Any idea what inspired this bake?
If you guessed Spice Week on The Great British Bake Off, you got it! After watching the episode, I flipped through Classic German Baking, sure that there had to be some sort of a ginger-heavy cake in there somewhere. I struck out, but I did come across a recipe for a Linzertorte, which is a spiced almond jam tart. I didn’t know anything else about it, but I thought it sounded like the perfect thing to make as summer fades into fall. I’ve also been thinking about possible options for this year’s Thanksgiving, and a wintry spiced Linzertorte piqued my interest as a potential dessert option. I’ve never made a pie on Thanksgiving, but this sounded juuuust close enough. I suspect it was the latticework top that lured me in.
This was yet another long-game back. It started with hard-boiling eggs, as the recipe called for two hard-boiled yolks. I have never encountered this before, but a quick google tells me that it’s a trick to make everything more moist and crumbly. Sounds good, no?
I retrieved my butter from in front of the fire (winter problems… nothing comes to “room temperature” in our pantry from October-April), and mixed up the dry ingredients. Then it was time to sieve my egg yolks. A bit fussy, but cleaning the sieve afterwards was the worst part of this life hack.
Before long I had a very sticky mess of dough that desperately required chilling. Sadly the pantry isn’t *quite* cold enough for that, but I guess we could find room for it in the fridge.
While it was chilling, I threw together a new house favorite, Flammkuchen, and we popped open a bottle of Federweißer. It’s fall, after all!
Side note: if you’re looking for a tasty and easy recipe for Flammkuchen, this one courtesy of A Sausage Has Two’s Christie, is a winner. I’ve made it a LOT lately.
Dinner eaten, I went back to the cake. I removed my dough from the fridge, and cut off a quarter of it that would be reserved for the latticework on top.
A note on the tin: this was a mistake. In the book, Weiss recommends using either 1) a cake pan lined with baking paper for easier removal or 2) a fluted tart pan. I went with the tart pan because pushing dough down into baking paper always makes me crazy. I also thought that it would be fairly easy to get out, given the removable bottom.
Spoiler alert: I was wrong. But we’re not there yet.
The next step was the jam. Raspberry makes everything better.
With the bottom ready to go, I turned my attention to the top. Things got sticky.
The reserved dough was supposed to be rolled out, sliced into thin strips, and laid into the lattice pattern across the top. That… did not work. At all.
I probably should have stuck that reserved bit back into the fridge while I was working. The kitchen was already hot from the Flammkuchen, and at this point we’d had the fireplace going for a few hours. Rolling the dough out got very sticky and I decided pretty quickly that trying to get it all sliced, get those slices off the paper or the work surface and into a lattice was not going to happen.
Instead, I opted to roll out a bit, use a cookie cutter to cut out a piece or two as quickly as possible, work it back together, get it back into the fridge and repeat. In the end, I had a slightly awkward heart pattern.
The dough isn’t growing mold from how long this all took… that’s an egg white brush. No worries. My nerves shot, I shoved this baby into the oven, and returned to the couch and my Federweißer.
It wasn’t long before the house smelled decidedly Christmas-like.
We’d have to wait to find out if it tasted Christmas-like though. Per the recipe, the ideal resting time for this torte is three days.
You read that right. Three days.
I’ll assume Austrians* are not big fans of instant gratification. I really should have made some cookies along with it… but at least I had wine.
After cooling, BV had to help me pry it out of that tin. Next time, I’ll give the baking paper sling a shot because we could not get it off the bottom part of the tin without completely destroying the cake. So that went along as the cake was wrapped up in tinfoil and put out of sight until the weekend.
We finally wound up slicing into it with friends after a Saturday BBQ. It was far too dark for photos, but here’s one of the last, lonely slice.
Was it spicy? Yes. Was it moist? Yes. Was it crumbly in a highly positive way? Yes. I’m still undecided on whether this will be on the table after our Thanksgiving dinner, but I think I’ll give it at least one more bake before then to test out the other pan and try the lattice part again.
*This torte originates from Austria… hence the name.