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I saw this stunning recipe of a Linzertorte in the recipe book Mastering the Art of Baking by Anneka Manning. It looked so warm and appetising, yet something just a bit rustic about it. A Linzertorte, or otherwise known as a Linzer Torte is an Austrian torte (tart) with a lattice design. Usually made from short pastry with a hint of spices such as cinnamon and ground nuts too, and topped with a jam, it really is a wonderful combination. Especially when the pastry is baking in the oven and you get a whiff of the cinnamon and the butter pastry cooking, it’s lovely.

Linzertorte
Serves: 10
Preparation Time: 40 minutes (+ 30 minutes chilling)
Cooking Time: 48 minutes

Ingredients
160 g (1 cup) almonds
300 g (2 cups) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 ½ tsps ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
250 g unsalted butter, softened
110 g (1/2 cup) caster sugar (superfine)
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
2 egg yolks
500 g raspberry jam
1 egg yolk, extra, lightly whisked
2 ½ tbsps flaked almonds

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Spread the almonds on a baking tray and toast for 8 minutes or until aromatic. Set aside to cool. Transfer to a food processor and process until finely ground.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and orange zest in a separate medium bowl until pale and creamy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.

3. Add the flour mixture and ground toasted almonds and use a flat-bladed knife and then your hands to mix until a soft dough forms.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
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5. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Divide the dough into 3 portions, then combine 2 of them.

Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the larger portion on a lightly floured work surface to 30 cm (12 inch) round, taking care not to work the dough too much as it will become very soft. Roll the pastry around the rolling pin and carefully ease it into a 2 cm (3/4 inch) deep, 24 cm (9 ½ inch) fluted, loose-based tart (flan) tin, pressing it into the edges with your fingertips. Trim any excess by rolling the rolling pin over the top of the tin.

6. Spread the jam into the pastry shell to cover the base evenly (Thin layer – unless your jam isn’t overly sweet).
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7. Roll the remaining dough out between 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper to a rectangle about 20 x 26 cm (8 x 10 ½ inches) and about 5 mm (1/4 inch) thick. Use a fluted pastry wheel or a large sharp knife to cut the remaining portion of dough into 1.5 cm ( 5/8 inch) wide strips.

Arrange the strips over the jam to form a lattice pattern, taking care as the dough will be quite fragile and may break easily. Re-roll any scraps as necessary to make enough strips to form the lattice.
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8. Use a small sharp knife to trim the edges of the strips. Lightly brush the strips with the extra egg yolk and sprinkle the tart with flaked almonds.
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9. Bake for 40 minutes or until deep golden and the pastry is cooked through. Leave in the tin to cool. Serve at room temperature.

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Impressions

It is a very nice pastry I give it that. The addition of the cinnamon, ground cloves gives it a homely aroma (that’s just me) because I love cinnamon. Depending on the jam you use, I find that 500 g of jam is quite generous and as this is the only filling in the tart. It is a bit much and if you do it like I did and added too much to fill up the deep pastry tin.

A thinner layer of the jam can suffice, or if you can preferably find a brand of jam that is not too sweet. If that’s not possible, I suggest pureeing some raspberries and adding a bit at a time to the raspberry jam to give it a bit more tartness. This will hopefully make it not seem like you’re eating a mouthful of sugar.

The pastry really is the star of the Linzertorte and I could eat that short pastry any day of the week. Delicious.

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