At a bakery I rarely can resist the raspberry filling and nutty crust of a linzer torte or the cookies inspired by this classic Austrian dessert. I use the term “dessert” loosely, of course, since linzer tortes are perfect for breakfast. Consider them an elevated jam on toast.
With my predilection for dessert as breakfast, I used classic linzer torte flavors to create a cheesecake style tart that is perfect for any time of day. The vanilla bean flecked filling and almond crust are topped with lightly sweetened, macerated raspberries. Serve this tart after lunch or dinner, with afternoon coffee or tea, or join me in having a slice in the morning.
½ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 cup flour
½ cup slivered almonds
¼ teaspoon ground vanilla
8 oz. goat cheese
8 oz. crème fraîche
½ cup sugar
2 tsp flour
½ tsp ground vanilla
½ pint raspberries
1 ½ Tbsp sugar
“It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.” – Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera
Inspired by the linzer torte, the crust for this tart includes ground almonds, which add a nice texture and a hint of sweetness – unlike the bitter almonds of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Still they are such beautiful words to latch onto as you move around the kitchen.
The crust and filling also call for ground vanilla, which simply consists of finely ground vanilla beans. Highly aromatic, it should not be substituted with vanilla powders that contains other additives and sugar. Since there is a wide range of quality in vanilla beans, taste until you find the ground variety that is the most flavorful and appealing to you. Extract can be used instead at half the amount, though I prefer a ground variety of vanilla as it works well with the goat cheese.
Prepare to bake the crust by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Use a food processor to finely grind the almonds. Add the ground almonds, flour, and ground vanilla to the butter mixture and beat until just combined. Press the mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Allow to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees.
While the crust is cooling, beat the goat cheese and crème fraîche on low speed until smooth. Add the sugar, flour, and ground vanilla and beat slowly until combined. Add eggs one at a time and continue to beat on low speed until combined, being sure not to overbeat. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the center of the tart is nearly set. When you give the pan a gentle shake, the center should jiggle slightly. Allow the tart to cool completely on a wire rack before covering and chilling.
For the raspberry topping, sprinkle the sugar over the berries and allow to sit for about an hour, stirring occasionally. The raspberries should become tender and release some of their natural juices, creating a lightly sweet, bright syrup.
When ready to serve, remove the tart from the pan. Top with the macerated raspberries or serve them on the side.