I first met Lee on a horse ranch outside of Sao Paolo, Brazil way back in 2013 -- sounds pretty random, I know! We were there for a weeklong retreat as part of a YouthActionNet fellowship program -- Lee as a Fellow, me as new a member of the staff team. I was so impressed with the story of spur: and their creative approaches to tackling some of the root causes of mental illness and suicide, and I have been a big fan of spur: (and Lee!) ever since!
My great grandmother, Anna Haitz, has always been a role model for me. She was adventurous, independent, entrepreneurial, and cared deeply about her community. She was also an amazing chef and baker, and long after retiring from running the local deli in her small town, she was cooking and baking up a storm, especially around holidays. On years she could travel to be with us for Christmas, I knew that one whole suitcase would be packed with homemade delights - and if she couldn't travel, a package would come by mail - mostly traditional recipes from her native Black Forest region of Germany. Every year on Christmas morning my family and I would eat Nana's Linzertorte, and it was inextricably linked with holidays and family. Unfortunately she didn't use written recipes and we never got her version of this written down before she passed away, but a few years ago a German friend of mine brought over her mother's cookbook (in German) and we made this Linzertorte together -- and it's just like Nana's.
· 300 g butter softened (2.5 sticks),
· 300 g ground almonds (2.25 cups)
· 300 g sugar (1 1/3 cups)
· 100 g grated unsweetened chocolate (1 1/3 cups)
· 1 egg
· 1 tsp cinnamon
· 2 pinches allspice
· 3 tsp baking powder
· 400 g flour (3 cups)
· 1 large jar of jam (red currant is best, raspberry is also good)
· 1 egg yolk
· 3 spring form pans
1 · Blend butter, sugar, egg, chocolate, spices, baking powder.
2 · Mix flour & almonds, then mix in gradually until fully blended. (may need to use dough hooks and/or hands)3. Grease and flour spring form pans (this recipe makes 3 torte), separate bottoms.
4 · Roll out dough to fit bottom of spring form (only thick enough to reach edge).
5 · Put sides back on the pan.
6 · Roll out a thin rope of dough to create edge, push around perimeter to make the border.
7 ·Spread a thin layer of jam across the top.
8 · Roll out thin layer of dough with rolling pin and cut strips to make a lattice on top (you can make other patterns if you'd like - get creative, just think of it as a pie top that isn't meant to be fully enclosed).
9 · Brush egg yolk across lattice strips.
10 · Bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour (keep an eye on it to avoid burning)
Notes: Dough is easiest to work with when about room temperature, need to put in fridge if too warm, but cold dough is also sticky. Do not serve fresh! Let sit at least 3 days, longer is better. This also keeps really well in the freezer (literally for years) if you wrap it up.
Recipe shared byJessie Elisberg
Jessie is passionate about leadership development, social entrepreneurship, and wellness. She works in the field of youth development.
Recipe attributed to
An old German cookbook, circa 1940s-ish