This is a wonderfully spiced almond pastry, filled with an enhanced raspberry jam. It's simple, delicious, and both the dough and the whole baked tart can be made ahead and frozen. A great addition to the holiday table, for Valentine's day or just because.
Originally posted in 2016, this post has been updated with images and text to serve you better. The recipe remains the same.
I'm all in for spices and berries, so this almond raspberry Linzer torte hit the mark easily. The addition of nuts in a dough always adds more than what I'm expecting, a toasty flavor and unique texture. They're like a cousin to the very popular Scandinavian jam tarts.
Linzer anything (tart, bars, cookies) is a favorite combo of mine. In part because of all mentioned above, but also because the raspberry filling, especially when homemade, is tangy and sweet and just perfect with the spices and aromas coming out of the oven.
Why this recipe works
- Flavor: this torte has great holiday spice flavors and a slightly tangy filling that are fantastic together!
- Easy: this is a spiced dough that comes together quickly in the food processor.
- Yield: depending on how you cut it, you can serve it as a dessert or a little something with your coffee or mulled wine. And you can make cookies from the leftover dough.
- Make ahead: you can keep the dough frozen for up to a month, either before or after rolling, and also you can freeze the whole torte after it's baked.
- Variations: you can adjust the spices and filling to your personal taste.
There are several ingredients that go into this Linzer torte, but they are pretty much holiday staples. And there's a shortcut to the filling.
Spiced pie crust
The spiced pastry is the star of this recipe and it acts as both the bottom and top part. It's full of ground almonds, spices, and ground graham crackers as an ingredient.
- Graham crackers: this is an unusual ingredient but it adds texture and a great flavor to this dough.
- Flour: both all purpose or cake flour can be used.
- Spices: I love the ones stated in the recipe, but adjust or adapt to your personal palate. After all, you're the one eating it!
- Almonds: use natural almonds, not honey roasted, previously toasted or salted. They will toast as the dough bakes.
- Unsalted butter.
- Sugar: regular white sugar is perfect for this recipe.
- Egg: fresh, large
- Lemon zest: it add some acidity and balances out the richness of the other ingredients.
- Raspberry preserves: the best brand you can afford. A little is added to the raspberry mixture, but you can use it for the filling if you don't have time to make it from scratch as explained in the recipe card.
- Raspberries: fresh or frozen.
- Lemon juice: it enhances the flavor of the berries.
- Sugar: we use light or dark brown sugar, but regular white sugar also works.
How to make the dough
- Use a food processor. It's the easiest way because you can easily grind the almonds and the graham cracker crumbs and then add the rest of the ingredients, including spices and lemon zest, to the bowl (image 1).
- Butter: add the butter pieces and process (image 2). You will have a soft and creamy mixture, similar to frangipane.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. First, add the egg and vanilla (image 3). Pulse to mix until it's creamy. Second, add the dry ingredients in two parts (image 4) and pulse to mix. But DON'T OVERMIX! This is important.
Forming the dough
- Make sure the dough is not completely mixed in the food processor. It should have some flour patches when you dump it onto a clean surface (image 5).
- Gather the dough, turning it onto itself several times until you have a solid round of pastry with no flour patches (image 6). This is crumbly dough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate as directed in the recipe (image 7).
I hoard frozen raspberries year-round. I mean, lots of pounds. So I tend to make my own raspberry fillings and sauces.
- Thicker filling: for this torte, you need a thicker one, so that you're able to cut the tart and not have a raspberry pool. To achieve that, I mix the best raspberry marmalade I can afford with real berries and end up with the right amount of tang and sturdiness.
- How sweet should it be? This is really up to you and your level of sweetness. I like it more acid than not, especially with such a rich and buttery pastry. So feel free to adjust the amount of sugar and lemon juice to your personal taste.
Assembling the torte
After you made the spiced dough, assembling the torte is quite simple. You have to divide the dough and use ⅔ for the bottom part and ⅓ for the lattice crust or cutouts.
WATCH THE STEP-BY-STEP VIDEO 👇🏻
The lattice is the traditional way of making a Linzer torte.
But really, it can be whatever you want it to be. Don't corner yourself with crisscross stripes (image below). You can cut out shapes and distribute them on top as I do.
Roll out the pastry and cut strips of dough using a pastry wheel or a pizza cutter. Starting in the middle, place a long strip and pinch the ends where they meet the bottom crust. Repeat with the rest until you have a criss-cross pattern.
You can use any cut-out shape you want. The pastry will hold its shape after it's baked, so it's a great way to make it more festive.
- Starts: they are great for Christmas and also for the 4th of July (you can also add blueberries to the filling).
- Hearts: it's a great Valentine's day dessert also if you make it with heart cut-outs.
My top tips
- Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
- Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer that is placed inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
- Spiced pastry: don't overwork the dough. The food processor is a handy tool to make it easier, but don't process it much after you add the flour as this will make it tougher.
- Cookie crumbs: instead of the graham crackers you can use dry fine breadcrumbs or plain vanilla wafers and a little more cinnamon to match the graham crackers flavor.
- Make ahead: it can be kept in the refrigerator for a week or frozen for a month. In both cases wrap it well. When ready to use put it in the
- Spices: I love the combination in the recipe, but you can use only ground cinnamon (a good one) and it will also be a great Linzer torte.
- Flavorings: we use vanilla (paste usually) and almond extract with lemon zest, but orange zest also works great. And maybe a tablespoon of liquor (Frangelico or Amaretto) can be a great addition.
- Nuts: use other ground nuts for the dough. Hazelnuts go very well with the rest of the flavors and so do walnuts.
Frequently asked questions
It's a spiced tart made with ground nuts and filled with jam, usually raspberry. It can have a lattice top, cutouts, or be made into cookies. It's a traditional holiday confection that originated in Austria.
They travel quite well, so you can ship them. Wrap them well (individual cookies or the tart cut into squares and wrapped individually) and pack them tight but without piling them up. If the package has one or more layers of squares or cookies, I like to divide them with bubble wrap.
The spiced dough in this recipe makes great cookies. Simply roll and cut with the form you want. Bake for about 10-12 minutes in a 350°F/180°C oven, until dry and starting to color.
Linzer cookies: the concept of this tart can be transformed into cookies.
- Roll the cookie dough no more than ¼ inch thick and cut rounds.
- Take half of the cut-outs and use a smaller cookie cutter and cut a smaller round in the middle. You will have half whole rounds, half with a part missing in the center and the centers themselves.
- Bake them separately, let them cool completely.
- Assemble the linzer cookies by putting a teaspoon of raspberry preserves or jam in the middle of the whole rounds.
- Dust with powdered sugar the tops of the rounds that are missing the center.
- Top the jam-filled cookies with the sugar-dusted ones, making a sandwich cookie.
Related recipes you might like:
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This is a wonderfully spiced almond pastry, filled with an enhanced raspberry jam. It's simple, delicious, and both the dough and the whole baked torte can be frozen. A great addition to the holiday table.
For the dough:
- 2 cups (265g) all-purpose or cake flour
- Scant ½ cup (60g) graham crackers crumbs or fine dry breadcrumbs
- 1 ½ cups (170g) whole almonds, ground
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Several gratings nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 cup (225g) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- ⅔ cup (130g) regular sugar
- 1 egg
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lemon or 1 orange (or both)
For the filling:
- ½ cup raspberry preserves (the best quality you can afford)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
- *OR use 1 ¼ cups good raspberry preserves only
For the spiced dough:
- I use the processor, but you can use a handheld mixer at the lowest speed after you ground the almonds and graham crackers.
- Put the whole almonds in the bowl of a food processor and process until they are medium to finely ground.
- Add sugar, graham cracker crumbs (or breadcrumbs), cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and lemon zest. Pulse a few times to mix.
- Add butter pieces and pulse until it starts to gather together. It doesn't matter if there are small pieces of butter here and there.
- Add egg and vanilla and continue to pulse on/off until it comes together, but short of forming a ball.
- Finally, add flour in 2 parts, processing lightly until it starts to come together.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl before adding the last part of the flour so that you gather any that is at the bottom and can't be reached by the metal blades, and pulse just until it starts coming together. Don't overwork it. The pastry will look dry and not form a ball.
- Transfer this shaggy mass to a clean surface or counter and gather together with your hands until you have a smooth round of pastry with no dry patches. Don't knead it but make sure all the flour is incorporated.
- Wrap with plastic wrap or parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
For the filling:
- Put the raspberries with the sugar and juice in a small saucepan.
- Cook at low/medium until the raspberries are crushed and the mixture has lost some of its liquid (especially important if you use frozen berries), about 5 minutes.
- Mix with the raspberry preserves and let cool completely before using.
For the assembly:
- Have ready a 9-inch square or round tart pan with removable bottom.
- Divide dough into two parts: ⅓ and ⅔. Keep the smaller part refrigerated, wrapped while you work with the larger part.
- Roll the large piece of dough on a lightly floured surface until you have a rough square a few inches larger than the pan. The dough is crumbly and if it tears as you roll it out simply patch it together. Make sure you make ¼ turns and flip it if you can to make sure it's not sticking to the surface. Lightly flour surface and rolling pin as needed.
- Transfer the dough to the pan without stretching it. If it tears, just pat it together with your fingers. It's crumbly, so most of the time you'll be able to transfer a large piece and then have to patch the rest. That's fine.
- Line the whole pan, bottom, and sides with dough, making sure the angles and corners are covered. With the rolling pin, a cornet, or a knife, level the rim by removing the excess dough.
- Prick the bottom with a fork and transfer the unbaked tart shell to the freezer for 30 minutes (or the fridge for 1 hour) before baking. You don't need to wrap it unless you want to freeze it at this point.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC about fifteen minutes before baking.
- Roll the remaining dough on a lightly floured surface.
- Cut out stars or your favorite cookie shape, or cut strips (I use a pizza cutter) to make a lattice.
- Spread the cold raspberry filling on the bottom of the cold unbaked dough that you just took out from the freezer and top with the cutouts, leaving space in between them; don't cover the jam completely.
- If making a lattice, starting in the middle, carefully lay the longer strips first over the filling, going from side to side both ways so you have a criss-cross pattern. Repeat with the rest of the strips leaving some space between them. Pinch the dough strips with the crust at the edges to seal.
- Bake the tart for about 30 minutes, until the top is browned and dry and the filling starts to bubble.
- Let cool on a wire rack for fifteen minutes or so, and make sure no jam stuck to the sides, as it will harden as it cools. Let cool completely before removing it altogether.
- Dust with powdered sugar if you want before serving.
Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer that is placed inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
Spiced pastry: don't overwork the dough. The food processor is a handy tool to make it easier, but don't process it much after you add the flour as this will make it tougher.
Cookie crumbs: instead of the graham crackers you can use dry fine breadcrumbs or plain vanilla wafers and a little more cinnamon to match the graham crackers flavor.
Make ahead: it can be kept in the refrigerator for a week or frozen for a month. In both cases wrap it well. When ready to use put it in the
Spices: I love the combination in the recipe, but you can use only ground cinnamon (a good one) and it will also be a great Linzer torte.
Flavorings: we use vanilla extract and almond extract with lemon zest, but orange zest also works great. And maybe a tablespoon of liquor (Frangelico or Amaretto) can be a great addition.
Nuts: use other ground nuts for the dough. Hazelnuts go very well with the rest of the flavors and so do walnuts.
Jam: raspberry is the traditional flavor, but a tart apricot jam works really well too.
- Serving Size: 1/12
- Calories: 441
- Sugar: 21.5 g
- Sodium: 46.6 mg
- Fat: 25.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 48.9 g
- Protein: 6.9 g
- Cholesterol: 56.2 mg
Keywords: linzer tart