Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Gingerbread Linzertorte

We have a holiday party at work every December, and I usually make something savory rather than sweet. I so often make sweets for work that I enjoy the opportunity to make something different. This year I went ahead and made dessert, since we were also celebrating 2 birthdays. I kept thinking of all these different things to make. I think I changed my mind about 100 times! The weekend before the party I went to the bookstore and had picked up a couple of holiday baking magazines. I saw this recipe and I knew I had to make it.

I thought that I had made a linzertorte before, but I had actually made a bakewell tart. A bakewell tart is similar, but this has two layers of pastry sandwiched between raspberry jam. In
this case, the pastry is a gingerbread pastry. Perfect for the holidays. It takes quite a bit of patience to make this linzertorte, since the dough has to be chilled at many stages in the process, but other than that it’s quite simple to make. The dough is a bit sticky to work with, so rolling the dough between parchment or waxed paper is really critical.

I liked this as a Christmas dessert since it isn’t super sweet and it’s a nice change of pace. The gingerbread has a good flavor that goes very well with the raspberry filling. I could have made the cut outs in the top a little more even, but it’s a little hard to do that since you make the cut outs before you assemble the linzertorte. You could change the cut outs to fit any season, I think
this linzertorte would work really well in the fall as well as Christmas.

2-1/4 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup butter, softened
1/3 cup molasses
2 egg yolks plus 1 egg white
1-1/4 cups seedless raspberry jam

In a large mixer bowl, mix flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and pepper. Add brown sugar and mix on medium low until combined. Add butter and mix until incorporated. Add molasses and egg yolks; mix until dough comes together.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll 2/3 of the dough into a 12-inch round about 1/4-inch thick. Fit into a 10-inch tart pan. Spread jam over the bottom of shell. Chill until cold, about 30 minutes.

Roll the remaining dough between two pieces of parchment paper into a 10 inch round, about ¼-inch thick. Place the round (with the parchment) on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cut shapes out of the round with mini cookie cutters and then chill an additional 30 minutes.

Lightly beat egg white; brush over edge of tart shell. Carefully slide dough round over shell; press edges to adhere. Chill until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, 50-60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Martha Stewart Holiday Sweets

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