Hot eats: Linzer Torte by Tahoe House Bakery & Gourmet

Susanne HaalaSpecial to the Sun
Courtesy photo

TAHOE CITY, Calif. – Cozy winter temperatures have arrived at the lake, along with the season for festive dinners and delightful desserts. Sweet cakes, pastries and cookies are perfect for the time of the year, and some bakers around the lake have disclosed their secret recipes.One of them comes from Tahoe City, and is the famous Linzer Torte, baked at the Tahoe House Bakery & Gourmet. Despite the fact that this pastry is named for the Austrian town of Linz, it is a common sight in many a Swiss bakery. The Swiss love anything that will complement afternoon coffee and a Linzer Torte is a great option.”I think of Linzer Torte as a holiday dessert because the smell of cloves and cinnamon always make me think of Christmas and tree trimming,” said Barbara Vogt Melrose, baker and co-owner of Tahoe House Bakery & Gourmet. “We used to have this for a treat on Christmas morning while opening our gifts. I still send them out to friends at the holidays.”

In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs and combine. Scrape down and add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and clove. Mix. Add the almonds and mix only until combined. Do not overmix.Rest dough in the refrigerator for a least 1 hour. On a floured surface, roll out dough to approximately 1/8-inch thick. Grease a 9-inch tart pan. Line the pan with the rolled-out dough. Fit it into the pan and cut off excess dough. Using the back of a large soup spoon, cover all but the outside inch of the dough with raspberry jam. You will have a large circle of jam surrounded by a ring of bare dough. Roll out the remaining dough to 1/8-inch thick by about 8 inches wide. Cut long, even, 1/4-inch strips with a pizza cutter.Place on top of the jam approximately 1 inch apart, then alternate to make a lattice design. Roll out the leftover dough scraps into a long even rope about the thickness of your index finger. Place along the edge of the cake pan, making sure that the ends meet.Using a fork, make a lined design on the rope while flattening the border. Brush the egg mixture evenly over the entire torte. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25-30 minutes. Crust will be golden brown and the jam will start to bubble when it is done.Makes one 9 inch tart.

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