25 September 2009

Making Over Martha Month: Veganized Raspberry Tart (nee Linzertorte)

From September 2009 photos

This Linzertorte, inspired by Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook (p. 171), is probably the most time-consuming recipe I've ever made. It also is one of my proudest achievements as far as veganizing challenges go. Why? Well, translating 3/4 of a cup of butter (read: 1.5 sticks) and 1 cup of granulated sugar into appropriate amounts of olive oil (yep, it's olive oil alright) and agave nectar that would mesh with a nut-based crust was almost as rough as my shortbread Everest. Oh, and did I mention an egg? Yes, I had to work out the egg issue too. What I do for my vegan friends.

From September 2009 photos

This cutaway shows just how jammy (or rather, no sugar added spread-y) this luscious linzertorte is. Boy, this is rich stuff. Between the toasted hazelnuts and almonds in the crust, and the thick layer of jam between, a small portion is all you'll need for a great agave-sweetened, vegan fancy dessert. It's really quite the show-stopper for a gathering.

From September 2009 photos

When I served it to my pal Teresa, she almost didn't believe that it was vegan. That says a lot. She's a big fan of butter, so she would know.

OK. I know. You've waited long enough. Here's the recipe as I made it -- a very far cry from Martha's, which is fitting since it's the last of the month. Hope you've enjoyed my Making Over Martha Month. By the way, for you linguists, I know I'm completely misusing nee in the title, but it's the closest I could come to saying that the thing is so completely changed that its previous incarnation was a linzertorte.

Caveat: This takes FOREVER to make due to all the chilling involved. Believe me, you can do it. Just plan to make it on a day when you have lots of small, short-term tasks to accomplish. Like cleaning. Or laundry. Or repotting plants.

Sorry, one last thing -- Martha's original says it's best eaten the day it's baked. Mine improves over time, although eating it the first day is certainly a good thing.

Veganized Raspberry Tart (inspired by the Linzertorte in Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook; p. 171; 2005.


1/2 cup toasted and rubbed clean of skin hazelnuts
1 cup blanched almond flour (it's OK if you don't have this, just run a cup of blanched almonds through your coffee grinder or food processor until they are powdery)
1 1/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Pensey's Baking Spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil (use your best light oil)
2/3 cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon flax meal

Nearly 2 10-oz jars of no-sugar-added raspberry spread (I used the 365 brand from Whole Foods, and it was lovely.)

2 tablespoons no-sugar-added apricot spread
1 teaspoon filtered water


1. In a food processor, blend together the hazelnuts, almond flour, whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, Baking Spice, and salt.
2. In a mixer, beat together the olive oil, agave nectar, and flax meal.
3. Add the dry to the wet ingredients above and mix until well incorporated. Expect that it will be wet. Split the dough in two uneven halves (one should be slightly larger than the other -- that will be the bottom crust). Wrap each individually and refrigerate the crust dough for 1 hour.
4. Using the slightly larger half, press the dough into the bottom and sides of a tart pan with a removable bottom. If you don't have one, you could definitely use a springform pan (in fact, next time I make this, that's what I'll use), but only go 3/4 of an inch up the sides with your dough. Cover with plastic and freeze for 2 hours.
5. Meanwhile, between two sheets of parchment paper (and with a LOT of flour on both sides of the dough), roll out the other half of the dough until it is about 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. Wrap this up in plastic and freeze it for 2 hours.
6. Spread the raspberry spread onto the bottom crust, re-wrap and freeze it again while you work on your top crust cut-outs. (This can take from 30 to 45 minutes, depending upon how well you do keeping your crust from sticking. As it warms, it gets very sticky. And, like any good crust, you don't want to handle it much at all.)
7. Using your favorite cookie cutters, cut out enough pieces of the rolled out crust to cover the top of your tart while leaving air holes (they also provide nice contrast against your crust).
8. Take the bottom of the tart out of the freezer and top the tart with your lovely little cut-outs. Wrap the whole thing up and freeze it until you complete the glaze step.
9. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
10. Whisk the apricot spread with the water until well combined. Then, take your tart from the freezer.
11. Using a pastry brush, quickly spread the glaze on the top of the tart, place the whole thing on top of a rimmed baking sheet topped with parchment paper, and place it in the center of your hot oven.
12. Bake the tart for 30 minutes, then check to see how quickly the edges are browning. Cover any parts that are browning too quickly with foil, then bake it for another 15 minutes or until completely golden brown and bubbling.
13. Let it cool completely before removing the sides of the pan to show off your amazing veganized raspberry tart!

Take some photos and show me how yours turns out!


Teresa said...

Not only did my butter loving baker self love it, but my entenmann's loving healthy thing hating father thought it was wonderful! There is hope!

Deb Schiff said...

Yay! Thanks. Now, when will I see my container (and you) again? ;D

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time and effort to veganize this--I can't imagine...you are the best!


Erndog said...

Hi Deb...we've left comments on eachother's blogs before and I just got to thinking, you must be the woman to have the answer to my question. It's about that time of year again, when I start to think about the gory Halloween cookies I'll be making soon. BUT, I'd really like a revamped recipe for the shortbread recipe I use for them. Love to be able to use agave nectar for the sweet and I'll likely use whole wheat pastry flour in lieu of AP flour. Any ideas how to make these slightly healthier?? :-) http://whatscookinerndog.blogspot.com/2008_10_01_archive.html

Deb Schiff said...

Wow! The artistry! Now there's a challenge. One of the things I've avoided all this time (until now!) is a challenge of how to change a confectioner's sugar recipe into an agave nectar one. The butter to oil thing is a bit easier: each tablespoon of butter = 1 teaspoon of oil. OK, now you have that part. You can omit the egg by using either flaxmeal or adding 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. Easy substitutes for food coloring come from blueberries and beets. As far as balancing out the agave for the sugar goes, I'd estimate 2/3 cup of agave nectar and add anywhere from 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup of coconut flour to your whole wheat pastry flour. You'll have to noodle around with it and let me know how it goes! That's a pretty classic shortbread recipe. I'll bet they are amazing! Thanks for making me think about something other than artists' books and interface design!

Erndog said...

Yay! I just knew you'd have some wonderful suggestions. I'll let you know how they turn out...will definitely be trying them with the whole wheat pastry flour and agave nectar + coconut flour substitutions.
Might go ahead and keep the dairy in for the first try, but who knows! :-)
Thanks again!!

Deb Schiff said...

Good luck, E! I'm looking forward to hearing all about it. Lose the dairy, you can do it. ;D

Cate O'Malley said...

The tart looks gorgeous, especially the leaf topping - love it!

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks, Cate! Love your blog.