|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol Trader Joe’s Cherry Preserves|
When you think of linzertorte do you imagine a lattice top or a crumbly dessert bar?
Do you envision seeded raspberry jam or whole cherry preserves?
Toasted walnuts or ground almonds?
|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol Fresh Cherries|
Ever since I purchased The Boozy Baker by Lucy Baker at the Blue Wave car wash this winter, I have been experimenting with different jams. In spring, I used homemade plum jam sent by a girlfriend. I’ve also combined jars of Trader Joe’s raspberry, apricot/peach and cherry preserves for the dessert I brought to a different girlfriend’s bon voyage party.
|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol Summer Fruit with Golden Raspberries|
|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol Warm Linzertorte with Whipped Cream|
What has been the only variation that did not turn out well? When I increased the rum to two capfuls instead of a single capful, the texture became tough instead of buttery. The sweetness also became overpowering. Lucy Baker’s original linzertorte recipe recommends strawberry preservers with port. I haven’t tried that yet because I’m not a fan of port. Rum seems to be versatile enough to use in chocolate chip cookies and other recipes that call for vanilla extract. That’s when I usually swap out the flavoring for dark rum.
What about a lattice crust? Sadly, it has taken me more than 25 years to perfect homemade cinnamon rolls and pie crusts are likely to take just as many years of practice. Although Lucy Baker and Betty Crocker give simple, straightforward instructions, I have been unsuccessful at creating lattice crusts. Contact me if you know of a revolutionary way do achieve this.
|Photo Credit: Creative Commons Hong Kong by Roger4336|
What is my fascination with baked goods? I credit The Brothers Grimm for their Hansel and Gretel, original German fairytale. How can desserts be so good that they become deadly? If you had powerful magic, would you live in a woods in a house made entirely of cookies? Would it cause you to lose your eyesight and become a cannibal? My favorite version of Hansel and Gretel has actors Ricky Schroeder and Joan Collins. It was a Platypus production by Faerie Tale Theatre by Shelly Duvall.
My mom and dad would tell me of a faraway land called Hong Kong where people lived in high rise buildings and could go a week without seeing the sky. They had school in the same building a few floors down. As a child in America I liked fresh air and running in the park so much that this was unthinkable. It caused me claustrophobia just imagining such a life.
Worst of all, in Hong Kong apartments, when my parents were children there weren’t any full-sized ovens.
This is the story that made me scream. That is the most frightening thought. This meant that desserts were steamed, boiled, fried or chilled. I shuddered. My parents never knew what it was like to sit for 12 minutes and watch chocolate chip dough crisp, bubble, brown and rise. I continue to read of brave children, European forests and to-die-for desserts well into adulthood.
|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol and Hubby in Cherry Orchard|
I pursued German language and culture in high school. Eventually I married my very own German American after college. He was the right man for me because he took me to Austrian pastry shops when we dated. He does children’s toy marketing as a career and I continue to bake as a hobby.