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Stirring up Memories by Deb Forkins

I have no memory of my father ever spending time in the kitchen while I was growing up. The kitchen was my mother’s domain where she exercised her creative genius nightly. She had Sunday off and dad would grill steaks or burgers on the Weber, everything always WELL done.

Skip ahead 50 years. My mother has been gone for several years, and my father has developed a new penchant for “haute cuisine”….as far as he is concerned…recalling dishes from his childhood in his native Switzerland. Forget the steaks, give him barley soup or schnitzel mit spaetzle. When he visits we often spend time in the kitchen together. He is either baking his family favorite, linzer torte, with me playing sous chef or overseeing my attempts at getting his roesti just right. He is 93 years young, and his memory is not always reliable. However, when we are in the “Swiss” kitchen, associations are stirred along with the ingredients. He begins to recount stories from long ago…things I have never heard before….. The time that he fell from a tree and broke his leg while gathering hazelnuts for his mother’s praline. The pear bread he and his mother would bake and bring to the nearby farmers who supplied his family with cheese and milk. Oh yes, and the time he hung his little sister up on the door jamb so that she would stop following him around.

These times together are absolutely priceless. He moves more slowly now, but his mind is clear, his eyes still sparkle, and he can still make a fabulous linzer torte!Linzer

Linzer Torte
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Ingredients
  1. 8 oz. ground almonds
  2. 1 cup plus 3 ½ T. sugar
  3. 1 t. cloves
  4. 1 t. cinnamon
  5. 1 t. freshly ground nutmeg
  6. 2 cups (plus slightly more if needed) flour
  7. 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter
  8. 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk for brushing the dough.
  9. 1 jar of seedless raspberry jam
Instructions
  1. Mix ground almonds and sugar together and set aside.
  2. Over hot water in large bowl, mix butter by hand until melted. Remove from hot water bath and add two eggs to the butter, beating after each egg. Add almond and sugar mixture. Add the cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Slowly add 2 cups flour. Add 3 ½ T. more flour on top of dough and let settle for a half hour. Then mix in the added flour with a knife.
  3. Butter a spring form nonstick 9 inch pie pan. Sprinkle with bread crumbs* Roll out about 1/3 of the dough to cover the bottom of the pie pan. Pour in ½ of the raspberry jam. Place another 1/3 of dough over jam, and cover with remaining raspberry jam. Roll out remaining dough and cut ½ inch wide lattice strips. Weave lattice pattern on top of jam. Use leftover dough to fill in any gaps between lattice strips.
  4. Mix one egg yolk with 1 T. water and brush it over lattice top.
  5. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes, until the torte is brown and cooked through the center.
  6. Remove from oven and release from pan. Once fully cooled, it is best if you let the torte stand covered overnight before serving for best flavor. Will be good for a week….if it lasts that long!
Notes
  1. *Plain bread crumbs, just enough to coat the pan to make removal easier
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

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