Recipe by Marie Nowacki
Tis the Season...
Tis the Season...
This is one of my favorite holiday recipes. I would bake this rich, nutty, fruit-filled pastry with my grandma whenever I would visit her in Germany over Christmas. A great thing about this recipe is that it is easy to prep ahead of time, and it travels and ages well.
- First you need to make the fruit preserves. You can choose to skip this step by using pre-made or jarred preserves. Traditionally, currants are used, but some substitution options are raspberries, blackberries, or cranberries.
- Place fruit and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring them to boil over medium heat.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes (or until most of the liquid has evaporated)
- Pour the cooked preserves into a heat-proof bowl. Mix in the lemon juice and Kirschwasser.
- Now for the dough, move the oven rack to the center of the oven, and preheat to 350ºF
- Place the almonds and walnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes (or until golden brown and fragrant).
- While those cool, place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes (or until the skins start to crack and they are fragrant).
- Once all of the nuts are cool, place them in a food processor with 1/2 Cup of flour, and process until they are finely ground.
- Add the remaining dry ingredients (flour through salt on ingredient list) and process until combined evenly.
- Add the butter (in pieces) and pulse until the dough mixture looks like small crumbs.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until the dough begins to come together.
- Next onto the Torte directions! Remove the dough from the food processor and form it into two balls. One should be slightly larger than the other.
- Cover the smaller dough ball in plastic wrap. Press the larger ball into a buttered tart pan (covering the bottom and sides. evenly).
- Spread the cooled fruit preserves into the crust. Cover the pan with plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate the doughs for 3-4 hours (or overnight).
- Remove the small dough ball from the refrigerator, unwrap it, and place it between 2 sheets of wax paper. Roll the dough into a 12 inch diameter circle.
- Using a pastry cutter or pizza cutter, divide the dough into 3/4-1 inch strips.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the strips of the sheet. Cover the sheet in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Remove the tart pan and the baking sheet from the refrigerator. Evenly place the cut dough strips in the tart pan so that a woven lattice pattern is formed (a trick is to alternate the direction that you place the strip each time). Trim the edges so that they fit nicely in the pan.
- Roll any leftover scraps out and cut shapes using a cookie cutter of your choice. Use these shapes to decorate the edges of the torte (and hide any imperfections!). Make sure the edges of the crust are sealed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake (up to 1 day).
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Bake the tart on the center rack of the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the dough is firm and set, and a nice golden brown color.
- Cool the torte on a wire rack before unmolding from the pan. I prefer to cover the tart in foil and let it rest in a cool place for a day or two, but it can be served immediately. The torte can be served room temperature or warm. You may choose to dust in with confectioners’ sugar. It will keep for 1 week when refrigerated.
- Fresh or Frozen Fruit (preserve ingredients) x 2 cup
- White granulated sugar (preserve ingredients) x 1/4 cup
- drops lemon juice (preserve ingredients) x 2
- Kirschwasser or cherry schnaps (preserve ingredients) x 2 tablespoon
- Whole Almonds x 1/2 cup
- whole walnuts x 1/2 cup
- whole hazelnuts x 1/2 cup
- All purpose flour x 1 1/2 cup
- white granulated sugar x 1/3 cup
- Light brown sugar x 1/3 cup
- fruit lemon and orange zest x 1/2
- Ground cinnamon x 2 teaspoon
- Unsweetened cocoa powder x 1 teaspoon
- Ground cloves x 1/4 teaspoon
- Salt x 1/4 teaspoon
- cold unsalted butter x 14 tablespoon
- large egg yolks x 2
- Pure vanilla extract x 1 teaspoon