It was an ordinary afternoon when I was picking up my son from his grandparents’ house last week. Usually I have coffee with my parents and discuss the joys and sorrows of life. My dad loves antiques and he is crazy about history, and I love to task him with finding me different items from the past. We were talking about antique cookbooks and I was complaining how expensive they are. He showed me few of his cookbooks which date back to the 1800s, explaining who used this or that book, or where and when he bought it. A few times he mentioned his great-aunt who was a housewife and cook in Budapest. She worked also for Kalman Mikszath, who was a famous Hungarian writer, journalist and politician. Then he pulled out a big pile of handwritten recipes, saying: “these are her recipes”. My jaw dropped. Who cares about the old books of unknown people when we have recipes directly from our family? My dad is like that.
Along with those of his great-aunts, Katicza and Agota Gyurkovics (pictured above), he has a few recipes by a magnificent woman Countess Marica Ordody, whose godfather was Kossuth Ferencz (son of Kossuth Lajos) and some from his mother Valeria. We will post some of these recipes. The very first one I wanted to try my grandma’s recipe for Linzer bars. I love linzer and my dad always asked my mum to make linzer like his mum used to make. So I was curious about two things.
1. How does my grandmother’s linzer taste, obviously.
2. Would my dad recognize the taste and would he mention that “this is like my mother used to make it” or is he just cruel to my mum and he wants to make her something that does not exist.
The test won in the 1st case but lost in the 2nd. I loved this Hungarian linzer. It is very easy to make and tastes great! After feeding crumbs to my dad (it is a small recipe… not too much left) he did not instantly recognize it as a miracle from the past though. When I told him that it is my grandmother’s recipe he said… oh yeah that’s right…that’s how my mum used to make it. So, some success but I was expecting more. After this I had a third question: why did’t he show the recipe to my mum, because if she knew it is so easy she would have been delighted.
This is a small recipe so do not make it as your main dish.
Makes 4-5 portions.
- 1 stick/113 grams butter
- 1¼ cup/240 grams sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 2.2 ounces/60 grams crushed almonds
- 3/4 cup + 2tbs/100 grams flour
- small jar of you favorite jam (I used cherry)
- a few blanched almonds for decoration
- Work the flour, butter, sugar, egg yolks, and crushed almonds into a dough.
- Roll them 1/2 inch/2 cm thick into your desired shape: it can be one big square, one big circle or small circles. This might be a bit tricky with the rolling pin because the dough is very fragile and may fall apart. I used my fingers and pressed it into shape. Reserve a little bit of dough to make shapes on the top of the linzer. I made a lattice. Or tried to — as I mentioned, the dough was very fragile.
- Spread the jam over it, and add a dough design if you choose. Place blanched almonds on top for decoration.
- The recipe says you should bake them in a very hot oven. So I tried 350 F (180 C). I baked them for 25 minutes, but I think 30 minutes or a higher temperature might work better. The dough under the jam was slightly undercooked.
- When the sides and the lattice are getting golden, take out the linzer and let it cool.
- Do not touch! Let it cool completely. And enjoy.