Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Cranberry Linzer Torte

Here is a lovely cranberry torte to make this holiday season. If you have some leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving slacking in the freezer,  even better. Haul it out and use it in this recipe.

The filling is a combination of fresh cranberries simmered with orange juice and sugar and then mixed with jam. Use the leftover cranberry sauce instead of the jam.

Named after the city of Linz, Austria, Linzer torte is considered to be the oldest cake in the world.  The crust traditionally contains ground nuts, usually almonds or hazelnuts. This version calls for ground almond flour. However, feel free to swap out the almond version for hazelnut flour or any other nut variety you like. 

In the classic version of this recipe, the crust forms a criss-cross pattern on top. Instead,  I used star cutouts to pretty it up for the season. Change the shapes to hearts and you have a perfect Valentine's Day dessert as well.

This traditional Austrian Christmas specialty can be made any time of the year, especially based on available seasonal fruits.

Cranberry Linzer Torte

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Bake Time: 55 minutes 
Chill Time: 30 minutes 
Yield: 8 slices

For the Crust:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • t teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1+ 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (one cup) unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Filling:
  • 2+1/2 cups fresh cranberries 
  • 1/3 cup of white granulated sugar 
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice 
  • 1/4 cup dry rolled oats 
  • 3 + 1/2 ounces of cranberry jam (substitute red currant or raspberry to switch up the flavor) 
For the Glaze:
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, almond flour and salt. Set aside. 
  • In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together at medium-high speed. 
  • Add the egg yolks one at a time, waiting until the first is fully incorporated before adding the second. 
  • Add the pure vanilla extract to the mixture. 
  • Stop the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl, making sure everything is fully combined. 
  • Beat in half the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar mixture. When the dry ingredients have been fully incorporated, mix in the remaining half. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 
  • Place the fresh cranberries, freshly squeezed orange juice and white granulated sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. 
  • When the mixture comes to a boil, lower the heat and let the mixture simmer for 8 minutes. 
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool completely. 
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 10 inch in diameter spring form pan with baking or parchment paper. Grease both sides of the baking paper circle and place in the pan, then grease the sides of the pan. 
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and break off approximately 2/3 of the dough and press it into the pan covering the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides. 
  • Sprinkle the 1/4 cup of dry rolled oats over the crust inside the pan. Mix together the cooked cranberry mixture with the jam.
  • Pour the cranberry mixture into the pan over the crust. 
  • Roll out the rest of the crust and cut out stars, hearts or any shape you wish. Place the stars evenly over the top of the cranberry mixture nestled in the torte. 
  • In a small separate bowl, whisk together the cream and the egg yolk. Use a pastry brush to cover the dough with the egg mixture. 
  • Place the pan in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until the top is golden brown. 
  • Remove from the oven and let cool 15-20 minutes on a wire cooling rack. Run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan to separate the cake from the sides before removing from pan. 
  • Transfer the cake to a decorative plate. Cut and serve.

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