Alice Medrich, author of Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts has simplified the Austrian classic by making a rich, almond based dough that comes together in the food processor and never once necessitates the use of a rolling pin.
- Yield:serves 12 to 16
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:1 hour 45 minutes
- 3/4 cup (3.75 ounces) whole almonds or hazelnuts, or a combination
- 1 cup (4.5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 11 tablespoons (5.5 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into chunks and slightly softened
- 1 large egg yolk
- Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- Grated zest of 1/2 orange
- 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 2/3 cup (7.33 ounces) raspberry or blackberry preserves
- Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
Combine the almonds, flour, granulated sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cloves in the food processor and pulse until the almonds are finely ground. Add the butter, egg yolk, grated lemon and orange zests, and almond extract and process until just blended.
Measure 1/4 cup (2.25 ounces) of the dough and shape it into a ball or a cube (if slicing). Wrap and refrigerate it.
Meanwhile, grease the sides of the cake pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Press the remaining dough evenly over the bottom of the pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Spread the preserves evenly over the dough, leaving a scant 1/2-inch border all around. Using the largest holes of a box or flat grater, grate the chilled reserved dough over the jam (or cut the dough into matchsticks and scatter them over the jam).
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Tent the torte loosely with foil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, until it is a deep golden brown. If the torte puffs up during baking, rap the pan sharply on the oven rack to settle it. Cool the torte in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Slide a thin knife or a small metal spatula around the sides to release the torte. Let cool completely.
Invert the torte onto a plate. Remove the cake pan and the parchment liner, then turn the torte right side up. The torte keeps, covered, at room temperature for a good week; it can also be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 3 months; bring to room temperature before serving.
Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar, if desired.