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Linzer Torte is a traditional Austrian tart. The pastry is an almond and hazelnut shortbread spiced with cinnamon and cloves, then filled with a redcurrant jam known locally as Ribisel Konfitüre. For a decorative finish, a lattice top is added with the same shortbread pastry.

Several assemble stuffed aloo potato dosas.
Why is this called a Linzer torte?

This cherished treat is enjoyed all year round, especially at Christmas in Austria, named after one of their cities, Linz, where the famous bakery Jindrak made the original Linzer torte dating back to 1669. The Linzer torte is considered to be the oldest cake in the world with recipes first circulating from 1653.

Torte, means cake in German, although it appears more like a tart, earlier versions made the pastry base and lattice much thicker, giving the tart a more cake-like appearance.

Perfect to make ahead of time!

Linzer torte can be made one week before Christmas, providing it is covered and stored in the fridge. In fact, it develops more flavour and tastes better if served a few days later after baking. This is due to the preserved jam not spoiling quickly compared to fresh fruit used in other tarts.

Can you freeze Linzer torte?

If you have enough space in your freezer and want to make it well ahead of time, Linzer torte freezes very well whole or cup up into serving portions. Allow it to defrost at room temperature over a wire rack before chilling it until service time. This prevents the base from becoming soggy while it defrosts.

About the pastry

Adding nuts to this pastry can make it very delicate, but the secret is following the chilling times. The pastry is much easier to handle after chilling, especially when assembling the lattice tops.

Rolling and cutting the pastry to make lattice strips

Despite this delicate pastry, it is also forgiving and easy to patch up or mould any unevenness when assembling the tart. Besides, the base is easy to assemble by pressing the pastry towards the sides using a small piece of plastic film. This prevents the pastry from sticking to your fingers.

The finished result of pressing the base of the pastry in the springform tin

Blind baking the crust before adding the filling ensures that the pastry base will be crisp and not become soggy from the jam filling. A thin base is ideal to balance with the rest of the tart filling and lattice topping. Too much thickness and the final result will be too dry and tough to enjoy.

The pastry base covered with foil and pastry weights

About the jam filling

The typical jam used to fill a Linzer torte is redcurrant jam, Ribisel Konfitüre, which can be found in most supermarkets all over Austria and many German-speaking countries.

Redcurrants have a sweet and sour flavour when eaten fresh, but they lose their sourness when made into a jam. In comparison to other fruit jams, redcurrant jam is less sweet.

Besides their interesting flavour, redcurrants are a good source of dietary fibre and are full of vitamin C and a good source of iron.

A good substitute for redcurrant jam is raspberry jam. If available, aim for the low-sugar variety, to keep the sweetness down.

The addition of lemon juice to the jam filling further cuts through the sweetness.

If you are expecting to taste a seriously sweet tart, you will be surprised at how balanced and tame it is.

FUN FACT

Empress Sisi loved Austrian cakes and desserts. She was an avid collector of  Linzer Torte recipes and would pass these on to her kitchen staff to prepare, especially during Christmas time.

An adobe photo of french onion soup

Gluten-Free Linzer Torte

by Sandra, Fun Without Gluten
Linzer Torte is a traditional Austrian tart. The pastry is an almond and hazelnut shortbread spiced with cinnamon and cloves, then filled with a redcurrant jam known locally as Ribisel Konfitüre. For a decorative finish, a lattice top is added with the same shortbread pastry.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 52 minutes
Pastry chilling time 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 12 minutes
Course baking, Dessert, Festive
Cuisine Austrian
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

Gluten-Free Nut Shortbread Pastry

  • 250 g store-bought or homemade gluten-free plain flour
  • tsp xanthan gum
  • 150 g ground peeled almonds or almond meal
  • 60 g ground peeled hazelnuts or hazelnut meal
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 lemon, zested (save lemon to juice for Linzer torte filling later)
  • 250 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 90 g icing sugar
  • 3 egg yolks (Tip: freeze the egg whites for another recipe)
  • tsp vanilla extract or 2 sachets of vanilla sugar

Egg wash

  • 1 small egg
  • 1 tsp water

Linzer torte jam filling

  • 500 ml redcurrant (Ribisel Konfitüre) or raspberry jam
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of ground cloves

Extra

  • Icing sugar, to dust over the baked Linzer torte
  • 3 fresh redcurrant sprigs, to decorate (optional)
  • Freshly whipped cream, to serve

Instructions
 

Preparing the dough:

  • Gather & measure the ingredients needed to make the pastry.
    Ingredients needed to make the gluten-free linzer torte
  • If you intend to use fresh whole nuts, roast them gently for extra flavour before grinding them into a meal.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the flours, xanthan gum, almond and hazelnut meal together with the ground cinnamon, ground cloves, salt and lemon zest. Set aside.
    Flour, nuts, spices and lemon zest whisked
  • In a stand mixer bowl or food processor, beat the butter with the icing sugar at a medium speed until light and fluffy.
  • Add the yolks and vanilla. Continue to beat at medium speed for 1 minute.
  • Combine the flour mixture with the butter mixture either with a dough hook attachment or using a wooden spoon. As soon as the dough forms into a ball, stop mixing and wrap the dough in plastic to chill for 30 mins.
    The dough ball wrapped in plastic as a ball

Preparing the pastry base:

  • Divide the dough into half. Return one-half of the dough to the fridge.
    Half of the dough is placed in the springform tin to make the pastry base
  • Press the remaining dough into a buttered tart tin by pressing and pushing the dough outwards to the side and up to the edges.
    Pressing the dough in the springform tin to create the base
  • Use a small piece of plastic film to press and prevent the dough from sticking to your fingers. Try to spread the dough out evenly and quite thinly, patching up any exposed bits by pressing more dough on top.
    Pressing the dough with the plastic film
  • Prick the base with a fork several times.
    Pricking the base of the pastry with a fork
  • Cover the base & sides with aluminium foil. Pour some pastry weights over the base.
    The pastry base covered with foil and pastry weights

Baking the pastry base:

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
  • Blind bake for 12 mins.
  • Remove the pastry weights and reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/350°F.
  • Bake for 5 mins.

Preparing the lattice top:

  • While the pastry base is blind baking, place the other half of the dough on a sheet of baking paper and cover the dough with a sheet of plastic film to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin.
  • Roll the dough 3mm thick into a square or oblong shape to make the lattice. Make sure the dough is rolled out long enough to fit across the tart tin.
  • Using a pastry wheel or pasta cutter, roll out even strips about 2.5cm wide.
    Using the pasta roller to make lattice strips from the pastry sheet
  • Transfer the baking sheet with the lattice top to a tray then chill for 30 mins or if space allows, freeze it on the tray for 15 mins. This makes it a lot easier to handle and arrange the lattice over the tart later.

Linzer torte jam filling

  • Whisk the jam, lemon juice, salt and ground cloves.
  • Spread the jam mixture onto the baked pastry base.
    After blind baking, fill the base with the jam mixture

Assembling the lattice:

  • Remove the lattice pastry from the fridge or freezer. Using a ruler, measure the length needed for each lattice to fit across the tart accurately.
    Rolling and cutting the pastry to make lattice strips
  • Trim away the lattice ends to fit snugly on each side of the tart.
  • Mix the small egg with the water to make an egg wash then brush this on to the lattice top.
    Brushing the lattice top with some egg wash

Final baking:

  • Cover the tart edge with silicon pie crust shields or foil as this part tends to get too dark and crisp during baking.
    Adding pastry sheilds to the pie edges to prevent them from burning.
  • Bake the tart for 30 to 35 mins on the middle shelf at 180°C/350°F.
  • Remove the tart and allow to completely cool down before removing it from the tart tin.

Serving:

  • Serve at room temperature (not while the jam filling is piping hot) or even better, the next day after being chilled and covered.
  • Just before serving, dust the whole tart with icing sugar.
  • Cut out even portions and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and some fresh redcurrant sprigs.

Notes

  • Best eaten the next day
  • Chills for up to 3 days
  • Suitable to freeze whole or in cut-out portions
Keyword gluten-free fruit dessert, gluten-free sweets, gluten-free tart
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