Linzer Torte

Smitten Kitchen is my primary source when trying a new recipe. If I need something delicious for a dinner party, or need a weeknight dinner option, she is a my go-to. Deb of Smitten Kitchen shared a Linzer Torte recipe a few years ago, and as usual she did not disappoint. 

Linzer Torte

From Smitten Kitchen

Yield: 2 9-inch round tortes

*I halved the recipe to make 1 9-inch round, which was fun to try to put in half an egg… but it turned out great!
In case you only want to make one, I have included the half measurements at the end of each of the ingredients, just so you don’t have to do the math, but the recipe still includes the full measure so make sure to pay attention!

Base and lattice
4 1/2 cups (1 pound or 455 grams) shelled walnuts (3 ¼)
3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour (1 ½)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (1)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (I halved this, using only 1/4 teaspoon) (1/8)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon table salt (Heatter says 1/4, I really prefer this with 1/2) (1/4)
2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces or 285 grams) cold, unsalted butter, cut into chunks (1 ¼)
1 2/3 cup (330 grams) granulated sugar (1/2 + 1/3)
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk (half an egg white + 1 yolk)
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (1/2 a lemon)

Filling
1/4 cup (about 20 to 25 grams) fine, dry breadcrumbs (1/8)
2 cups (about 575 grams) seedless raspberry jam (1 cup)

To finish
1 egg yolk (1 is fine)
1 teaspoon water (1/2)
2/3 to 1 cup (75 to 115 grams) to slivered almonds (julienne-shaped pieces) (optional)  (I did not use these)

Make base: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Butter two 9-inch round layer cake pans (preferably with removable bottoms if you plan to serve this in wedges, like a cake). Line the bottom of each with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit, then butter the paper.

In a food processor, process walnuts and 1/2 cup of the flour (reserve remaining 2 1/2 cups for next step) for 15 seconds, or until the nuts are finely ground but have not formed a paste.

Place remaining 2 1/2 cups flour, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a large, wide-ish mixing bowl. With a pastry blender, work the butter into the dry mixture until it forms coarse crumbs. Stir in the sugar and walnut-flour mixture. In a small dish, beat the whole egg, yolk, and lemon rind until combined, and stir into crumb mixture. Stir the mixture in as best as you can with a spoon, then work the rest in with your hands. Knead the dough a few times inside the bowl until a cohesive mass, one that holds together, forms.

Divide dough into quarters if making two tortes, or halves if making one.

Place one portion into the bottom of each pan, and press evenly and firmly over the bottoms and then about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches up the sides with your fingers. Don’t worry about making it smooth or level on the sides; it gets filled in later.

Bake shell(s) for 15 minutes, or until it barely begins to color at the edges.

While the shell(s) bakes, roll remaining piece(s) of dough between two pieces of waxed paper, until 1/4- to 3/8-inch in thickness one inch bigger than your pan size. [I.e., for each 9-inch round torte, you’ll want a 10-inch diameter circle; for each 8-inch square torte, a 9-inch square, etc.] Transfer to freezer until the dough is well-chilled, about 20 minutes.

Remove shell(s) from oven and let cool slightly; reduce baking temperature to 350 degrees.

Make filling: If you’re using panko or another coarse dry breadcrumb, you can pulse it in a food processor until it is fine powder.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons finely ground breadcrumbs over each par-baked shell, or all 1/4 cup over your single large one. If jam is not already soft, stir it until it is, then spread 1 cup over each shell. Cut dough(s) into 1/2- to 3/4-inch wide strips, cutting through the bottom of the waxed paper at the same time. Lift each strip-and-waxed paper over the jam and reverse it onto the jam, then peel off waxed paper. Cut the ends of the dough by pressing them onto the sides of the pan. Arrange strips 1/2- to 3/4-inch apart, crisscrossing them on an angle to make a lattice top with diamond-shaped openings. Use leftover pieces to fill in any gaps between lattice-strips and tall sides of shells. The two doughs will blend together in the oven.

To finish: Mix egg yolk and water. Brush it all over lattice top and border. Sprinkle with almonds, if using. Bake torte(s) for 45 to 60 minutes, until crust and almonds on top are well-browned.

Remove from oven and place on racks.

 

Serve with coffee or tea, and try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting.