I set out this summer to learn how to make yummy Austrian food. I bought an Austrian cookbook even.
First on my list to make: Linzer Torte. A sweet, nutty pastry crust, almost a shortbread, holds a layer of tangy current jam, covered by a criss-cross of more pastry, sprinkled with sliced almonds and powdered sugar. Sounds good, no?
Though I have not actually tried one, I know what sounds yummy when I hear it, so I figured that I am decent enough baker to undertake this task.
Being that I am subletting an apartment for the summer, I forgot about all the loops that one must jump through when learning to bake in a foreign land. Do I have the correct pots? When can I buy ground almonds? How do I say ground almonds? What is the cooking temperature in Celcius? Is the oven I am using true to temperature, or is it off a little bit? Will the fact that I am making a pastry when it’s 90 degrees in my apartment with no air conditioning affect the outcome?
I pondered these all quickly and threw caution to the wind. I mean, how hard could it be, right? It’s like a pie, and I have made about a million pies. No biggy.
Boy was I wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
I couldn’t find ground almonds, so I figured I would hand chop mine until they were very fine. I got them pretty small, but never the same texture as buying ground.
I didn’t let the dough chill enough because my refrigerator here was actually pretty spotty on the day.
I swore that I had seen a 9 inch spring form pan in the apartment, but in reality, I had only seen the bottom portion of the spring form pan, but the sides were no where to be found. So I used an 11″ tart pan that had seen better days.
I converted the degrees on the Internet, but this oven is an electric convection oven that is warmer/faster than my oven at home.
I was sweating buckets (not into the dough, mind you). The dough wasn’t properly chilled. The pan was too big. The almonds were too course. This porridge is too hot! That porridge is too cold! Wait… wrong story.
Anyway, when the evening was over, this is what I had made:
At least she tasted good. I doubt she tasted how real linzer torte is supposed to taste, but still, the butter, nuts and jam, it’s hard to go wrong.
They say it’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? Well, let this be a lesson to those 4 people who read my blog: sometimes even bloggers make mistakes. Shocking, I know. I still haven’t bought the correct pan, but when I do, I will try again. Maybe it will be better next time. Maybe I will redeem myself. And maybe not. I guess that’s part of life’s journey.
Like how I turned this into some greater life lesson even though in reality it was me failing abysmally in the kitchen and throwing a small tantrum?