There I said it. I've been making crumble top crusts on my pies for years because I'm afraid of what kind of disaster I could create trying desperately to succeed at a double crust.
The lattice crust seemed like a good bridge. You cut that dough into strips and just lay it across the pie. Simple as...pie? Hmmm, not quite. This particular dough is very delicate and that particular day was a little warmer than the ideal for making a pie crust.
First of all the dough recipe doesn't even call for refrigeration before rolling out, unless you won't be using right away. I did refrigerate but figured that even 30 minutes would be fine since it didn't require any chilling. Rolling the dough out, went fine, until I tried to transfer it to the buttered tart dish. I started with a nice round of dough and ended up with a pile of dough askew in the dish. Plan B - press dough into tart dish.
Plan B fails and I start to curse almond pastry dough. At this point I decided that the best thing to do would be to put the pastry dough down and walk away. I'm taking my own advice that I give to patients that are having a panic attack or frustrated at a crying baby. Put down the baby and walk into the other room.
The pie crust chills in the fridge and I chill in the bedroom. After 10-15 minutes, I take a deep breath and try to make nice with this crying pastry dough. There, there pastry dough, you can go evenly into the tart pan and then leave me enough for a lattice crust.
|Almond dough pressed in to tart pan, not so pretty but functional|
I realize that not only am I having trouble due to how delicate this dough is, but also I cannot cut in a straight line! There are several cycles here of refrigerate, roll out, flour rolling pin, roll out, cut, attempt to place strip, strip breaks, throw strip of dough angrily on pastry board.
But I think it actually had a little more character that way - like I cut different size strips on purpose. My Linzer Torte is Postmodern. It rejects other lattice crusts' perfection.
|Pre-baking, Post egg wash|
And this is what happens when you bring Postmodern Apricot Linzer Torte into work.
Postmodern Apricot Linzer Torte
Adapted from Baking (p.209) by James Peterson
* 2/3 c almond flour
* 1 2/3 c cake flour
* 1/2 c plus 2 Tbsp cold butter
* 3/4 c confectioners' sugar
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1 egg, beaten
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* 1 1/2 c almond flour
* 1/2 c butter
* 1/2 c plus 2 Tbsp sugar
* 1 egg
* 1 egg yolk
* heaping 1 c apricot preserves (you can make your own by following this simple apricot puree)
*1 egg, whisked
*1/4 tsp salt
To make almond pastry dough: (Can also be made in a food processor.)
Cut butter into small cubes. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, cake flour, butter, sugar, and salt. Toss together by hand and place in freezer for approximately 10 minutes.
Remove the bowl and mix in the butter by pinching it with your finger tips until there are no pieces of butter bigger than a pea. Add egg and vanilla, mix in with a spoon. Now work the dough by hand, kneading and folding until it just comes together. It may be "a ragged mess", but James Peterson says that's OK.
Flatten dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
To make almond cream: Combine butter and sugar with hand mixer until smooth. Add in egg and egg yolk, one at a time, beating in well after each. Stir in almond flour until it is well incorporated. Refrigerate covered until ready to use (up to 3 days in the freezer).
Once the above preparations are done, butter a 9-11 inch fluted tart pain and preheat the oven to 350F.
Remove pastry dough from fridge and roll out on a clean, flat, well floured surface (if you have a marble pastry board - use it). You want the dough to roll out to approximately 2 inches larger than your tart pan.
Now, ideally, if all the elements are correct, you should be able to line your tart pan with the dough easily, but it is possible you could wind up with sticky, delicate dough and have to press it in like I did. Either way, cut off the excess, form into a ball, and refrigerate until ready to use for lattice crust. Place the tart shell in the fridge as well for about 10 minutes.
Roll out the extra pastry dough into a rectangle that is about 1/8 inch thick. Cut six 1/2 inch wide strips that are about 9 inches long. Place strips on the torte with about 3/4 inch in between each strip. Cut another 6 strips and place these diagonally over the first set to create a lattice top. Cut the ends of the strips off so that they fit on top of the torte.
Make an egg wash, using one egg whisked with 1/4 tsp salt. Brush egg wash on top of lattice crust, taking care not to get any on apricot filling.
Bake in the center of the oven for about 1 hour or until golden brown.