The linzertorte is said to be the oldest cake in the world and dates back to at least 1653, but no one knows who invented it. There are lots of variations and the oldest known recipe is in a cookbook that was written 350 years ago. Named after the Austrian city of Linz, which is justly proud of this delicious creation, the Linzertorte has a crumbly pastry base, a jam filling and a lattice top. This is our version with mincemeat.
Equipment: you'll need a 25cm/10in flan tin.
- 500g/1lb 2oz homemade mincemeat (or use shop-bought if you are short of time)
For the marzipan:
- 115g/4oz icing sugar, plus extra for rolling
- 175g/6oz ground almonds
- 85g/3oz caster sugar
- 1 large free-range egg
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the pastry
To make the marzipan, sift the icing sugar into a large bowl and stir in the almonds and caster sugar. Beat the eggs with the almond extract and lemon juice. Using a large spoon, stir the eggs into the almonds and sugar until the mixture begins to come together. Use your hands to combine the mixture into a stiff but pliable paste.
Dust a work surface with sifted icing sugar and knead the marzipan for 1–2 minutes or until smooth. Return to the bowl, cover with cling film and leave to stand for 1–2 hours before using. This allows the almonds to swell and absorb some of the moisture from the egg mixture.
To make the pastry, put the flour, almonds, caster sugar and butter into a food processor and blend until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and a pinch of salt and pulse until it forms a ball of dough. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate.
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Place a baking tray in the oven to heat up.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and slice off one third. Dust a work surface with flour and roll out the larger piece to line a 25cm/10in flan tin. Place and press into the tin. Dust the surface with more flour and roll out the marzipan so that it will cover the base of the tin. Place ontop of the pastry. Spread the mincemeat evenly over the marzipan.
Dust the surface with flour, roll out the remaining pastry and cut into equal strips. Make a lattice design on top of the mincemeat or alternatively cut out shapes to cover most of the mincemeat.
Brush the pastry with milk, place on the preheated baking tray and bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden-brown. Dust with icing sugar. Serve hot or cold, with cream.
Homemade marzipan is a wonderful thing to make around Christmastime. Use any leftover marzipan to make marzipan fruits or to add to mince pies.