Recipes

Linzer Torte for Valentines Day

13/02/2015

It’s the time of the year to celebrate Valentine’s Day and spend this special day with your loved ones. Why not try a traditional Austrian recipe for Linzer Torte, a delicious almond tart with berry jam.

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I have spent this week in Austria for my first ever ski holiday, so that explains the lack of updates on my blog. It’s all going great so far: amazing weather, good snow on the slopes and most importantly I have actually learnt how to ski! I am still scared of heights when I’m in the gondola or skiing down a steep slope, but overall I am doing pretty good! Maybe I will try it again next year…maybe! ;)

My husband and I are staying at my cousin’s home in Carinthia, the southernmost Austrian state, in a small town called St Oswald. I have spent the week cooking dinner at home and baking bread and cakes since the closest supermarket is 5km away and we have no car.

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Since I was going to bake a cake for Valentine’s Day, it’s only fitting that I chose an Austrian recipe. At my cousin’s house I have found a book of Austrian recipes and based on the ingredients and baking tools I had (including a heart-shaped cake tin), I decided to bake a Linzer Torte (Linz Tart).

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The Linzer Torte is named after the Austrian city of Linz and is a jam tart with a buttery base made mostly of ground nuts (almonds or hazelnuts, depending on the recipe variations). I made the dough one evening, then left it in the fridge to set until the next evening when I baked it. You can do it all in half a day, but my energies were too low after a day of skiing and I crashed on the sofa quickly after kneading the dough! ;)

It’s a great cake recipe and my husband loved it, which is the most important thing right? :)

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When we think of Valentine’s Day, we often think of red roses and chocolates and dates with your partner, but that’s not what it means to me. I don’t make a big deal of Valentine’s Day and I certainly don’t like going out on a date in an over-priced restaurant full of other couples just because it’s the 14th of February.

I love showing my husband that I love him and for me DIY gifts are the best! I like having an extra reason to celebrate my love to him and to show it with a small gift made with care. There are many ways to show affection to your loved ones, like baking a cake or making a crafty gift or a handmade card.

The important thing is to remind yourself of that love and commitment everyday, not just on this day.

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I don’t have a recipe for a successful relationship, but I have a recipe for a great cake! ;)

Ingredients

  • 250g butter
  • 300g flour
  • 250g sugar
  • 250g ground almonds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 lemon zest
  • a pinch of salt
  • 150g blueberry or redcurrant jam
  • icing sugar to decorate
  • 1 egg yolk

Preparation

Create a pile of flour on the work surface, slice the butter into cubes and rub between the fingers into the flour to create a light crumb. Add the cinnamon, a pinch of salt and lemon zest. Work quickly to form a smooth short pastry, shape into a ball, cover with film and leave to rest in a cool place for one hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 190°C and grease a spring form cake tin.

Place 2/3 of the dough on a floured kitchen counter and roll it out using a rolling pin. Place it into the bottom of the cake tin and press evenly and firmly over the bottom and then up the sides with your fingers.

Shape the remaining dough into strips. Coat the pastry base with smoothly-stirred jam, leaving about 1 cm all round for the edge. Place the pastry strips over the jam and press down gently.

Coat the dough with the beaten egg and bake for about 40 minutes. Take out the tart, leave to cool, and ideally leave to stand for a day, wrapped in film.

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