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Linzer torte

(Wiqan ang for the boston globe)
January 9, 2008

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Makes one 9-inch torte

1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon for egg white
2 egg yolks (reserve 1 egg white)
2 cups whole almonds
1 scant cup flour
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6-8 ounces raspberry jam
Unsweetened or lightly sweetened whipped cream (for serving, optional)

1. Have on hand a 9-inch tart pan with removable base and a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip.

2. In an electric mixer, cream the butter. Add 1/2 cup sugar and egg yolks, mixing just until incorporated.

3. In a food processor, work the almonds until ground.

4. With the mixer set on low speed, gradually add the almonds and flour to butter mixture. Mix in the cinnamon, cloves, and cocoa, taking care not to overmix.

5. Using your fingers or an offset spatula, press some of the dough into the tart pan to form a 1/4-inch-thick layer.

6. In a bowl, stir the jam to soften it. Spread it on the pastry, leaving a 1/4-inch border around the edge. Scoop the remaining dough into a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip. Pipe two strips of dough across the torte in one direction; working across them, pipe two more strips to make a large cross-hatch. Pipe a ring of dough around the edge. Alternatively, roll pieces of the dough under your palms to form the crosshatch and the rim pieces.

7. In a bowl, whisk the reserved egg white until light and foamy. Whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. With a pastry brush, brush the exposed parts of the crust with the egg mixture . Refrigerate the torte for at least 30 minutes.

8. Set the oven at 300 degrees.

9. Bake the torte for 1 hour. It will appear soft at the end of baking, but will firm up as it cools. Serve at room temperature, with whipped cream if you like. - Adapted from Richard Stoltzman