When the Burl Ives begins to play on a constant loop and the twinkling street lights go up while the trees still cling to their last leaves and it seems like the holidays are barreling down on us faster than one can say “Gift wrap!” I begin a little countdown of my own. There are only 5.5 weeks left until my mom’s Christmas Eve Linzer Torte.
Over the years, there have been a few family traditions in our house that have stuck. The first is called Snapdragons and involves igniting a platter of nuts that have been soaked in brandy and snatching as many as one can before the fire goes out. (Flaming brandy is amazingly as fun as it sounds.) The second is Linzer Torte.
A Linzer Torte is an amazing thing. Not only does it always have a place of honor in our dessert line-up, it is almond dough hugging a jam filling. It is also the perfect holiday dessert because it can be easily made ahead and really gets better with time. So if you’ve had too much flaming brandy on Christmas Eve and missed the dessert hour, then it makes for a fantastic Christmas Day mid-morning breakfast treat. I would like to go on the record however and say this has never happened to me.
So I knew when I was asked to contribute a family recipe to The Kinfolk Table – a gorgeous new book from the folks behind Kinfolk Magazine – it would be without a doubt my mom’s recipe for Linzer Torte.
Except I had to jazz things up à la BMUB by adding a few changes of my own. I tweaked and streamlined the preparation, swapped almond extract for lemon zest, opted out of the woven lattice top in favor of a simpler covering, and added a handful of sliced almonds and coarse sugar for crunch. I also baked it in a tart pan, which as you know is one of my favorite party tricks in the baking category. I basically kept everything the same as in my mom’s version.
I also keep pinching myself about being included in this publication and to everyone at Kinfolk, thank you. Thank you! THANK YOU! I am honored to be in such company and my biggest hugs to everyone behind this truly stunning book.
P.S. A few more pictures can be found here on the Kinfolk website.
So to celebrate the book and get everyone pumped up and ready for The Holiday Baking Season – as well as everything you need to make your very own almond jam tart at home – I am giving away some goodies.
The Holiday Baking Box includes:
- A copy of The Kinfolk Table by Nathan Williams
- One 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom
- Jar of Liebe is Jam raspberry lemon and chamomile jam (Made in Brooklyn!)
- A bottle of almond extract (From one of my favorite baking purveyors Rodelle. This is the good stuff, kids!)
- One tiny bag of sparkling sugar which is one of my favorite baking items and can be sprinkled on anything and everything!
**All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment on this post.**
Let me know your favorite family holiday recipe or what you find yourself making every year or what you are most looking forward to baking this year.
The comments will close on Friday, November 22nd at 11:59 p.m. (EST). Good luck!
Almond Jam Tart (Linzer Torte)
Makes one 9-inch tart
Adapted from my mother, Mary Etue Auld, who originally found it in a 1977 issue of Sunset Magazine via The Kinfolk Table
1 3/4 cups (218 grams) flour
1 3/4 cups (145 grams) almond flour*
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 grams) butter, softened
2/3 cup (135 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
12 ounces (340 grams) best-quality jam (our family always goes the raspberry route)
a handful of sliced almonds and coarse sugar, for finishing
Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt. Set both aside.
Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the extracts and egg and beat until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients, in several additions, mixing well to combine. It may begin to look crumbly but keep mixing until the flour is fully incorporated.
Press two-thirds of the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared tart pan. Use an offset spatula to spread the jam evenly onto the crust. Roll the remaining dough into a cylinder about 9-inches long and slice into rounds about 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. Starting from the edge of the tart and working towards the center place the rounds (making sure they are just touching) over the jam filling. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and coarse sugar. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the jam filling is bubbling and the edges of the tart are lightly browned.
Let the tart cool completely before serving. Bonus! This dessert gets even better after a day which is just one of the many reasons why it perfect for holiday entertaining. Another reason: It is perfect as a breakfast dessert. The fully-cooled tart can be covered and stored at room temperature for a day or two. Dust with a sprinkling of powdered sugar just before serving.
*Almond flour is also sold as almond meal. I get mine at TJ’s but you can make your own by grinding whole raw almonds in a food processor or blender (which is what my mom always does and she’s like, “Almond flour?! Come on Lil, just make your own!” I never listen and thus the mother-daughter baking debates continue.) If you do make your own just be careful to not get too excited and over blend or you will end up with almond butter. You want to use short, quick pulses. Also, adding a teaspoon of sugar along with the whole almonds can help to avoid the almond flour into the almond butter situation.blog magic.