I had booked tickets to London for the very day that Luc’s tractor succumbed to multiple injuries. I loathe packing, and departures in general, so as Luc had said we should leave for the airport at 3pm, I had planned to pack my bag at 2.45pm. Unfortunately, what I hadn’t factored into the equation was a struck-down tractor and its extremely labile and distraught owner. In view of these circumstances, Luc decided that we should delay our departure, to check that his beloved was picked up and properly towed to the ‘tractor hospital’. To hell with me and my flight! When the transportation arrived two hours early, our departure abruptly changed again to give us time to stop by the ‘hospital’ to confirm the treatment plan with the mechanics. And presumably discuss DNR etc. I suggested gifts – perhaps flowers and grapes, but my suggestion didn’t go down well. To cut a long and emotionally-charged story short, I ended up arriving at the airport late, sweating profusely, smelling of engine oil, and wheeling a suitcase full of season-inappropriate mismatch.
We have a hunter friend who often stops by for coffee, and who has a Clint Eastwood-style gum chewing habit. Luc finds this intensely irritating, but, until now, all attempts to get him to spit out his gum upon arrival chez nous, had failed. We recently offered Clint and his well-toned jaw muscles a slice of this Linzer torte. He and his gum parted company with a vibrant ping on the edge of the bin, and he even asked for a second slice. Manipulation by torte!
Linzer torte is a traditional Austrian pastry, similar in texture to shortbread and topped with tangy fruit jam. It originated in the city of Linz in Austria.
Recipe for Linzer torte (serves 8)
- I egg
- 150g cane sugar
- 150g soft butter
- 250g flour
- 150g ground hazelnuts
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3 soup spoons cocoa powder
- 1 jar of raspberry jam (you could use blackcurrant or apricot)
Combine the egg, sugar, butter, flour, ground hazelnuts, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cocoa powder to form a ball. Then cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Next roll out the two thirds of the pastry, using a rolling pin and use to line a well-greased tart tin. Fill with jam and then roll out the remaining pastry, cut into strips to form a criss-cross pattern over the jam. Bake for 25 minutes.