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Linzertorte (Jam Tart)

Until the Sachertorte ousted it from popularity, Linzertorte was a favourite Austrian cake for festivals and celebrations during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Almonds, the main ingredient, were coveted in early times and brought as valuable trading cargo from the east along with spices.

ingredients

160 g (5 1/2 oz) plain flour, sifted
200 g (7 oz) butter
200 g (7 oz) caster sugar
200 g (7 oz) unblanched almonds or toasted hazelnuts, ground slightly coarse
5 g (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
10 g (2 tsp) lemon zest
3 egg yolks
15 ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice
250 g (9 oz) raspberry or redcurrant jam
egg yolk for brushing on top

method

1. Sift the flour on to the work-top and make a well in the middle.

2. Cut in the butter and blend together to a fine crumb texture.

3. Mix in the sugar, ground nuts, cinnamon and lemon zest.

4. Combine to a smooth pastry with the egg yolks and lemon juice.

5. Blend the dough, roll into a ball, wrap in plastic film and chill for 1 hour.

6. Roll out half the pastry on a floured board and line the base and 1 cm (1/2 in) up the sides of an ungreased 24 cm (9 1/2 in) spring-form tin or flan tin.

7. Prick the base all over with a fork and spread a thick, even layer of jam over the base. Roll out the rest of the pastry 3 mm (1/8 in) thick, and use a fluted pastry wheel to cut long narrow strips about 1 cm (1/2 in) wide.

8. Start making the trellis by laying the pastry strips across the jam surface. Lay one piece straight down the middle and evenly space four more strips on either side. Lay further strips in the same way across at right angles. Reserve some for the edges.

9. Brush all the pastry strips with beaten egg and, to give a neat finish, lay a long strip of pastry all around the side of the tin over the edges of the trellis. The egg helps seal the joints. Brush the edge with egg.

10. Bake the Linzertorte in the preheated oven at 200°C (400°F) Gas 6 for 30 - 40 minutes.

11. Dot a little more jam into each lattice hole and leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack.

12. Dredge with icing sugar and serve.

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