Thursday 28 February 2013

Seville Marmalade Almost-Linzer Torte

I made a big batch of Seville Orange Marmalade in January. Before I came out to Switzerland, I ate it every day for breakfast.

I'm obsessed with toasted wholemeal bagels spread with lots of salted butter that melts and mingles with the bittersweet marmalade. The buttery mixture often breaches the edge and runs in sticky rivulets down your fingers. I couldn't bring a jar with me as I came over with hand luggage, so I've been dreaming about it every morning (though Homemade Granola has been an acceptable replacement). The half term stint is nearly over, so on Sunday morning I'll be joyfully munching through a marmalade bagel with lots of hot tea in a sticky mug.

To try and make it last the full year until the Sevilles come back again, I tend to go through a jar quite slowly. As a result, I've never really baked with it. This year I miscalculated the number of empty jars, so I ended up with about half a jar worth of marmalade in bowl. It seemed like a good opportunity to experiment.

Usually a Linzer torte has a lattice on top and the short, crumbly pastry is enriched with egg yolks and flavoured with lemon and cinnamon. This recipe evolved from an Alice Medrich recipe for a speedy, non-traditional torte. I've halved the recipe to make a smaller 6" torte (and in doing so simplified the recipe even further). It isn't a proper Austrian Linzer anymore - the flavours and texture are different - so I've called it the Almost-Linzer.

In a way, it's a bit like a giant cookie that you slice up - it's not very thick, about 1.5cm. The shreds in the marmalade give it an extra texture that you don't get with other jams. The ginger gives it a bit of fire to balance out the sweetness from the pastry and the bitter note from the oranges.

This recipe is wonderfully adaptable. I've made several tortes with the more traditional raspberry-redcurrant jam (the same as in the swiss roll), spiced with cinnamon. I've also tried vanilla with a swirled combination of raspberry-redcurrant and chunky apricot. My friend Steph, of Desserts for Breakfast, made a cranberry and clove version of the same original recipe. I think it's best if you use a jam or filling that had a touch of bitterness or tartness to counteract the outside. I've always used almonds, but I'd love to try hazelnuts, pecans or walnuts.

I think it's considerably better when it's fully cooled (or on the next day), but I find it very tempting hot - it smells so good - and often can't resist. It's soft when it's warm but goes chewy as it cools, which makes it easy to transport. It took me two slices to fall in love with it but now I'm thrilled I have it in my repertoire.

Do you bake with marmalade?

Seville Marmalade Almost-Linzer Torte
(adapted from Alice Medrich's Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts)

50g whole almonds
65g plain flour
75g light brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
big pinch of fine sea salt
75g unsalted butter
1 tsp milk
100g seville orange marmalade*

Place the almonds, flour, sugar, ginger and salt into a food processor and blend until fine. Cube the butter then add it with the milk and blend until the dough just comes together. Wrap a 25g chunk of the dough in a bit of cling film. Lightly grease a 6" round cake or tart tin with a removable base, then scrape the rest of the dough into it. Use your fingers to press it out into an even layer with a little lip at the side. Place the little ball of dough and the tin into the fridge and chill for at least 30 minutes - meanwhile, preheat the oven to 170C/340F.

Spread the marmalade out in the middle of the tin, leaving a gap at the edge. Tear the extra bit of dough into small chunks and arrange on the top. Put into the oven and and bake for 30 minutes until the sides and splodges in the middle are deep golden-brown and the jam is bubbling. Sit on a wire rack. After five minutes, run a knife around the edge and remove the tin. Leave to cool fully. Keeps well for at least 4 days in a sealed tin.

(Makes one 6" torte, 6-8 slices)

* The jams and marmalades I make are generally soft-set. If yours isn't, a tiny bit of lemon juice or water should loosen it slightly. Lemon would also be a good idea if the jam is purely sweet (i.e. not a little bitter, like marmalade).

A few more recipes that use ginger:
2012: Ginger Bourbon Pecan Pie
2011: Ginger Root Bundt Cake
2010: Gingernuts


  1. I've never had a linzer torte but it looks fantastic, like a giant biscuit (which is never a bad thing). Thanks for introducing me to Desserts for Breakfast as well, I love adding to my blog list.

  2. This looks very good. I do cook with marmalade. In fact I prefer to use it in baking etc. than spreading it on toast. My favourites are nutty marmalade cake, marmalade flapjacks and marmalade ice cream. I think I may be adding your recipe to that list!

  3. I haven't had a proper authentic one either - perhaps I should go on a field trip to Austria! Steph's blog is one of my absolute favourites, glad I could pass the love on.

  4. It's so moreish, I love it. Hope you get to try it.

  5. They all sound fantastic! Where did you find the recipes? Or are they your creations? I hope you do try this one.

  6. Hi Emma
    The cake was an experiment, the flapjacks are a Dan Lepard recipe and it was my husband's idea to add marmalade to ice cream and we have made it twice this year already.
    I will definitely try your 'almost-Linzer torte'.

  7. I've been looking at marmalade in baking recipes after making, like you, a big batch of blood orange marmalade - I had so much left over and didn't know what to do with it all! Tried giving it away to friends but discovered only ONE friend likes marmalade - how can anyone not like marmalade? Must try this!

  8. Love the rustic look of this Almost Linzer Torte (great name by the way) - Linzer Torte has been on my 'to do list' of things to bake since going skiing in January and finding a recipe for it in my bag of groceries. It's the cost of ground almonds that put me off ... maybe I will follow your suggestion and use some of my walnut stash instead!
    And I am a total convert to my 6inch springform as well - no more wasted cake in my kitchen!

  9. Jam-filled pastry always makes me think of the most incredible latticed tarts we used to get in Italy when we were little - little more than incredible pastry and delicious jam. I love the way you've used marmalade here - I'd never be able to eat a huge batch as I'm not a huge fan of it on toast so this would be the perfect way to use it all up!

  10. delicious, love the fact that you used marmalade.

  11. Hi! I just found your blog, and it`s so beautiful and filled with a lot of inspiring pictures! the tart looks really deliscious, and btw, I would love to make my own marmalade!!

  12. That's a delicious torte! I love the orange marmalade flavor!

  13. Linzer Torte! Or almost-linzer...either way, thanks for the reminder. Whenever I come across it, I always think that I want to make it, but keep forgetting. I don't think I will this time though--your recipe inspired me, and I have some Meyer lemons currently soaking to make Meyer lemon honey marmalade tomorrow. Then that will go into a linzer... or almost-linzer. Thank you!

  14. A big giant cookie with orange marmalade!? I'm in!

  15. Meyer lemon honey marmalade sounds delicious!

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  30. That seville orange marmalade is a thing of beauty, with the little moons of zest peeking through the bright colors!

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  32. I'm sold on the cookie part as well, hahaha.

    I've never come across Seville oranges before, but by all the descriptions I've read, they sound amazing in marmalade. This torte is a thing of beauty. :)

  33. Emily Hilliard6 March 2013 at 00:16

    I just made it and I have to say--it's delicious! The recipe is from the River Cottage preserves handbook. I'll post a version up on my blog ( soon.

  34. I just love the look of seville orange jaam in the jars, I like holding them to the light! This tart looks delicious, nothing beats a homemade tart!

  35. poiresauchocolat6 March 2013 at 14:31

    Thanks for the recipes! Will have a look now.

  36. poiresauchocolat6 March 2013 at 14:32

    Mmm, blood orange (just typed organ by mistake - perhaps not so delicious!) sounds great. Can't understand why people wouldn't love marmalade! It's a tricky one to use up in great quantities.

  37. poiresauchocolat6 March 2013 at 14:34

    Ooh do tell me how a walnut version goes - what sort of jam would you use with it? I'd love to hear about a nut substitution (really should try it myself). How different is the recipe from your bag of groceries? 6" tins are so wonderful.

  38. poiresauchocolat6 March 2013 at 14:35

    I can imagine - the Italians do make a great jam tart. I love marmalade a lot but I can see you can get tired of it - it's a nice change to bake with it.

  39. poiresauchocolat6 March 2013 at 14:36

    Thanks Lindsey, I think it works really well - I particularly like how the shreds give it a bit of extra texture.

  40. poiresauchocolat6 March 2013 at 14:37

    Hi! I'm so pleased you like the blog. I hope you do try making marmalade one day - the shredding is a bit time consuming but it's really worth the effort.

  41. poiresauchocolat6 March 2013 at 14:38

    Thanks Kiran - I love the marmalade flavour.

  42. poiresauchocolat6 March 2013 at 14:39

    Oooh that sounds wonderful! Does it have sugar as well or just honey? I hope you do make the torte - tell me how it goes if you do :)

  43. poiresauchocolat6 March 2013 at 14:45

    I love the fact that this post has readers replying to readers - it makes it feel even more like a community.

    I found this torte really difficult to describe - cookie was the closest thing I could think of as it doesn't really feel like pastry anymore. Glad it was tempting!

    & Linda - Seville make the best marmalade because they're so bitter. You can only buy them in January - they tend to have them at markets/good fruit stalls and in some (generally upmarket) supermarkets.

  44. poiresauchocolat6 March 2013 at 14:45

    I love how pretty it is. I know I should put it away in a cool dark cupboard but I can't resist keeping it out where I can see it.

  45. poiresauchocolat6 March 2013 at 14:47

    It's so cheerful, isn't it - I love keeping them on the windowsill. Glad you like the torte :)

  46. Favourited this recipe for later- Made a delicious batch of Seville Marmalade in January, and have been looking for the perfect recipe to use it in. This is definitely it!
    It sounds amazing, and beautiful photos too!

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  48. Hmm, I was thinking of using blueberry jam ... although I think fig jam would be nice with the walnuts. Will have to check what our various jars of homemade jam actually are!
    I also went back to check and the recipe I was given is quite different, not only are the ratios different but it also includes egg and, instead of ground ginger, uses cinnamon, ground clove and lemon zest for fllavouring. The recipe I got lists the following:
    300-350g flour
    250g cold butter, cubed
    250g sugar
    250g ground almonds (skin-on)
    2 large eggs or 3 small eggs
    1 scant tsp cinnamon
    1 pinch of ground clove, lemon zest (the recipe does not say how much lemon zest)
    2 scant tsp baking powder
    1 egg yolk (to wash the torte with before baking)
    The instructions are pretty limited too:
    - Using a knife quickly combine all the ingredients together, minus the egg yolk (starting with 300g flour and adding more if the dough is too sticky) - the dough should be soft but not too sticky. Wrap in clingfilm and let the dough rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
    - Use 2/3 of the dough to fill a greased tin.
    - Spread the dough with jam (no quantities given).
    - With the remaining 1/3 of the dough roll long strands of dough, about the thickness of a finger and decorate the torte in a lattice pattern
    - Wash the dough with the egg yolk
    - Bake for ca. 45 minutes at 190 degrees
    - Serve dusted with icing sugar
    It also says the cake improves in flavour after 2-3 days.
    It sounds like this recipe might produce something similar to an Italian crostata - similar to shortbread in taste given the amount of butter but with a softer crumb thanks to the egg. I now might have to try both versions!

  49. poiresauchocolat7 March 2013 at 12:20

    That looks similar to the traditional ones I've seen too. This is quite different - more chewy cookie than pastry tart really. It's become something else in the process, really. I adapted the egg yolk out for simplicity when halving (and so altered a few other things, including adding the milk). I took the cinnamon, clove, orange and lemon out for this version to match the flavours but also because I was going for simplicity. But I think the recipe was already a little non-traditional - Medrich calls it a Linzer-Blitz torte.

    Blueberry sounds great with the walnut - I love fig with hazelnuts.

  50. Sugar & honey...All-honey would be my preference, but I'm not sure it would release enough pectin to "preserve"? I'm making it today and posting it soon! Will share once I do.

  51. I made this for Sunday lunch dessert and served it with whipped cream flavoured with ginger. It was a lovely easy recipe and was very well received. Next time though I might serve it more as a biscuit with coffee, rather than pudding in a bowl. Looking forward to trying it again.

  52. poiresauchocolat8 March 2013 at 08:38

    I think it probably would preserve but I'd worry that the honey flavour would be too strong and overwhelm the lemon (especially as Meyers aren't quite so brash as normal lemons). Will keep an eye out for your post.

  53. poiresauchocolat8 March 2013 at 08:39

    I thought a few people might be wondering what to do with their January batch too! Do let me know how it goes if you try it.

  54. poiresauchocolat8 March 2013 at 08:41

    So pleased you enjoyed it. I like the idea of ginger whipped cream (I've tried it with a bit of vanilla ice cream before). I think you're right that it's better served with coffee, especially as it tastes better cold.

  55. Cozinhar sem Lactose17 March 2013 at 18:16

    Wow! I just love this recipe!

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  57. I think you're right,Emma...the marmalade has a good balance of honey and lemon flavor right now.

    Also my post is up! It turned out wonderfully and I'll definitely be making it again with many different combination of nuts and preserves. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  59. poiresauchocolat27 March 2013 at 16:15

    Thank you - I hope you get to try it one day.

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