A traditional Christmas pastry in Europe, it originated in Linz, Austria. The pastry is made from a nut and spice dough, filled with jam and topped with a lattice crust.
It's one of those fussy *named* pastries you learn about in culinary school, along with the Sachertorte, the Napoleon and the Madeleine.
The Linzertorte is also one of the oldest known tarts with a recipe, discovered in an Austrian abbey in 1653. An Austrian immigrant who worked as a baker is recognized for introducing it to America in the 1850's.
The traditional recipe calls for hazelnut flour and black currant jam, ingredients that are expensive and hard to come by in America. Most American recipes call for almond flour and raspberry jam instead.
We use almond paste instead of almond flour, which results in a very soft dough. Too soft to roll with a rolling pin, we spread the bottom layer with a spatula, and pipe the lattice with a pastry bag.
Here is the recipe from our Cookbook.
- 1 lb. butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup almond flour (or almond paste)
- 3 cups a.p. flour
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 lb. raspberry jam
- confectioners sugar
- sliced almonds (optional)
Place butter and sugar in bowl of electric mixer fitted with a paddle atttachment. Cream until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together. Beat dry ingredients into butter mxture to blend thoroughly.
Divide the dough into thirds. Reserve one-third for the lattice top. Press remaining dough into the bottom of a 12" x 18" (half sheet) pan. Spread jam evenly onto dough in bottom of pan.
Roll out remaining dough for lattice top and cut into 1/2-inch strips. Arrange on jam in a criss-cross fashion, re-rolling dough as needed to make sufficient strips and piecing strips as necessary. (If you used almond paste instead of almond flour, your dough should be soft enough to pipe the lattice using a large plain tip). Sprinkle with sliced almonds (optional).
Bake at 350o for about 40 minutes or until nicely browned. Cool, then dust with confectioners sugar and cut into 2-inch squares. Makes 48 squares.
A little bit of trivia... The third largest in Austria, Linz is a city of about 200,000, just 30 kilometers south of the Czech border, about halfway between Salzburg and Vienna. It sits on both sides of the Danube River. Known for steel and chemical production, it is also a center for music and art. Former resident and composer Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) is to Linz what Mozart is to Salzburg. Fred Astaire's father was born there. Johannes Kepler (the astronomer) and Adolf Hitler (most infamous resident) lived there. It's almost the home of PEZ candy (in Traun, about 15 minutes away). And that's about all you need to know about Linz besides the cake.