I was making this recipe and everything was going great. The shortbread base came out of the oven looking good. I spread the jam evenly and easily.
Then came the lattice.
I don’t know if I didn’t use enough butter (I cobbled together what I thought made up the full amount) or if I didn’t have enough moisture, but the lattice dough pieces were crumbly and fell apart. The strips were thicker than what you might expect. In the future I might try adding a few tablespoons of cold water to the mix to help the dough form like you might with a pie crust.
I did my best to make a patchwork lattice, which ended up looking more like a second grader’s art project than what you might see in a French pastry shop. All that to say, don’t judge a torte by its lattice (is that a saying?). This torte is delicious. The shortbread is buttery, the jam is sweet and it makes your house smell amazing.
Source: Slightly adapted Smitten Kitchen
Yield: 2 9-inch round tortes, 2 8-inch square tortes, 1 9×13-inch or 1 11- to 12-inch round torte.
Base and lattice
4 1/2 cups walnuts
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg or cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3 T. fine, dry breadcrumbs
2 cups seedless raspberry jam
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon water
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking dish with parchment paper and butter paper.
- In a food processor, process walnuts and 1/2 cup of the flour (reserve remaining 2 1/2 cups for next step) for 15 seconds, or until the nuts are finely ground but have not formed a paste. Pour mixture into large mixing bowl.
- Add 2 1/2 cups flour, cinnamon, cloves and salt into food processor. Add butter into the food processor and pulse 10 times, 10 seconds each until it forms coarse crumbs. Add to walnut mixture. Stir in sugar.
- In a small dish, beat the whole egg, yolk, and lemon rind utnil combined, and stir into crumb mixture. Stir the mixture in as best as you can with a spoon, then work the rest in with your hands. Knead the dough a few times inside the bowl until a cohesive mass, one that holds together, forms.
- Divide dough into quarters if making two tortes, or halves if making one.
- Place one portion into the bottom of each pan, and press evenly and firmly over the bottoms (i.e. I made this in a 9×13 pan, so place 1/2 the mixture in the bottom and press down). Bake shell(s) for 15 minutes, or until it barely begins to color at the edges.
- While the shell(s) bakes, roll remaining piece(s) of dough between two pieces of waxed paper, until 1/4- to 3/8-inch in thickness one inch bigger than your pan size. Transfer to freezer until the dough is well-chilled, about 20 minutes.
- Remove shell(s) from oven and let cool slightly; reduce baking temperature to 350 degrees
- Sprinkle breadcrumbs over (each or one) par-baked shell. Spread 1 cup jam over two shells or the whole amount over 1 9×13 pan.
- Remove dough from freezer and slice into 1/2-inch wide strips. Weave lattice better than I did.
- Mix egg yolks and water. Brush it all over lattice top and border. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until crust on top is well browned.