Monday, December 1, 2014

Cranberry Linzertorte

(Raspberry) Linzertorte is one of Chris's all time favorites, in fact a Linzertorte has been his birthday cake of choice for many years. Consequently, I was not surprised when he noticed the recipe for Cranberry Linzer Torte in the November 11 New York Times.  We had decided on fewer dishes this Thanksgiving: Roasted Almonds, turkey, potatoes, stuffing and demi glaze, Cranberry Ice, a green vegetable and one pie.  I volunteered to do a green veggie which turned out to be Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad and Chris volunteered to make a pie.

He acknowledged that we usually had Apple Pie or Apple Tart and Pumpkin Pie, then asked about a "Cranberry Pie". I replied that there was some family precedent for cranberry pie and referenced my Grandmother's Mock Cherry Pie (recipe below), and besides the Cranberry Linzer Torte sounded pretty yummy to me.  That was all Chris needed....

© 2014 Christopher Kern
Chris's November 17 Facebook page posted a photo of an awesome looking pie (photo left) with the comment, "Practicing for Thanksgiving".   Looked delicious and I began really looking forward to a piece. Chris decided, however, that the pie was too sweet and decided to make the Thanksgiving edition with less sugar.  He reduced the sugar in the filling by 25% and the result was a delightfully tart torte.  While a raspberry linzertorte would have been too sweet to follow such a heavy meal, the Cranberry Linzertorte was perfect!  I know I will vote for a reprise next Thanksgiving, and I'm now wondering what Chis's next birthday "cake" request will be.

The recipe that follows contains all of the ingredients and quantities given in the New York Times recipe, except sugar has been reduced from 2 cups to 1.5 cups.  The directions have been modified based on Chris's input.

Make the Filling (Filling may be made in advance OR after dough, while dough is chilling)

Combine in a saucepan and cook over medium-high heat

12 ounces/340 grams cranberries
1 1/2 c/335 grams sugar
Zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 orange plus water to equal 3/4 c
Pinch of salt

Stir frequently until sugar is dissolved, then lower heat to a brisk simmer and stir frequently until cranberries burst. Continue cooking, mashing cranberries with the back of a spoon until mixture is jam-like, about 30 minutes.  Set aside.

Roast the Nuts

On a baking sheet in a  a pre-heated 400 degree F oven, roast for 10 minutes or until well browned

3/4 c/120 grams whole hazelnuts
3/4 c/120 grams whole almonds

Rub skins off hazelnuts while still warm [Chris could only find hazelnut pieces so he did not remove skins], Discard skins.

Make the Dough


1 3/4c/270 grams unbleached all-purpose flour

Cool nuts, then using a steel blade grind finely in a food processor adding 3 T of the measured flour.
Mixture should have the texture of coarse cornmeal.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine

14 T/198 grams unsalted butter
3/4 c/160 grams sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange

Using whisk attachment, beat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Beat in

1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 t vanilla
1/8 t cloves
1  1/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

Then gradually add the ground nuts and the remaining flour.

Divide dough, which will be slightly sticky, into two pieces, one slightly bigger. Form the larger piece into a ball, wrap in wax paper and flatten until it is about 1 inch thick..  Form the smaller piece into a rough rectangle, wrap and flatten until dimensions are approximately 4 by 5 inches by 1 inch thick. Chill 2 hours or longer (overnight is okay) in the referigerator.

Assemble the Torte

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour an 11-inch fluted French tart pan. Remove dough from refrigerator and let stand for 10 minutes.  On floured parchment paper, roll the larger piece of the dough into a 12-inch circle, dusting the top with flour as necessary. Pat evenly into pan until sides and bottom of pan are completely lined with dough. Refrigerate or freeze the shell until dough is firm.

Roll out the smaller piece of dough on floured parchment paper until it is approximately 10 by 12 inches.  Cut into strips about 3/4 x 12 inches.  Transfer the strips, still on parchment paper, to a tray and referigerate or freeze until firm.

Spread the cranberry filling evenly into the chilled shell. Lay dough strips across the top in a lattice pattern.  Form remaining dough scraps into a rope long enough to encircle the outer edge of the tart. After the dough is in place around the perimeter, score diagonally with a fork or flute with fingers to make a border.

Bake for 30 - 35 minutes, until filling is bubbling and pastry is lightly browned.  Cool and serve.


Maybe this was served for Thanksgiving in New Hampshire circa 1930-1945.  The recipe comes from my Grandmother Hope's Cookbook and like most of her recipes just lists ingredients:

"1 cup cranberries
1 cup raisins
1 c sugar mixed with
1 large tbsp. flour
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla"

Reviewed 6/17/2017

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