Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Holiday Favorite: Cherry Linzer Torte

My mom has been making cherry linzer tortes for as long as I can has become somewhat of a holiday tradition. She only makes them this time of year though, so it is always a treat to come home and smell the hazelnut crust baking in the oven.

This year, I decided that it would probably be a good idea to learn how to make these for know, considering one day I'll have a family of my own, and traditions to uphold. So I hit the kitchen with my mom for a linzer torte 101 baking lesson. This is what we came up with...

1 1/4 cups hazelnuts (about 5 oz), toasted, husked, cooled
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups cherry preserves (preferably imported, about 18 oz)
Powdered sugar (optional)


Preheat oven to 350*. Butter 9-inch-diameter (we used a 6 1/2 inch this time!) tart pan with removable bottom

Combine nuts and 1/3 cup flour in processor. Finely chop nuts. Transfer mixture to large  bowl. Add remaining 2 cups flour, sugar cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg to bowl; whisk to blend. Add butter. 

Using electric mixer on lowest speed, blend ingredients until coarse meal forms (will take a few min). Add egg yolks and vanilla. Beat until moist clumps form.

Gather dough into ball and press 1 1/2 cups packed dough over bottom and sides of prepared pan. Add the preserves to the pan, but be careful not to get too close to the top (if there is too much it will bubble over!).

Roll remaining dough on a sheet of parchment paper to 13x10 inch rectangle. Freeze for 5 minutes to set and firm. Cut the dough  into 1/2 inch wide strips. Arrange a few strips across the torte  spacing evenly (we start from the middle and go out). Arrange the remaining strips in the opposite direction to form a lattice. Trim the edges and seal the dough to the pan.

Bake torte until crust is golden brown and preserves are bubbling thick. Should take about 40 minutes, depending on your oven. Cool torte completely on rack. Push bottom of pan up to free the torte. Sift powdered sugar (if desired) over the torte.

Makes 8-10 servings.

Recipe from Bon Appetit 2001 

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