Thursday, January 13, 2011

Classic Linzer Torte

This picture makes me happy. Is this not an incredibly photogenic dessert? Perhaps that is not what you all look for in baked goods, but it surely makes my day. Lucky for you, this happens to be one of my favorite desserts I've made in months. One of. And it's really quite simple. 

This is the classic linzer torte - torte, of course, being the German word for tart. In this recipe, it is the seemingly unassuming dough that shines, with it's hints of wonderful citrus and clove flavor. A couple of years ago, this was the type of recipe I may have looked at and thought - what if I just leave out the zest? And the cloves? And that would have been a shame.
Instead of a complicated lattice top you see on many pies, this top is made by piping the leftover dough on top. I used a star-shaped tip since it was on hand, but I think it used a little too much dough in the end and made little difference to the final product.
I went with a slick of sweet raspberry jam for the filling, but the original recipe called for a sour cherry preserve, and you could definitely play around with a variety of middles. Have fun!

Tip of the Day: If you're having trouble with the dough sticking to your hands as you press it in, just spritz them with a little cooking spray - it will make your life easier. 

Recipe: (adapted from Sur La Table)

1½ sticks (6 ounces/12 tablespoons) butter or margarine, softened
¾ cup sugar
zest of one lemon
zest of one orange
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups flour
1 ounce ground hazelnuts (about 1/4 cup)
1 1/2 ounces ground almonds (about 1/3 cup)
1¼ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups raspberry jam

Mix the zests and sugar together until moistened. Let sit for 5 minutes. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour, nuts, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder and salt and mix until combined.
Split the dough into two portions - one bigger than the other. Wrap the larger portion in plastic wrap and freeze for 20 to 30 minutes. Leave the smaller one at room temperature and place into a piping bag.
Press the larger piece of dough into a 9-inch tart pan - covering the bottom and sides. Return to the freezer for 20 minutes. Spread the jam evenly in the pan and pipe lines across with the remaining dough. Bake on 350 F for 40 to 45 minutes until nicely browned.


  1. Hey there.. I have a question.. Can I just roll out the smaller dough and cut it into strips instead of piping it or?

  2. Hey -

    So the problem is that the dough is just not rolling consistency, it's too wet and sticky. You could experiment with adding more flour, and then rolling it out, but it would alter the texture of the crust.

    Good luck!


  3. Our family always uses Plum Jam. So good. Try it. It's homemade with Italian Prune Plumes.