For the Love of Linz
It’s a pie!
It’s a tart!
Actually .. it’s Austrian. So we exclaim in German, was für ein Glück!
At first, I came across this pie at work with the warning that there were nuts inside — allergies, you know — and then when I saw the combination of jam, nut, and pie pastry on display, mental notes were made to come back for a taste. Essentially, fruit preserve baked inside a nut-meal torte with a classic crisscross topping make up the Linzer. The blended nuts are what differentiates a torte from buttery pie shell, resulting in a denser pastry. The linzer pie that we tried contains coarsely chopped walnuts embedded in strawberry jam, tasting exactly like what it looks like.
So who is Linzer, anyway? Not to be mistaken for Lindt, which is the Swiss chocolate that we love to receive in large quantities at Christmas. The creator of the linzer torte is unknown, though four recipes are to have been found in Linz, Austria as early as 1653. In other words, even in the Baroque period, this was a popular cake. Traditionally, linzer torte is made with currant preserves, almonds and cinnamon, but American adaptations have replaced currants with berry jams. Today, making torte is still serious family business passed on by Leo Jindrak I, whose name is synomous with the linzer. As some say that the linzer torte is the oldest cake in the country, to try a slice is like biting into a tart souvenir. If you ever have the chance to travel to Austria, look up 22 Herrenstrasse for Jindrak’s confectionary! Think of him as the safekeeper of the torte tradition, still making linzertorten the classic way.