Does this ever happen to you? You take a bite of some food, and the flavor and texture suddenly jolt your memory and you know you’ve eaten something similar before. But you can’t for the life of you remember why it is so familiar. This happened to me when I took a bite of this marvelous linzertorte.
The tart has only two components: the spiced almond dough and the raspberry jam, the combination of which has my memory in a tizzy. It’s also just darned good. We made the tart for class and the next day I used the leftover dough to make linzer cookies.
Traditionally sandwich cookies, you can make them into just about any shape. You can even get creative with the top cut-out layer and do hearts, diamonds, spades and clubs. But since I and probably most people do not have mini cookie cutters in those shapes, circles would just have to do.
Tart doughs and I don’t always get along, though our relationship is slightly less frustrating than the venomous one I have with pie dough. This dough is no different, but I’m starting to learn that if you just take your time and keep everything COLD while rolling, you will have less problems. Cold, cold, cold. It will save your sanity and you won’t have to resort to verbally abusing the dough with a string of swears. I must confess, my desserts may be pretty (sometimes), but my language ain’t. At least not when things go wrong in the kitchen, which is almost all the time.
The recipe is from my school text book, so all of the measurements are by weight. I highly recommend any home baker get themselves a kitchen scale. It will save you time and dishes, and you will end up with much more precise measurements. Plus you get to do math! Though I probably shouldn’t use that as a selling point. For those who refuse to take my sagely advice, I’ve attempted to convert the recipe into volume measurements too.
adapted from Wayne Gisslen’s Professional Baking
8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 oz sugar (less than a full cup, like 4/5-9/10 of a cup…see why you need a scale?)
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cup (5 oz) almond flour
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
10 oz (just less than 2 cups) of pastry flour (All-purpose can probably be substituted, but start with a little less flour and see how it goes.)
Using the paddle attachment, blend the butter, sugar, salt, and spices at low speed until smooth and uniformly combined. Do not cream until light. Add almond flour and blend in.
Add eggs and vanilla, mix until combined. Add flour and mix until evenly blended. Divide dough in half. Shape each halve into a ball and flatten into a disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight. (You could also chill for an hour or so, then roll out fully and then refrigerate overnight. I would recommend doing this at least for the dough used for the lattice topping).
The next day, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Remove one disk and place on a floured surface. Bang with rolling pin to flatten it slightly and make it more malleable. If making the tart, roll out to about 1/4-1/3 inch thick then gently place in fluted tart pan. Spread thick layer of raspberry preserves evenly in tart pan, but keep it below the top of the crust. Take out other disc of dough and roll it out in the same way, cut even strips about 1/2 inch wide and make lattice topping. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until dough is golden brown. If making cookies, roll out dough in the same way and cut out with cookie cutters. In half of the shapes, cut out a smaller shape. Make sandwich with raspberry filling and bake until golden brown, then dust with powdered sugar.