Several years ago, my friend Ilse gave me a handwritten recipe card for making linzer torte. She knew I was a baker, and she most certainly was too. Ilse was a Holocaust survivor and I enjoyed her so much; when my boys were little, I ran as a volunteer our Sisterhood Gift Shop and she would come in to volunteer. There were days I would literally sit at her feet and listen to stories.
When my boys were little, we’d see Ilse and her sister Ruth at shul, and I’d make a point to very gently remind the boys that the sisters were survivors and to remember them, as they’ll be the last generation of children to know survivors personally.
One year as Sisterhood Programming Co-Chair, we put on a conversation between Ruth, who had just written “My Father’s Blessing” with Ann Mollengarten, and it completely filled up our social hall. It was absolutely terrific for all of us.
This summer, Ruth and Ilse passed away eleven days apart. The NYT even ran their obit.
I’ve made Ilse’s linzer torte a few times just in the last couple of months, as part of a dessert table at a Break-The-Fast to our sukkah party, and another occasion. My one change to her recipe is that I’ve upped the sugar by 1/4c. It’s a terrific recipe — enjoy.
1-1/2 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c butter
1 c ground almonds or pecans
1 c raspberry or other preserves
Preheat oven to 350*. Mix all the ingredients together except the preserves. The mixture will be somewhat crumbly.
In a springform pan, take just over 2/3 of the dough and spread evenly.
Out of the oven, spread the preserves (I’ve made this with a few different flavors but my favorite favorite favorite is the Bonne-Maman Peach-Mango Preserves. A little note: some of the berry flavors seem to run a little bit more than other fruit preserves, so you may want to consider using a tiny bit less if you go with, say, raspberry.
Spread the preserves on. I leave a little space on the edges without any preserves, but that’s just a preference.
With the just-about 1/3 raw dough left, take little scraps and dot here and there on top of the preserves, all around.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a nice golden brown. Always a super easy process to remove it from the springpan. Cut into triangle slices like a pie. Delish!