Monday, September 7, 2015


Austria is the birthplace of many great pastries like Belgium is of superb chocolates. The medium-sized town of Linz has given its name to linzer tort, a wonderful rich creation flavored by toasted finely ground almonds and high-quality jam.

Linzer torte is surprisingly easy to make if you are a reasonably experienced baker. I just baked one and I want to chare its image—I am delighted with it. In my kitchen everything is from scratch. I roasted almonds, ground them fine in the food processor with part of the sugar of the recipe (sugar or flour in grinding nuts prevents the nuts releasing oil and becoming gummy).

Now beat the butter with the rest of the sugar, when light add beaten eggs, flour, spices and the ground almonds. So far, basic and easy.

Now spread two-third of this mixture on the bottom of a 9-inch tart pan (with removable bottom) and add the rest of the dough into a small pastry bag with a number 2 tip. Squeeze a rim of pastry around the edges, and spread the jam to cover the pastry all the way to the rim. Use the remaining pastry to form a lattice on top of the pastry. (Whatever pastry you cannot squeeze out is yours to lick.)

Traditionally red current, plum, apricot or raspberry jams are used but I had freshly canned strawberry jam, and I prefer to use that instead of buying commercial jars (I don’t need to be traditional.)

Have an extra baking pan under the tart pan as this pastry is so rich in butter that it might leak a little—it’s easier to clean a pan than your oven.

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