This almond and pineapple jam linzer torte is a more literal take on the pineapple cake, a confection the object of my many affections. It’s a bit like a large, tender, sliceable and shareable version with an extra dose of pineapple jam. This tart is also a great receptacle for using up variable amounts of leftover pineapple jam from other projects.
While I only first tried a pineapple cake in high school, reading about others’ childhood memories of pineapple cakes had me nostalgic about the few Chinese snacks from my childhood – which then seemed to manifest as the random-snacks-everywhere!! theme of the photos. I raided my grandparents cupboards for an assortment of snacks forgotten in the back: paper-thin flaky egg roll cookies (which as I kid I was only allowed to eat over the sink due to all the crumbs), liquorice-flavoured preserved ginger, salty-sweet dried orange peel (blackened due to age… it should look brown, but not quite like that), tart chalky haw flakes, and featherlight crisp rice crackers.
The dough for this tart is quite soft, tearable and a bit trickier to work with. I find it’s easier to press the dough into the tart tin for the bottom. Making the lattice on the top is a matter of keeping the dough nicely chilled. Try to be patient – if it starts to get too soft, place the dough briefly back in the freezer.
The overall linzer torte is quite sweet, mostly from the pineapple jam, though the tartness helps to keep it balanced. If you prefer your desserts less sweet, keep the pineapple jam layer thin or check out Lili’s less sweet pineapple jam recipe (I know I’ll try the latter for next year)!
pineapple almond linzer torte
Adapted from The Little Epicurean. Double the recipe for a 9″ tart.
- 63g ground almonds
- 58g all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 63g soft butter
- 45g granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 25g egg, at room temperature
- about 180g pineapple jam
- beaten egg for egg wash
- slivered almonds
Whisk together the ground almonds, flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.
In a separate bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until light. Beat in the vanilla paste. Beat in the egg in two additions. Add the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Divide the dough into two portions, one consisting of a slightly scant 2/3 of the dough (over 160g by weight) and one consisting of a slightly generous 1/3 of the dough (less than 80g by weight). Chill both pieces.
I used a 15cm (6″) diameter tart ring that was 2cm tall, but you can use a fluted tart pan instead. If you’re using a tart ring, set it on a piece of parchment on a baking tray.
Remove the larger piece of dough from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface into a circle about 1 cm thick (it won’t be big enough to cover the tart tin yet, this is just to get it started). Transfer the dough to the tart ring. Use the flat bottom of a glass to press the dough starting from the middle outwards into an even thickness (about 5mm) lining the bottom and sides of the tart ring. You may need to dip the bottom of the glass in flour to keep it from sticking to the dough. If you have any extra dough, add it to the second portion of dough.
Mix the pineapple jam with 1-2 tbsp water to make the jam softer and more spreadable (if needed). Spread the jam in an even layer in the tart ring.
Roll out the second piece of dough on a piece of parchment paper until it’s a rectangle at least 15cm (6″) long (or the diameter of your tart tin) and about 4mm thick. Chill the rolled out piece of dough in the freezer until firm. Slice the dough into strips 1-cm wide. The strips are much easier to handle when they’re cold so at any point if they start to become too soft, pop the dough back into the freezer to firm up.
Arrange the strips over the tart into an angled lattice pattern. Remove any excess from the edges.
Place the tart in the fridge to chill until firm.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F. Brush the lattice pattern with beaten egg and sprinkle the edges with slivered almonds.
Bake for around 25-28 minutes or until nicely browned.