Not wanting to count the days, but yes, the time has come for my darling mom to head back to her home (Delhi). My mom requested an Italian meal for her last dinner made by yours truly. Since I was still recovering from a straight two-day migraine, I chose to keep things simple yet decadent, paired with some bubbly, it was an elegant and cherished send-off.
- First Course: Wine Poached Pears with Spicy Walnuts, Arugula, and Feta Cheese Salad
- Entrée: Pasta Puttaneseca (it is her favorite comfort pasta)
- Dessert: Raspberry & Almond Linzer Torte and Figs Poached in Limoncello & Honey served with Vanilla Ice-cream
Linzer torte is an Australian holiday classic cake known specifically by its lovely lattice top design. Cookie type dough brimming with spices and zest, it is comfort food which only needs a freshly brewed espresso to gild the lily. Why limit yourself to dessert, this torte has just the right amount of sweetness that you could serve it for brunch too.
Raspberry and Almond Linzer Torte
The doughs softness can make it difficult to work with the lattice top. Make sure that the surface is well-floured and keep it simple, after all it is hand-made. Don’t fret about it, cause once it’s baked, the golden rich color will wow even the most discerning eye.
I used almonds since I had the in the pantry, feel free to use hazelnuts or macadamia nuts. They both compliment raspberry beautifully.
For the Crust:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup wheat flour
- 8 oz unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 cup almonds or hazelnuts, ground to fine powder
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 1 egg white for wash
- Chopped nuts for garnish
For the Filling:
- 1.5 cups best quality raspberry or blackberry jam
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- To make the crust, stir together the all purpose flour, wheat flour, ground spices, salt, thyme, and nuts. In another bowl beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the butter mixture, egg yolks, and lemon zest to the flour mixture and stir to form a soft dough.
- Divide the dough into two portions, one twice as large as the other. Wrap and refrigerate both the portions for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- To bake the torte, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Remove the large dough portion from the refrigerator and roll and press onto an 8 or 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Mix jam and lemon zest together and pour in the tart pan.
- To make the lattice design, on a well-floured surface roll the dough to the diameter of the tart pan. With a pastry or pizza cutter, cut the dough into 1/2 inch wide strips. For the simple lattice design, place half of the strips parallel to one another across the tart. Lay the remaining strips on top and perpendicular to the first strips. Press the ends of the strips to the edge of the crust. Brush the lattice tops with egg wash. Sprinkle chopped nuts around the edge and bake for 45 minutes or until golden-brown in color.
- Let rest for 30 minutes before serving.
This torte is so simple to make, you will wonder why the hell you didn’t try it before. The recipe is adapted from Cindy’s Supper Club, given to me by my dear friend Marilyn for my birthday. The cover slogan – “Meals from around the world to share with family and friends”. It was a delicious send-off, made with love, for my sweet mom.