Monday, December 3, 2012

Viennese Dessert: Boozy Apricot Linzertorte

Marriage is a dinner that begins with dessert. – Toulouse Lautrec 

The boozy apricot filling really kicks this up a notch. You can use jam, if you must.

Is it a cake, is it a tart, is it a cookie? Well yes, to all three, and it has been true for quite a long time.

It has been written that the first mention of a recipe for this cake was in a book published in 1696. It originated in the German city of Linz. Torte is German for “cake.” Linzer - torte.

Knead this "mess" until it comes together in a ball.
My first exposure to this dessert was in a used cookbook I bought from Schooner Books on Inglis Street in Halifax. It’s an amazing place for rare and used books on any topic. I purchased my copy of Larousse Gastronomique there.

The cookbook was The Cooking of Vienna’s Empire (1968), one in a series called Time-Life Foods of the World

It’s 3/4 travelogue and 1/4 recipes, but many more recipes are referenced. Being published in the 1960s the travelogue parts are rather quaint.

A separate book came with each instalment that contained all the recipes. Of course, people got rid of the “picture books” and kept the recipes. I have four or five from the series, but no recipe books. They're all great.

Luckily, many classics have printed recipes in the picture book, like Dobos torte, Sacher torte, and Linzertorte. Many very interesting appetizer and entrée dishes are in there too. You can still buy the sets on

Tortes are different than cakes. A torte uses more ground nuts in the dough than it does flour. A torte can be single layered, but also sliced horizontally and filled with jam, candied fruit, butter cream or whipped cream. 

I make my linzertorte with a lattice crust and filled with jam. That's another traditional way. Mmmm...

The crust for this torte has a base of ground almonds. This is an unusual dough to be sure. It’s actually more like a cookie dough with the lattice being piped on top rather than placed on in rolled strips. Good luck trying to roll this dough.

If you read yesterday’s post for Apricot Brandywine (another "Mmmmm...) I told you to save the brandy-soaked apricots. If you’re not going to make brandywine, or can’t wait, soaking the apricots overnight will just have to do.

The boozy apricots are made into a quick jam for the torte. The jam is not overly sweet, which in this kind of dessert can be a bonus. It means you can have a second piece (or third!!).

I should have snipped a smaller hole in my piping bag.
Luckily the taste isn't affected!
Boozy Apricot Linzertorte
Prep: 1 hour  |  Bake: 35 min  |  Yield: 9” torte
2-1/2 cups apricot jam (recipe follows)
1-1/2 c slivered almonds
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c butter
1-1/2 c. flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs

Process nuts until ground. Add the sugar and pulse to combine. Add the butter piece by piece until well mixed.

Turn out into a bowl and add the flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix together with a spoon. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Knead briefly until the dough comes together.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. It will be very soft, more like cookie dough than crust.

Press 2/3 of the dough into a fluted edge tart pan. Make sure you press dough up to the top edge. Cover bottom crust with jam. 

Knead the remaining dough with your hands to to warm it up. Place the dough in a bag and snip off a small corner. Pipe the dough in a lattice pattern on top touching the crust edge.

Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes. It will darken up quite a bit. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing form.

Boozy Apricot “Jam”
Prep: overnight  |  Cook 35 min  |  Yield 2-1/2 cups
375 g dried apricots, soaked overnight in 1/4 cup brandy
1 cup water
juice of 1 orange
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt

Mix all the ingredients together in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer. 

Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then uncover and let cook until there’s only about 1/4 cup liquid remaining. Don’t let the mixture burn.

Remove from the heat and purée either with a masher, food processor or emulsion blender.

Refrigerate until ready to use.


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1 comment:

  1. I seriously need to make this! You have so many wonderful recipes! Love your blog~ Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines