Tag Archives: jam

Heute haben wir für Euch eine Linzer Torte

I’ll obey them in the winter when the doctors say to me
I must give up ham and spinach, and obedient I’ll be.
To relieve my indigestion in December they can try,
But there’s none of them can stop me when it’s time for cherry pie.
~ Edgar A. Guest, The Milwaukee Journal, 1935 May 29

In a previous job, we hired a sweet intern Susanne who once brought in a delicious linzer torte to share. She gave me her recipe before she returned to Germany, but somehow I never got around to making it… for three whole years!

I was most delighted to rectify this linzer torte situation today with my friend Gudrun, who showed me how to make it with a recipe she got from her friend. (Incidentally, Gudrun makes yummy treats in the form of design goodies too – she made the header on my blog!) :-)

Just for fun, here is a rough step-by-step guide to making linzer torte:

First, you reduce some hazelnuts to a fine grind (we used a blender)…

Next, measure the flour and other ingredients (oh kitchen scales – what a luxury! I think I should consider getting some.)

Make a mini volcano with the flour, placing everything else in its centre (we did this, the photo below is lying…)

Then you need to be harsh and furious, attacking everything with a knife or two. Certainly a new move in my baking repertoire!

When the butter and dry ingredients have mingled for a while and gotten to know each other a little better, knead the dough with your hands till you find yourself with a lovely mound of nutty, sweet-smelling dough. It should be moist but not elastic/sticky like bread dough. Nutty bits may fall off – that is okay. Just gather it all in a bowl and put it in the fridge to chill for a while. The dough will be easier to work with when cold.

In the meantime, grease your cake tin (or in our case, one cake tin and two muffin trays).

Let your pastry cutter go skating in the flour across your benchtop (strictly optional).

When the dough is nice and cold, take it out from the fridge. Lightly flour your benchtop/rolling pin, and roll approximately 2/3 of the dough into a thin sheet. You may wish to roll it in between two sheets of baking paper if it’s all too sticky. (A note here: we found the dough quite fragile, so we rolled out the dough for the muffin trays before lining them, but used a combination technique of rolling and patting the dough to get it into the cake tin).

Line your muffin trays and/or cake tin with dough, and add in spoonfuls of jam.

Use the remaining dough to decorate your linzer torte. We cut little stars out for the muffin-sized linzer torte, and strips for the cake-sized one (photos below).

Lay the little stars on top of the muffin-sized jam beds and dot the doughy bits with egg yolk… (a note here: we ran out of egg yolk for the second tray of muffin-sized linzer torte, and there was a marked difference in colour between the two trays of baked linzer torte – refer to the photo near the top of this post. I can’t decide which I prefer, but I think our free range eggs are very yellow…).

This is what we did with the cake-sized one:

We rolled the dough for the strips in between two sheets of baking paper, cut it into strips with a pastry cutter, then carefully attempted to place them nicely on top of the prepared base in the cake tin.

It was A LOT harder than it looks. You need confident and graceful fingers (Gudrun has them – I’m working on it).

Finally, everything was ready to go into the oven. We baked the muffin-sized ones for around 30 minutes, and the cake-sized one for the recommended 45.

The house smelled lovely and sweet… we took the baked fruits of our labour out of the oven when they turned golden and left them to cool.

After baking all afternoon, it was time for a snack. Gudrun’s red cabbage was soft, comforting and gently scented with notes of cloves and nutmeg – amazing!

We went for a walk.

And then we had afternoon tea with N and H.

Complete with coffee, tea and cream.

Yes, it was every bit as good as it looks here. Perhaps better.

The original recipe is as follows (I typed this from a printed sheet and I don’t speak/read German, so please forgive any errors):

    Linzer Torte
    Zutaten:
    250g Mehl
    1 TL Backpulver
    250g Margarine oder Butter
    250g Zucker
    150g Haselnüsse, fein gemahlen
    1 EL Kakao
    1 EL Zimt
    1 EL Rum
    1 Messerspitze Nelkenpulver
    1 Glas Himbeermarmelade (250g)
    1 Eigelb zum Bestreichen
    Zubereitung:
    Mürbteig herstellen…
    In der Mitte des Mehlbergs eine Mulde graben und alle anderen Zutaten drauf geben, mit zwei Messer zusammenhacken/mischen – dann mit den Händen weiterkneten. Wichtig: alle Zutaten sollten gut gekühlt sein, sonst bricht der Teig beim „Basteln” leicht.
    2/3 des Teigs zum Boden verarbeiten und in eine gefettete (oder mit Backpapier ausgelegte), runde Springform legen und mit Marmelade bestreichen.
    1/3 des Teigs für 1cm breite Streifen (Gittermus-ter siehe Foto – den Außenrand nicht vergessen). Diese Streifen vorsichtig oben drauf geben und mit dem Eigelb einpinseln.
    Bei 160°C für 45 Minuten backen.
    Und Guten Appetit!

And this is the recipe in English, I have added in a few notes.

    Linzer Torte
    Ingredients:
    (Note: we used 1.5 times of everything so we could make one cake-sized linzer torte and 12 muffin-sized ones)
    250g flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    250g margarine or butter (we used unsalted butter, cubed)
    250g sugar
    150g hazelnuts, finely ground
    1 tbsp cocoa
    1 tbsp cinnamon
    1 tbsp rum (we used brandy)
    1 pinch ground cloves
    250g raspberry jam
    1 egg yolk, for brushing the top (you may need 2 if you make as much as we did)
    Method:
    Preheat the oven to 160°C.
    Make the pastry:
    Pour the flour onto a clean benchtop, or on a large chopping board if you don’t have a metal bench like we did. Make a well in the centre, pour all the other ingredients into the well, then use a knife or two to chop/mix it all. Once you have everything looking pretty fine and well mixed, knead it with your hands. Place the dough into a bowl and chill it in the fridge – we only put ours in the fridge for 15 minutes, but it could do with longer so it doesn’t break when you work with it later.
    Press 2/3 of the dough into a greased (or lined) round springform pan (and two muffin trays if using), and spread jam across the bases. The sides will rise a little during baking, so you don’t need to make the edges too high.
    For the cake-sized linzer torte: cut some of the remaining dough into 1cm-wide strips (we made slightly wider strips so we didn’t have to lay as many strips across the top – it was rather fragile)! Carefully lay 3 or 4 strips across the linzer torte, then another 3 or 4 strips at a 45 degree (or in our case, almost 90 degree) angle to the other strips. Brush the rim and dough with egg yolk. We used a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out stars for the muffin-sized linzer torte, but you can decorate these however you wish.
    Bake the cake-sized linzer torte for 45 minutes, and the muffin-sized ones for around 30 minutes – or until the dough is nicely golden and your house smells heavenly.
    Serve with thickened cream, coffee and tea – Und Guten Appetit!

Danke Gudrun!

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David Schofield at Grey Lynn Farmers’ Market

“As with all good spinach, it’s still got dirt on it”
~ David Schofield

[How time flies! I penned this post a whole MONTH ago. Anyway, better late than never, right?]

You get people who cook, people who teach others how to cook, and people who are champions of food. David Schofield is all three.

For some, David needs no introduction, having won several awards including NZ Culinary Fare’s New Zealand Chef of the Year 2011. I had not previously heard of David – but following Sunday’s demonstration, will be keen to read/see more of him again.

On Sunday [23 Oct], I yanked myself out of bed a little later than I meant to, arriving at the bustling Grey Lynn Farmers’ Market just minutes before David’s demo was due to begin. When I got there and saw all the great looking stalls, I immediately regretted my laziness, for there was now no time to shop before the demo…

Out in the courtyard, grey clouds gathered and a few tears spilled from the sky, but a small crowd appeared nonetheless. A kind lady wiped the chairs with a tea towel and we all sat down in front of David’s stand/kitchen/screen, eager to see what David would present.

In just two hours (with an intermission in between), David produced five dishes – with yummy samples for lucky us – and I don’t know about everyone else, but I came away with way more than just recipes and good food in my tummy – I also gained tips, knowledge and laughter.

I think the skies liked David’s demo too. It held in the rain. :-)

First dish on the tasty menu: cheese dreams (see above). The name itself was enough to make me swoon; but add in Over the Moon cheese curd, some quality bread, free range NZ bacon and a nicely poached egg – and there you have it; a breakfast to keep you dreaming happily all day. David also got Roland from Over the Moon to chat briefly about their cheese and share ideas on what to do with the cheese curd (pair it with salmon, spinach, roasted veges – mmm!)

Dish #2 involved ginger syrup, honey, some luscious wet and natural jam, strawberries… a sweet dance on the tongue and very pretty to look at.

Next, David whipped up what he calls “a play on French Toast”. He blithely cooked while telling us the truth about bright orange salmon (source of colour: carrot pellets). A not-so-pretty tale behind a lovely colour; a good lesson in deciphering “real and fresh” from “lies consumers believe”, I think! David’s emphasis on fresh and local food came through from start to finish of his demo by way of little facts like the colour we may expect fresh salmon to be – salmon feeding on kura may be reddish in colour, while salmon feeding on seaweed may tend towards white tones, etc.

He reminded us that when we reject fresh and local produce in favour of perfectly shaped, unblemished, brightly coloured produce, growers have little choice but to (1) import from overseas, (2) discard perfectly good produce that doesn’t meet these “ideals”, (3) add additives/modify our vegetables to meet our demands. Sure makes me think twice about how I pick my veges!

He also mentioned another point which I like very much: “Every time you buy an NZ product, it tastes just as good as its overseas equivalent, and it keeps someone here employed”.

The salmon “French Toast” (see above), complete with a lovely tomato paste, was put in the oven just long enough to warm (but not cook) the salmon… it emerged beautifully flavoured, and David paired it with a fennel and mesclun salad. I’m pretty sure this dish could steal a smile from the grumpiest human you know.

During the intermission, I hastened in to look at the stalls… and my eye fell on some Good Things indeed (green apple olive oil, creamy cheese, spicy and sweet ginger syrup – just to name a few!)

When we reconvened, David showed us two lavish and simple (the combination sounds contradictory, but it’s true!) dishes: oyster and spinach with lemon pappardelle, and fresh flounder with broad beans and fresh greens. I didn’t get to try the flounder, but the oyster pasta was precious to sample – just imagine soft, quivering, oyster mingled with gently wilted spinach and fresh, generous wide pappardelle ribbons… it was honest, calming and delicious.

It was a pleasure to watch David cook, and inhale the good smells. Vanilla-toned pappardelle bearing the hallmark of freshness: uneven edges. Broad beans tinkering from David’s fingers into a bowl. The warming, nutty aroma of beurre noisette. The sound of fish sizzling in the skillet. So much colour and freshness.

David’s demo was a display of abundance, a reflection of the truth David mentioned at one point: we live in a country where you can visit your Neighbour with the Lemon Trees or go out with a line and catch an honest-to-goodness fish (so why don’t we realise how lucky we are more often?).

Along with the laughs (on David’s generous “pinches” of salt and “pats” of butter, etc), we also gleaned a gallon of great kitchen/food tips from David. I’ll share a few here:

  • On de-veining spinach: fold the spinach leaf like you’d fold a heart (vertically), then gently tear away the stalk.
  • On shucking oysters: grip the oyster with a dish towel, and hold a shucking knife in your other hand. Run the knife along the opening, and pry the shell apart. Open the oyster over a bowl so you don’t lose the juices. (Use the juices in the dish too).
  • On fresh vegetables: better with dirt and insects than bleach (another “lie consumers believe” = clean, sparkling leaves with a sanitised smell are fresh and good… not true).
  • On pepper: it is not a season, but a spice – it alters flavour.
  • On fish fins: snip off with scissors prior to cooking, as they burn quickly in the pan.
  • On removing fish skin: make a cut under the fish skin, dab on some salt to give some grip, then use your thumb and pull the fish skin off.

Here is a picture of David showing us how to take the bone off… admittedly I didn’t see how he did it: one blink, one lift and the bone was out!

David was as generous with food samples as he was with taking questions, and people gathered to ask more questions at the end:

I regrettably had to dash off while David was still taking questions. Late in the afternoon, I came home to my market/NZ produce-lunch – not quite David’s fare (yet), but delicious in my hungriness nevertheless: fresh sourdough topped with Over the Moon black truffle brie (triple cream brie with truffle in the middle… it is every bit as good as it sounds), J. Friend and Co Northern Rata honey (sweet, gently earthy and delicate), and a spicy hot toddy made with Hakanoa Ginger Syrup (the BEST). I look forward to cooking a few things based on David’s recipes soon!

P.S. Happy Thanksgiving!

Jam FAIL!

#8 Lemon Vanilla Jam – Page 265

It was rolling along nicely until the end… where it turned, sadly,

Sticky, sticky, gooey, gooey, HARD BAD BAD.