Monday, June 3, 2013

Mini Linzertortes from Pies and Tarts with Heart

Okay, I know I've been a bit pie obsessed lately, but how adorable are these little tarts? Seriously? I can't wait to bring these little sweet bites to a barbecue or picnic this summer. I can only imagine how quickly they'll be snatched up.
Mini Linzertortes
Excerpted from Pies and Tarts with Heart by Dynise Balcavage

TartSmart: Torte
Was ist das? Torte (plural: crostate) is German for “pie.”

The famous linzertorte hails from, you guessed it, Linz, Austria, and it’s quite popular at Christmas. It is basically just a slightly fancier version of the Crostata di Marmellata, which means that it’s easy to make despite its air of ruby-red sophistication. The linzertorte is usually made as a standard 9-inch (23 cm) torte. But downsized to single serving tortes, they don’t look quite as snobbish as the full-size version. If you want to make the full size, by all means do. (You may need to bake it an additional 10 minutes or so.)

Makes four 4-inch (10 cm) tortes

½ cup (75 g) toasted almonds
1½ cups (180 g) flour, plus up to ¼ cup (30 g) extra, if needed
½ cup (112 g) packed brown sugar
¾ cup (180 ml) nondairy milk
½ cup (112 g) margarine
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 heaping cup (320 g) raspberry jam

Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC, or gas mark 6). Process the nuts into a fine powder in the food processor, then add the remaining ingredients except the jam.

Transfer to a large bowl and, using your hands, form a dough ball. If it’s too sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon (8 g) at a time, until it’s easy to handle. Remove one-third of the dough ball and set aside. Roll out the larger dough ball to fit your pans. The dough will be a bit crumbly, but this is normal. Place into your pans, and press down to even out the appearance.

Spoon the raspberry filling into the crusts. Roll out the remaining dough and either use cookie cutters to cut out small shapes or use a pastry wheel to cut strips for a lattice-style top crust. Place the desired crust atop the jam. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the jam is bubbly and the crust is golden brown.

Variations

• Add 1 tablespoon (8 g) cocoa powder to the crust.
• Substitute hazelnuts or walnuts for the almonds.
• Substitute lingonberry, apricot, or fig jam for the raspberry.

How to Toast Nuts

Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC, or gas mark 6). Spread the nuts on a cookie sheet and toast for 8 to 10 minutes, or until just slightly browned. Chances are, your nose will know when they’re done before your kitchen timer goes off.

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