of the remaining quarters of dough in half and press each half the way up the sides of the tart pan. Cut the remaining dough into 12 pieces and set aside.
  5. Mix the currant jelly and raspberry jam together. Spread half the mixture on top of the walnut crusts. Roll out the remaining dough into round strips and crisscross on top of the jam mixture – three pieces each way. Press the side crust down to connect with the strips. Sprinkle the top of your torte with almonds and bake until golden brown and the jam mixture bubbles.
  6. Cool, rmove from pans, then sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. Linzertorte is best served at room temperature. If you wish to prepare well in advance of serving, this torte freezes very well.
  7. Serves 8 – 10 people.

Variations

  1. Rather than using walnuts, you can use almonds, pecans or hazelnuts.
  2. Cut out the top lattice with cookie cutters, rather than rolling out a lattice.
  3. If you can’t find currant jam, grape jelly is a good substitute; however, you can use any combination of jelly/jam filling that appeals to you. Almost any berry combination will work, but I think that orange marmalade and apricot would be a good combination of sweet and tart.

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