What would a visit to Linz be without the famous Linzer Torte? It is a classic that was already mentioned by name as early as 1653. Well known far beyond the borders of the city and the country, for many it is a sweet reminder of Linz.

The Linzer Torte (or Linzertorte) is an Austrian torte with a lattice design on top of the pastry. It is named after the city of Linz, Austria.

Linzer Torte is a very short, crumbly pastry made of flour, unsalted butter, egg yolks, lemon zest, cinnamon and lemon juice, and ground nuts, usually hazelnuts, (but even walnuts or almonds are used), covered with a filling of red currant jam or, alternatively, plum butter, thick raspberry, or apricot jam. It is covered by a lattice of dough strips. The dough is rolled out in very thin strips of pastry and arranged to form a criscross design on top of the preserves. The pastry is brushed with lightly beaten egg whites, baked, and sometimes decorated with sliced almonds. Linzer Torte is a holiday classic in the Austrian, Hungarian, Swiss, German, and Tirolean traditions, often eaten at Christmas. Linzer Torte is often made like small tarts or cookies in North American bakeries. Linzer sablés (German: Linzer Augen, “Linzer eyes”) are a cookie-sized version, made by cutting a circle of a similar dough, covering it with jam, placing a donut-like circle with a hole in the center piece of dough on top, and dusting with confectioner’s sugar.

The Linzer Torte recipe is the oldest-known in the world. For a long time a recipe from 1696 in the Vienna Stadt- und Landesbibliothek was the oldest one known. In 2005, however, Waltraud Faißner, the library director of theUpper Austrian Landesmuseum and author of the book “Wie mann die Linzer Dortten macht” (“How to make the Linzer Torte”) found an even older Veronese recipe from 1653 in Codex 35/31 in the archive of Admont Abbey. Besides, the invention of the Linzer Torte is subject of numerous legends, reporting on a Viennese confectioner named Linzer (as given by Alfred Polgar) or the Franconian sugar baker Johann Konrad Vogel (1796–1883), who about 1823 at Linz started the mass production of the cake that made it famous around the world

A Recipe for “Original Linzer Torte”:

150 g butter
250 g flour (700)
150 g powdered sugar
100 g roasted hazelnuts
1 egg
Spices (vanilla, lemon, cinnamon, powdered cloves)
10 g baking powder
300 g red currant jam

Instructions

Knead the butter and sugar together. Knead in the flour sifted together with the baking powder, add nuts, egg and spices.
Chill the dough for some time, then take it out of the refrigerator and divide it into quarters. Roll out three quarters of the dough to a thickness of about 1,5 cm (for a 22 cm baking pan), cover it with red current jam. Shape the remaining dough into strips and lay them on top of the jam as a grid and around the edge. Daub with egg, sprinkle sliced almonds around the edge.
Bake for 40-45 minutes at about 190 degrees Celsius.

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