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For the Filling
1 1/2 lbs strawberries sliced
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 lime juice + zest
1 cup fresh basil finely chopped
For the crust
3/4 cup butter unsalted
1 3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp almond meal
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 egg yolks

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Austria: Strawberry Basil Linzer Torte

  • Medium


  • For the Filling

  • For the crust



The Linzer Torte is said to be the oldest cake in the world, with a recipe dating back to 1653. Named after the city of Linz, this torte is popular across Austria – especially during the holidays. A ground almond-laced shortbread crust with a lovely lattice is characteristic of this torte, although I failed miserably at the latter – decorative crusts are not my specialty, particularly at 11:00 pm on a Sunday night after after a day of drinking by the pool!  The Austrian treat also comes in cookie form.  Red currant jam would be most traditional, but I decided to take some artistic liberty and make use of the fresh basil gifted from our good friends’ overzealous plant and try out this summery strawberry basil version.  While it was the ugly step-sister next to Sarah’s picture perfect unicorn, it was still well loved!

Recipe Source: Basil & Custard



For the jam:

Roughly chop the strawberries. In a large saucepan, place the strawberries, water, lime juice and sugar on high heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and leave to bubble until the mixture start to thicken. Add the basil and lime zest and continue to cook until the jam is thickened. Leave to cool slightly before handling, then transfer to a container and refrigerate completely. It will thicken a bit more as it cools.


For the pastry:

With your fingertips, rub the cold butter into the flour to form a coarse breadcrumb texture. Add the sugar, zest, almond meal, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix through. Add the egg yolks and bring together so it just forms a dough. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.


For the torte:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Break away two thirds of the pastry and roll out to a circular shape of approximately 1/4 inch thick.
Lay the pastry into a greased 9 inch tart pan, making sure to ease it into all the edges. Prick the base with a fork and refrigerate for an extra 30 minutes.

Take the remaining third of pastry and roll out to a large rectangular shape of 1/4 inch thick, and larger than the diameter of your tart. Place on a lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.


For the torte:

Once chilled, dollop the jam into the tart crust and spread evenly. Cut the rectangular piece of pastry into strips of an even 1/2 inch thick. Lattice these strips on top of the jam and press the ends into the sides, removing the excess. Brush the pastry with a beaten egg, then bake for approximately 25 - 30mins or until golden brown.


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