When it comes to fall and winter desserts, my natural instinct is to go back to my roots in the Italian Alps, where local cuisine features a peculiar mix of Italian and Nordic elements. This cake - which is one of my all-time favourite since I was a kid - is no exception.
It's called Linzertorte, which literally means tart of Linz (Linz is an Austrian town), and it is originally from Austria but also common in the Italian region I come from, which is located at the southern border of Austria. In shape and concept, Linzertorte is very similar to an Italian crostata, with its fruit jam filling and its lattice top. But the dough is made with equal parts of flour and grounded hazelnuts and almonds, which make for an incredibly rich nutty flavour. The filling is traditionally red currants jam, but any berries jam would go well with this dough. —Silvia Merler
1 cake (8x8 inches)
almonds (skin on, possibly)
all purpose flour
sugar (I use light brown)
abundant cup of berry jam (I use lingonberry)
a pinch of fine sea salt
In This Recipe
Pre-heat the oven to 375° F (180° C).
In a food processor, process the hazelnuts and almonds until finely ground (flour-like consistency). Pour the ground nuts into a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom and mix well.
Work the cold butter into the dry mixture with your hands until you obtain very small butter crumbs (you don't want the kind of large chunks that you would aim for in a pie dough). Add one egg and stir to combine. Knead with your hands until the egg is absorbed and the dough comes together into a ball.
Divide the dough in two. Press half of the dough into a square baking pan lined with parchment paper or lightly greased and floured, being careful to create an edge up the sides. Pour the lingonberry jam over the dough base, evening it out with a spatula or a spoon. Roll out the remaining dough and cut into stripes, which you can use to decorate the top of the tart.
Brush the lattice and edges of the tart with the remaining egg yolk, lightly beaten with one tablespoon of water. Bake in the oven for approximately 35 minutes, until golden brown.