Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Linzer Tart

Wednesday, March 08, 2017
Master Chef Walter Potenza, GoLocalProv Food Expert

Linzer Torte is a holiday classic in the Austrian, Hungarian, Swiss, German, and Tyrolean traditions, often eaten at Christmas but certainly great all year long. It is often made like small tarts or cookies in North American bakeries. Staying true to New England I am using fresh cranberries or cranberry sauce which will work well. In this recipe I am using a galette pan just to have rectangular slices. 

Serve 10-12

Ingredients

For the filling:

12 ounces/340 grams cranberries

2 cups/450 grams sugar

Zest of 1 orange

Juice of 1 orange, plus water to equal 3/4 cup/220 milliliters

Pinch of salt

For the dough:

¾ cup/120 grams whole hazelnuts

¾ cup/120 grams whole almonds

1 ¾ cups/270 grams unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

14 tablespoons/198 grams unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan

¾ cup/160 grams sugar

Zest of 1 lemon

Zest of 1 orange

1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

⅛ Teaspoon ground cloves

1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

Powdered sugar, optional

Preparation

Make the filling:

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Lower heat to a brisk simmer and stir frequently, until cranberries burst. Continue cooking, mashing fruit a bit with the back of a spoon, until thick as jam, about 30 minutes. Set aside. (Filling may be prepared in advance.)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place hazelnuts and almonds on a baking sheet and bake about 10 minutes, until well browned. Rub skins off hazelnuts while still warm, discarding skins. Cool nuts, and then grind finely in a food processor, adding 3 tablespoons of flour to keep them from becoming oily. (Nuts should have the texture of coarse cornmeal.) Set aside.

Make the dough:

In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment, combine butter, sugar, and lemon and orange zest. Beat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg, egg yolk and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix together ground nuts, the rest of the flour, cloves, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture in three parts, mixing each time until it forms slightly sticky dough.

Divide dough into two pieces, one slightly bigger. Form larger piece into a ball, wrap and flatten to a 1-inch thickness. Form smaller piece into a rough rectangle, wrap and flatten to a 1-inch thickness about 4 by 5 inches. Chill 3 to 4 hours, or overnight.

Heat the oven to 350. Butter and flour an 11-inch fluted French tart pan. Remove dough from refrigerator and let stand for 10 minutes. On floured parchment paper, roll the larger piece of dough into a 12-inch circle, dusting the top with flour as necessary. If dough is difficult to handle, chill again. Pat evenly into pan until sides and bottom are completely lined with dough about 1/8-inch thick. Refrigerate or freeze tart shell until firm.

Roll out smaller piece of dough on floured parchment paper to rectangle about 10 by 12 inches and 1/8-inch thick. Cut into strips about 3/4 inch by 12 inches. Transfer parchment to a tray and refrigerate or freeze until firm.

Make the torte:

Spread cranberry jam evenly into shell. Lay strips across top in a lattice pattern. Form remaining dough scraps into a rope 1/2 inch in diameter and use it to encircle outer edge of tart. Score diagonally with the handle of a spoon or flute with fingers to make a border.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until jam is bubbling and pastry is lightly browned. Let cool, and dust with powdered sugar if desired. Serve in small slices.

Master Chef Walter Potenza is the owner of Potenza Ristorante in Cranston, Chef Walters Cooking School and Chef Walters Fine Foods. His fields of expertise include Italian Regional Cooking, Historical Cooking from the Roman Empire to the Unification of Italy, Sephardic Jewish Italian Cooking, Terracotta Cooking, Diabetes and Celiac. Recipient of National and International accolades, awarded by the Italian Government as Ambassador of Italian Gastronomy in the World. Currently on ABC6 with Cooking Show “Eat Well."  Check out the Chef's website and blog. 

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