Linzer Torte, a family recipe
by eat in my kitchen
Although Linzer Torte has a Christmassy image, nothing I’m too fond of in May, there is a reason why I put this cake in my oven at this time of the year. It was my uncle’s birthday a few days ago and he is the biggest fan of this traditional cake I know, he keeps his mother’s fabulous recipe for this famous Austrian cake like a big treasure. I’m lucky, he shared it with me which made me feel very honoured but we had a deal, I would bake it for his special day in May.
To me, Linzer Torte is not particularly wintery, it’s made of two layers of buttery short pastry sandwiched with raspberry jam. It feels a bit like a dense fruit pie, maybe not as juicy as the layer of jam is quite thin and not a proper filling. It gives the pastry’s flavours more space and makes it a bit softer. That’s why the cake is best when it sits for a few days, a week is even better. The jam soaks the crumbly base and spreads its fruity aroma.
I recently found out that the recipe for this cake which is named after the city of Linz is supposed to be the oldest known cake recipe in the world, dated 1653. Discovered in the archives of the Admont Abbey, it was found in Countess Anna Margarita Sagramosa’s cookbook, a lady who liked to develop, collect and record good recipes as much as I do!
For a 25cm / 10″ springform pan you need
flour 300g / 10.5 ounces
almonds (or hazelnuts) , ground 300g / 10.5 ounces
cocoa powder 1 teaspoon
a pinch of salt
a pinch of cloves, ground
a pinch of cinnamon
butter, room temperature, 300g / 10.5 ounces
sugar 250g / 9 ounces
organic egg 1
Kirschwasser 2 tablespoons
raspberry jam, whisked, 6 tablespoons
Set the oven to 170°C / 340°F (fan-assisted oven) and butter the springform pan.
Combine the dry ingredients (except the sugar). Beat the butter with the sugar till fluffy. Add the egg and the Kirschwasser and continue mixing adding the dry mixture.
Take 1/5 of the dough and set aside for the decoration and place the rest in the pan, pushing it down evenly. Spread with the jam.
For the decoration, you could put the dough in the freezer for 10 minutes which makes it easier to handle. I left it soft, it worked but it was a bit more fiddly. Roll out the dough between cling film (around 28 x 25 cm / 11 x 10″) and cut into 1.5 cm / 1/2″ strips. Arrange the stripes in a lattice top (you can make a woven pattern, but I didn’t have the patience, I just put them on top of each other).
Bake in the oven for 35 minutes and keep in an airtight container for at least 1 day (3 days to a week would be better) before you serve the cake.