Monday, May 10, 2010
A happy Monday and belated Mother's Day to everyone.
It has been pretty hectic around here these last few days. Both Mother Humble and Sister Humble are in town visiting. My mother caught a plane back to London last night and I finally have my kitchen to myself again. Which is welcome, as I've gotten absolutely no baking done these past few days. Not even for Mr. Humble's birthday which was on Sunday (he had to share his day with moms this year, poor guy), I was just been too busy assisting Mother Humble's various cooking projects.
Cooking with my mother was pretty normal. Normal being occasionally surreal and bizarre.
Sunday I'm doing lunch prep while she grills me regarding the whereabouts of her knickers (that's me dainty trying to avoid the term underpants).
Now, I'm always guilty of stealing some article of clothing from my mother during her visits (nice yellow cardigan, mom), as we are roughly the same size. However, I do draw the line somewhere.
I, Ms. Humble, am so not interested in those knickers.
Of course, she is absolutely convinced I have them and am wearing them as I do prep work, which makes for an interesting kitchen work environment.
Later during the mother's day lunch, with the family present, she announces she'll pay $20 to anyone who can find her knickers.
That was basically my weekend.
So this torte...
Trying out yet another recipe for this classic.
I really like linzertortes, they are such an easy tart to throw together. Make a little dough, add some homemade jam and you're basically done. The tart offers up the lovely warm and fuzzy combination of fruit with the flavors of cinnamon, cloves and citrus. The once ordinary raspberry jam filling takes on a hint of mulling spice. Nom.
Crunched for a Monday post, this tart fits the bill. Quick and easy. Well, apart from my botched weaving of the lattice--which I discovered is near impossible with this somewhat crumbly pastry.
adapted from The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book
yields one 9" tart (serves 8)
1 1/2 cups (200g) all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest (roughly one medium lemon)
1 cup (155g) whole, unblanched almonds
1 cup (125g) confectioners (icing) sugar
3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 - 2 cups (500g) raspberry jam
1 tablespoon whole milk
Confectioners sugar or coarse sanding sugar
In a bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Add the lemon zest and set aside.
In your food processor, grind the almonds and confectioners sugar until fine.
In your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add the almond mixture and mix on medium low to combine. Add two of the egg yolks, blend and reduce the mixer's speed to low. Add the flour/spice mixture and beat until just combined.
Place roughly two thirds of the dough into a 9" tart pan with a removable bottom. Wrap the remaining third of the dough in plastic, flattened like a pancake, and chill in the refrigerator.
Press the dough into your tart pan, creating an even layer for the crust. Fill the tart with a layer of jam. If the jam is difficult to spread, warm in the microwave for a few seconds and then attempt to fill the tart.
Remove the slab of dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a 10" circle. Using a fluted pastry cutter (or ravioli cutter), cut the disk into strips. If you don't have a pastry cutter a pizza wheel or sharp knife works just fine.
Lay the dough strips across the torte to create the lattice. While I attempted to create a fancy braided lattice, this failed miserably. The dough is just too delicate to handle weaving so I recommend one just laying down half the strips and then top them diagonally with the remaining strips.
Press the strips into the edge of the crust, trimming any excess.
Place the torte into the freezer for twenty minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F(180°C).
Before baking, whisk together the remaining egg yolk with the milk. Brush the crust and lattice with the egg wash. If desired, sprinkle the crust with coarse sanding sugar (you can skip this if you wish to sprinkle it with confectioners sugar before serving).
Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the crust has browned and the jam is bubbling.
Cool on a wire rack.
Serve with or without a dusting of confectioners sugar.