Mini Raspberry Linzertortes

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This past weekend my family celebrated a holiday. Most of you are thinking it was the obvious Cinco de Mayo celebration which, although was indeed Sunday, was not the only holiday of the day. For those of the Greek Orthodox faith it was Easter Sunday and in my house we were making Easter dinner with some Easter treats. I know what most of you may be thinking… Easter was a long time ago but that is not the case for the Greek Orthodox Christians as they follow the old calendar and not the new of the western world. Therefore, some years Easter will coincide and other years it will not. This year was one of those years.

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With that said I was in the kitchen making lamb and a slew of other yummy’s when I decided to make a new pastry for the family to try rather than the traditional Pasta Flora. I thought I would try a Linzertorte which surprisingly ended up being similar to the Pasta Flora of Greek Easter tradition. Both pastries are more crust/dough then filling, the dough’s are both lemon based, creating a smell I recognized from Pasta Flora as I prepared the Linzertorte. The only noticeable difference at that point was in texture. Lastly, both pastries are filled with a jam center.  Although these mini Linzertortes are much simpler than the traditional formulas from Austria, it is still a bit more tedious than the Greek Pasta Flora.

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The crust is made up of hazelnuts and almonds for a balanced nut flavor without bitterness. Traditional formulas ask for a hard boiled egg which is not only bizarre but time consuming. Time which a new mommy doesn’t have!!! Not to mention the hard boiled egg actually does too good a job at making the dough tender. A raw egg moistens the dough and brings it together just fine. For the final touch on the crust, cinnamon and allspice is added for spice. Once mixed up and flavored, the hardest step of the Linzertorte comes next… forming the crust in the tart pan with the rather sticky dough.

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I found the easiest way to do this is chill the dough until firm yet still malleable. Then divide the dough in two and roll each disk out between plastic wrap to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin. Be sure to chill the dough if at any point it gets too sticky to work with. When laying the lattice strips, be very careful as the dough softens and breaks easily. Also the jam center prevents the strips from being repositioned once initially laid down so study the instructions carefully before laying the first strip as it can be difficult to fix mistakes after beginning. If at any time the lattice strips tear or crack, don’t despair. Just piece them back together the best you can. Once you baste the dough with the cream and sugar, any cracks will be almost unnoticeable after baked. Once out of the oven, the traditional accompaniment is lightly sweetened whipped cream flavored with kirsch or framboise but you can use vanilla if you do not want to use alcohol. Or of course you can skip the whipped cream and eat as is. The tarts keep very well for about 2 days at room temperature in a tightly sealed container. The following formula makes two small tarts and one pan of mini tartlets or one 11 inch Tart that serves 10 to 12.

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Mini Raspberry Linzertortes

 

 

Pastry Ingredients:

  •  1 cup (5 oz.) Unblanched Hazelnuts
  • ½ cup (2 oz.) Blanched Almonds
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp. Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Grated Lemon Zest
  • 1 ½ cups (7 ½ oz.) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground Allspice
  • 12 tbsp. (1 ½ sticks) Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces and kept chilled
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Filling:

  • 1 ¼ cups (13 ½ oz.) Raspberry Preserves
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon Juice

Glaze:

  • 1 tbsp. Heavy Cream
  • 1 ½ tsp. Turbinado or Demerara Sugar (optional)

 

 

Formula:

  1. For the Pastry: Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat oven to 350°. Toast nuts on a rimmed baking sheet, stirring once, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Cool nuts to room temperature. Do not turn off the oven.
  2. In a food processor, pulse cooled nuts, sugar, and salt until very finely ground, about eighteen 1-second pulses. Add lemon zest and pulse to combine. Add flour, cinnamon and allspice and pulse to combine. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture and pulse until the butter lumps are no larger than peppercorns and the mixture resembles coarse meal, about twelve to fifteen 1-second pulses. In a small bowl, whisk lightly to combine the egg and vanilla. With the food processor running, pour the egg mixture through the feed tube and process until the dough forms a large ball, about 10 seconds.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and press together to form a cohesive mound. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Flatten each piece into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill the dough until firm but still malleable. If not using right away you can keep the dough in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.
  4. Cut a parchment round to fit the tart pan or pans size that you are using. Spray the bottom and sides of the tart pan(s) with nonstick cooking spray. Separate the bottom from the sides of the tart pan(s) and line the bottom with the parchment round and spray the parchment with cooking spray. Roll out the dough into disk(s) between plastic wrap to a size just shy of the edges of the pan bottom. Place the dough on the pan bottom(s) and drop into the fluted ring(s). Using hands, press the dough into an even layer until flush with the sides of the tart pan(s). Using a fork, poke holes uniformly in the dough and set the tart pan(s) on a baking sheet. Bake until beginning to brown around the edges, 15 to 18 minutes. Set the baking sheet on a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
  5. Pinch pieces of dough from the remaining disk and roll with hands on a work surface to form a  rope. Place the rope against the side of the cool prebaked tart pan(s). Repeat with additional dough (you will have some dough left over for the lattice), connecting the ends of the ropes. When the entire inside wall of the tart pan(s) have been lined, use your fingers to gently press the rope into the flutes of the pan(s), creating walls about 5/8 in. high (walls should not be as high as the rim of the tart pan(s). Set the tart pan(s) aside on the baking sheet.
  6. Reshape the remaining dough into either one large 12 in. round if using a large tart pan or two 6 in. rounds if preparing two mini tarts. Dough should be rolled to 1/8 in. thickness between two sheets of parchment sprayed with cooking spray. If the dough becomes too sticky to work with, refrigerate or freeze it until firm but still malleable. Peel off the top layer of parchment. Using a ruler sprayed lightly with cooking spray and a pastry cutter, pizza cutter, or chef’s knife, neaten the edge of the dough round(s), then cut round into strips. You will need 10 strips for each tart. Slide parchment with dough onto a baking sheet and cover loosely with parchment. Freeze for 20 minutes or refrigerate for 40 minutes until firm but not fully stiff.
  7. For the Filling: While the lattice chills, in a small bowl stir the raspberry preserves and lemon juice together. Spread the preserves evenly in the tart shell(s).
  8. To Assemble, Glaze, & Bake: Invert the dough strips sandwiched between parchment and peel off the top layer. Using an icing spatula as needed, lift one of the longest strips from the center of the round and lay across the center of the tart at the 1 o’clock/7 o’clock position. Lift the second longest strip and lay across the center of the tart at the 3 o’clock/9 o’clock position. You should have an X formed across the tart at this stage. Lift a short strip and lay across the tart parallel to the first strip, near the edge of the tart. Working clockwise, repeat the positioning of outer strips parallel to the central strips. There should now be 6 strips in place. Lift one of the remaining strips and lay across the tart parallel to and equidistant from the central and edge strips. Working clockwise, repeat until lattice is complete with 10 strips. Press any excess dough against the rim of the tart pan to neatly trim. Repeat process with remaining tart if making two mini tarts.
  9. Gently brush lattice strips with heavy cream and, if using, sprinkle with sugar. Bake tart(s) on baking sheet until deep golden brown, about 50 minutes for one large tart or 20 minutes for mini tarts. Cool on baking sheet on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours.
  10. To Serve: Remove outer tart pan ring. Slide a thin metal spatula between parchment paper and bottom of crust to loosen. Slide tart onto serving platter. Cut into wedges and serve with flavored whipped cream if desired.

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM COOKS ILLUSTRATED

 

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

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Irish Cream Smith Island Cake

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!! Although I only have a small portion of my heritage that is Irish it doesn’t hurt to celebrate. Perhaps my favorite Irish offering besides Potato-Leek soup and the Boxty (Ireland’s version of a potato pancake), is Bailey’s Irish Cream. My favorite way to enjoy Bailey’s is in a frozen coffee like drink… delicious. Of course it also tastes wonderful in desserts. When contemplating what to prepare for St. Patrick’s Day, the one thing I was sure of is that it would include Bailey’s. I finally decided on cake, and what better way to impress all your leprechauns then with not just any cake but a Smith Island style cake dyed a two-tone green color synonymous with the holiday.

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For those that don’t know what Smith Island style cake is, it’s very tall with many many layers. Hailing from the small town of Smith Island, Maryland, the Smith Island Cake is famous for its tall stature created by multiple thin layers smothered with a  rich, fudgy frosting. The Smith Island Cake has created such a grand reputation that it recently became the official state dessert of Maryland. With such an impressive reputation I decided to modify it for St. Patrick’s Day by tinting the layers green, adding Bailey’s Irish Cream to the cake batter, but maintaining the original choice to frost the layers with chocolate. The pairing of Irish cream and fudgy chocolate creates a taste so divine you will think you followed the rainbow to your taste buds pot of gold.

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I will admit this isn’t my best post because I have had a rather stressful past week and have also had to juggle watching my daughter all while handling the stress which didn’t bode well. This is a cheater recipe for those who are rather strapped for time like myself. I don’t typically recommend cheating with any store bought products but a semi-homemade dessert every once in a while won’t hurt. It did hurt my final outcome of this post however as the cake layers were too moist and tended to slide and break apart upon slicing. I suppose no matter how displeased I was with the look of the cake I have to admit it tasted delicious. Oh well, I will have better luck next time. Hope you all have a great day celebrating and have all the luck of the Irish this year 🙂

 

Irish Cream Smith Island Cake

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 boxes of White Cake Mix
  • 4 tubs of Chocolate Frosting
  • 1 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • Green Food Coloring
  • Shamrock Decorations

 

Formula:

  1. Preheat oven according to package directions. In two separate bowls prepare each cake mix according to the boxed directions. To each bowl, add ½ cup Bailey’s Irish Cream. Mix until just incorporated. Tint the first bowl a light green and the second bowl a darker green. Grease and flour six 8 inch round cake pans (I use store bought foil pans to make things easier. If you don’t wish to do so, grease and flour 3 round cake pans and bake in batches. Be sure to allow the pans to cool completely before adding the next batch of batter to bake). Divide each bowl of batter evenly into the cake pans. Bake cakes for 20 minutes. Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely before assembling.
  2. Once the layers have cooled, use an offset spatula to spread a thick layer of chocolate frosting on the first layer before topping it with another layer. Repeat with the rest of the layers, making sure to alternate the lighter and darker green layers as you frost the cake and build it up. Once all the layers have been assembled, spread an even layer of frosting across the top and sides of the cake. With the remaining frosting, fill a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe 8 rosettes around the top edges of the cake. Place a shamrock decoration on top of each rosette.

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SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

 

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

Swedish Apple Pie

It has been awhile since my last post so I thought I better catch up and what better way than to do so with an old American favorite… Homemade Apple Pie. The  twist here is though that I did not prepare this particular homemade apple pie the conventional American way. I cheated on America and made it the Swedish way. I have to give credit where it is due to the Swedes…this is a mighty fine tasting Apple Pie and the ease of it makes it that much more delicious. What would you say if I told you that this pie could be made on a work day or school night without you pulling all of your hair out doing so. Crazy right…well wrong because this pie is capable of just that. It is simple and delicious and a pleasant twist to the original we all know and love that it can even be served at a dinner party and you will be sure never to go wrong. A drizzle of Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise or if you want a more traditional paring like what my grandfather preferred… a big heaping scoop of Vanilla Ice cream.

This pie is sensational. It is a cross between a spiced apple cake and a dense pie with a crisp sugar coated apple topping and a crisp and buttery thin crust. A few notes before I send you off to baking this delicious creation. Be sure to use two different varieties of apples here, one that is tart and one that is more sweet. I chose to use the ratio of 3 Granny Smith’s to 2 Braeburn, however you can use Golden Delicious or Gala apples in the place of Braeburn but be sure to use Granny Smith’s for tartness no matter which type of sweet apple you choose.

Swedish Apple Pie

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, plus 8 tbsp. (1 stick) melted
  • ¾ cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 3 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, & sliced thin
  • 2 Braeburn Apples, peeled, cored, & sliced thin
  • 1 ¼ cups Sugar
  • 1 cup plus 1 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. Apple Pie Spice
  • ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tbsp. Sour Cream

Formula:

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 325°. Grease bottom and sides of 9-in. spring-form pan with 1 tbsp. butter. Melt remaining softened butter in large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add graham crackers and toast until golden brown. Transfer crumbs to bowl and let cool.
  2. Toss sliced apples, 2 tbsp. sugar, and 1 tbsp. flour in a bowl. Coat bottom and sides of spring-form pan with toasted graham cracker crumbs. Arrange apples in pan.
  3. Combine 1 cup sugar, remaining flour, apple pie spice, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk in eggs, sour cream, and melted butter until smooth. Pour batter evenly over apples. Sprinkle remaining sugar (mixed with a bit of cinnamon for cinnamon sugar – if desired) evenly over batter and bake until deep golden brown and crisp, about 70 to 80 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool at least 1 hour or completely. Remove ring from pan, slice, and serve (preferably with ice cream).

Special Thanks To:


Diane Unger &

Peter Mendoros – Photography


All content © Honeybee’s Patisserie 2012