(Austrian jam tart)
Image © iStockphoto
The roots of Austria's famous jam tart from Linz can be traced back several centuries before they disappear into the mists of time. This deliciously simple torte has a crumbly crust made with hazelnuts or almonds, a simple filling of currant or raspberry jam and a distinctive lattice top.
Linzertorte is eaten year-round, but is especially popular at Christmas. It is also popular in Hungary.
6 to 8 servings
- Hazelnuts or almonds -- 1 1/2 cups
- Sugar -- 2/3 cup
- Flour -- 1 1/2 cups
- Cinnamon -- 1/2 teaspoon
- Cloves -- pinch
- Salt -- 1/4 teaspoon
- Unsalted butter, cut into small pieces -- 14 tablespoons
- Egg -- 1
- Red currant or raspberry jam -- 150g 1 cup
- Egg yolk -- 1
- Add the hazelnuts or almonds and 1/2 cup of the sugar to a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add the remaining sugar, flour, cinnamon, cloves and salt and pulse to mix together well.
- Add the butter to the flour-nut mixture and pulse until the butter is well incorporated and the flour has a mealy texture. Add the egg and pulse until the dough comes together.
- Remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth. Form into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Roll out 2/3 of the dough into a circle. Place the circle into the springform pan and press it out to fill the bottom of the pan. Spread the jam evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge.
- Roll the remaining dough into pencil-thin ropes. Lay the ropes over the jam about 1/2-inch apart and extending to the border to form a lattice-crust (see photo). Lay ropes of dough around the edge of the tart to form a border and seal in the top lattice crust.
- Mix the egg yolk with a couple teaspoons of water. Use a pastry brush to brush the crust with the egg yolk. Place the tart on a baking pan and place it in the oven. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the crust is cooked through and nicely browned.
- Allow the Linzer torte to cool completely in the pan, then remove it to a serving platter. Linzer torte is best served the next day as its crust gets moister with time.
- Crust: You can use blanched or unblanched nuts for the crust. Unblanched nuts will give a darker color to the crust. Walnuts can be used in place of hazelnuts or almonds. Toast the nuts lightly in a 350°F oven for added flavor. Add the zest of 1/2 lemon to the dough if you like. Some pastry chefs add 2 or 3 teaspoons of cocoa for color.
- Homemade raspberry jam: It's easy to make your own raspberry jam to top the tart in the summer when they are in season. Add 2 cups raspberries and 1/3 cup sugar to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Add a little more sugar or a squeeze of lemon juice to balance sweet with sour to your taste and cool completely before using.
- Use plum jam or apricot jam for different flavors.
- For a more decorative crust, sprinkle the border of the tart with sliced almonds after brushing it with egg yolk and before putting it in the oven.