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The Non-Linzer

Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The Non-Linzer

Excuse me, may I? With your permission, I'm here today to pass on the recipe for a cake that in my house has always been touted for Linzer, but to be honest is not a Linzer. Why, why... well, yes, why?
Because it's not a tart, here, I say it. To my discredit, I admit that this is kind of a short-cut that has little or nothing to do with pastry crust; it's rather a Linzertorte cake, softer than the classic and certainly very little flaky. In addition, if we want to tell the whole story, it's also one that is not offended if you use hazelnuts instead of almonds, it doesn't get cranky if instead of mirtilli rossi* jam (certainly not a genre that's in great demand here in San Francisco and surrounding areas) you use a raspberry one (in this case, I even used a raspberry & plum jam), and it doesn't take it personally if - given the dough's consistency - it's practically impossible to give it stripes that are all perfect and regular.
Subtleties? Semantic sophistry? Culinary quibbles? I don't know. The thing is, despite the obvious shortcomings, it'd really like to be allowed to qualify as Linzer for its taste, of Linzer. Is this something contemplated and permitted?
Waiting for a verdict, and always with your permission, I'd still like to offer it to you, this Linzerwannabe.

Non-Linzer Torte
for a round cake pan of 9" diameter

butter, room temperature 105 gr
neutral flavored oil 105 gr.
eggs 3
sugar 210 gr.
flour 210 gr.
hazelnuts 210 gr.
baking powder about 7 gr. (1/2 package)
salt one pinch
plenty of cinnamon
raspberry, currant or mirtilli rossi* jam as needed

Toast hazelnuts in the oven for about ten minutes, let them cool and then grind them finely in a food processor, adding a few tablespoons of sugar taken from the total amount, to avoid them releasing oil.
Beat butter and oil with remaining sugar until the mixture is creamy; add eggs, one at a time, salt and plenty of cinnamon. In the end, add sifted flour, baking powder and ground hazelnuts. Mix well.
Pour the dough in a greased and floured cake pan, keeping aside about half a cup to use for the covering. Gently spread the jam on top, leaving a border of about 1 inch. With a pastry bag, create the classic pie strips using the leftover dough, leaving some space between each one, as they get a lot wider while baking.
Bake the cake at 350 for about 50 minutes, until the usual toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let it cool down, and if you wish, sprinkle it with powdered sugar before serving.

*Mirtilli rossi are a type of wild berries, red and very tart, popular in Northern Europe. You can't find them here, but they are very close to cranberries.
Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Well, your recipe is almost closer to the original one: Almonds are a sophistication as originally hazelnuts were used in the dough anyway. But you can try to sprinkle the outer part of the cake with almond slices before baking.

If redcurrant jam is available in the Bay Area, try that. It's the canonical choice for the topping and might be easier to come by than those Swedish berries.

One Girl In The Kitchen said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks for the suggestions, very much appreciated.
I think the main difference here is that I didn't make it with a pastry crust, but.....to tell you the truth...I never even tried a "real" Linzertorte, being this one the only one I've ever had ; )

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