Today is the first day of spring (Frühlingsanfang), so why not welcome Spring (Frühling) by baking this delightful Austrian Linzer Torte, named after the City of Linz, Austria. This famous torte has a lattice design on top of the pastry and fabulous thick homemade raspberry jam as filling.
This wonderful cake is often said to be the oldest cake in the world and according to recent research dates back to at least 1653. There are lots of variations and the oldest known recipe is in a cookbook that was written about 350 years ago.
Recipe for the Linzer Torte
Ingredients for the Linzer Torte
- 150 grams (5 ½ ounces) superfine white sugar (caster sugar)
- 150 grams (5 ½ ounces) AP (plain) flour, plus some extra for dusting
- 150 grams (5 ½ ounces) ground hazelnuts (you can substitute almonds or almonds and hazelnuts in equal parts)
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon (I always use cinnamon from Ceylon)
- a pinch of ground cloves
- 150 grams (5 ½ ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 egg (L) beaten (free range or organic whenever possible)
- 200 grams (7 ounces) thick homemade or good quality raspberry jam
- ½ tsp icing sugar, to decorate (optional)
Preparation of the Linzer Torte
- Put the sugar, flour, ground almonds, ground cinnamon and cloves in a large mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
- Add the cubes of butter and rub them into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs - you can also easily use a pastry cutter for this.
- Add the egg and stir until the dough comes together, then knead lightly into a ball.
- Take about a quarter from the dough to use for the lattice topping.
- Roll the rest of the dough into a ball and turn it out on to a well-floured surface .NOTE: if the dough is too soft at this point, place it in the fridge for about an hour, then roll it out.
- Flatten the ball with your hands, or a floured rolling pin, until it is about 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick.
- Place the dough in a 24 cm (9 ½ inch) loose-based, fluted tart pan or other tart pan you have on hand and press it with your fingers over the base until it is about halfway up the sides of the tart pan and the tart pan is evenly covered.
- Then spread the raspberry jam over the dough as evenly as possible.
- Shape the reserved dough into a log and roll it out on a well-floured surface to make a rectangle 3 mm (⅛ inches) thick.
- Then cut the dough into 1.5 cm (⅝ inch) strips - you can use a special cutter for this which will cut "wavy" dough strips but you could also use a pizza wheel or a long, sharp knife.
- Place the strips over the jam and create a criss-cross pattern over the filling.
- Press the edges to seal, pinch off the excess pastry and mark and carefully press down the edge of the dough with the tines of a fork.
- Chill the tart in the fridge for about an hour.
- While the tart is chilling, preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius (375 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Put the tart on a baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes or until the almond pastry is pale golden brown - you can brush the lattice top with a bit of an egg wash before baking if you wish to have a bit of a shiny look to the lattice top.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and cool in the tart pan for about 15 minutes.
- Place on a nice cake platter for serving.
- Decorate with a light dusting of icing sugar, if you like, and cut it into wedges to serve.
Have a wonderful springtime! – Ich wünsche einen schönen Frühling!