GF Linzer Torte — Tweak the Alpine Favorite

Post by blogger | April 17, 2013      

Linzer Torte before baking.

In 1689, Austrian Valasavor published Die Ehre des Herzogtumes Krain. He wrote of skiers near Adriati using short (5-foot) skis to turn on steep slopes. This may well be the first time downhill skiing (rather than touring) was promulgated (more ski chronology here.)

Valasavor also may have savored Linzer Torte, the oldest known cake in the world. Named either for Linz, Austria or a Viennese baker named Linzer who created the cake, the recipe was found in the archives of a monastery in 1653.

The original recipe is based on almonds with red currant jelly. Now it’s commonly made with red raspberries in an crust of ground almonds and/or hazelnuts. The recipe survived no doubt because its delectable, and for calorie burning ski tourers, a tasty mix of protein and carbs.

After reading “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis (see link below), WildSnow HQ has been experimenting with wheat free eating. While our heavy diet of exercise for the most part compensates for the remarkably negative aspects of consuming wheat as detailed by Davis, we nonetheless were convinced that some of the wheat-free benefits he describes could improve our health and well being. Lou says that so far the results have been worth cutting down on his favorite tradition of morning pastry — but. To shore things up a bit on the home front, I baked a wheat free Linzer Torte, which was quite easy to do since the crust is mainly made of nuts.


First WildSnow test of K2 Shaxe.

Gluten Free Linzer Torte
1 1/2 cups almonds, or almond/hazelnut combo
1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour (i.e. Bob’s GF All Purpose Flour)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons cold butter
1 large egg yolk
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup or 10 ounces raspberry jam, you can vary the amount of jam depending on your level of sweet tooth (my favorite jam is Smuckers Low Sugar Red Raspberry)

Preheat the oven to 375° and lightly spray a 9-inch spring form pan (with removable bottom) with vegetable cooking spray. In a food processor, pulse the nuts until finely ground. Add the 1 cup of flour and the sugar, cinnamon and cloves and pulse to blend. Add the butter and egg yolk and pulse until a soft dough forms. Divide dough into 1/3 and 2/3 balls and put in separate zip lock bags. Flatten a bit and refrigerate while you clean up the kitchen. After dough is chilled, use pie sleeve to roll out the larger ball and place in spring form. Press it into corners with 1/4 high rim. Spread the jam in the crust. Using pie sleeve, roll out the remaining dough 1/4 inch thick. Putting it in the freezer for 5 minutes will make it easier to cut and handle the strips for the lattice top. Bake in the lower third of the oven for about 45 minutes, until the crust is deep brown and the jam is bubbling. If you can wait, the flavor of this torte is greatly enhanced if it is served a day after cooking.

Enjoy a slice on top of a peak and you’ll be the envy of everyone munching on sawdust energy bars. Back at the cabin, add a dollop of whipped cream.

If any of you are wondering if our famous tradition of European pastry skiing is in danger of extinction, don’t be alarmed. We are firm believers in NOT being picky and stressed about diet while traveling. When on the road or dining as guests at others’ homes we eat indigenously — though while away from home we do find ourselves making different food choices now that we’ve gotten out of the wheat habit.

You can whip this out in a jiffy with the right tools. Here are a few that I find indispensable:

Set of 2 – Easy Pie Crust Maker Bag, 11″ and 14″

Kaiser Bakeware Basic Tinplate Nested Springform Pans, Set of 3

Cuisinart DLC-10S Pro Classic 7-Cup Food Processor, White


19 Responses to “GF Linzer Torte — Tweak the Alpine Favorite”

  1. Dave Field April 17th, 2013 12:57 pm

    I’m all for eating whatever makes you happy after a hard day in the mountains. Your Linzer Torte looks amazing and suitable motivation for breaking trail for hours!

    Its even better when healthy eating is more savory than the typical SAD (standard american diet). I found what I believe to be the worlds best chocolate brownies on this website as well as many other gluten free recipes that change the notion that eating healthy involves eating sawdust and cardboard like substitues for yummy food:

  2. Freezer April 17th, 2013 1:48 pm


    That would be Valvasor, not Valasavor and the skiers he mentioned were from “Bloke” region of Slovenia.

    All the best,

  3. Dave April 17th, 2013 3:41 pm


    Where’s the link to the book?

  4. Colin Lantz April 17th, 2013 4:25 pm

    Having had the opportunity to sample Lisa’s Gf Linzer Torte I can tell you that it is AMAZING!!!! Seems it’s even better after a couple thousand feet of touring.

  5. Lou Dawson April 17th, 2013 4:55 pm

    Dave, the link is in the lower part of the blog post. You see it?

  6. Pavel April 17th, 2013 10:01 pm

    The torte is looking pretty awesome, Lisa. Of course, it’s all about the presentation so the K2 serve-ware makes it crystal clear this is the ultimate skimo fuel ; -)

    I’m happy to take mine with or without gluten because it’s about the full picture and not one ingredient. Most intolerances (and allergies) don’t exist for a person who combines a satisfactory dose of exercise (as most folks reading this do) with well-balanced, ideally plant-based, diet (well, that’s a whole different story).

    Since this post is related to international cuisine, here are couple additions:
    – I like to start my skimo day with some freshly cooked polenta (Italian dish originally) for breakfast; with some olive oil mixed in and steamed green veggies on the side (the oil gives you the fuel, the veggies keep your spirit up and make the energy flow effortlessly)
    – Then I sometimes fuel up during the tour with some vegetable tempura (originated in Portugal)
    – And finally replenish bunch of goodness with a cold one after the tour (ya know, that’s related to my Czech heritage although I nowadays prefer the PNW ales)

    Cheers… can’t wait to try making the cake. You, Lisa, really set the bar high with the way yours looks.

  7. Eric Steig April 17th, 2013 11:22 pm

    Lisa, thank you thank you. My little daughter (whom you met once in Bellingham) is 100% clinically must-be GF. I’ll make this recipe for her. Somehow knowing the recipe comes from your mountain family will make it all the better.

  8. JCoates April 18th, 2013 4:23 am


    An excellent save mentioning you are not toally GF. You don’t want to become persona non grata in Bavaria for encouraging beer rationing do you ?

    I think this is a great study out of Munich (of course):


  9. Lou Dawson April 18th, 2013 5:57 am

    The misnomer is it’s not actually gluten free diet, it is _wheat free_. The gluten free thing is a fad that gets results due to the elimination of wheat. I don’t mind calling it GF, but when discussing I like to get clear that we don’t even think about gluten, which also exists in other foods. Just about wheat. Lou

  10. Dave April 18th, 2013 7:05 am


    I see it now. I was looking for a link within the post instead of a box on the side.

    For those of us who are truly GF, it’s amazing where gluten pops up. I am truly grateful that gluten has become such a fad diet buzzword as of late. It makes life much easier. Three years ago, if I had walked into a restaurant and asked if a dish contained gluten, the server would have looked at me like I had three heads. Now, they have a gluten free menu! What progress!

  11. Lou Dawson April 18th, 2013 7:09 am

    Good Dave, I though perhaps that Amazon link wasn’t displaying. It’s a pretty interesting book… Lou

  12. Dave April 18th, 2013 11:37 am

    Mystery solved – Ghostery blocked the link in Chrome, but I was able to see it on the iPad.

  13. David B April 18th, 2013 5:32 pm

    Wheat free is the way to go.

    I was forced to go that way a couple of years ago and haven’t looked back since. I too share Lou’s love of pastry, so it was difficult at first.

    A few months back my wife purchased a Thermomix and it has been awesome as we can mill our own flour and make heaps of different breads and pastries using spelt, almonds and other assorted wheat subsitiutes . They’re expensive but worth every cent.

  14. Dave April 19th, 2013 9:47 am

    @ David B –

    Spelt is a species of wheat!

  15. Joe John April 19th, 2013 10:59 am

    Thank you for sharing Lisa! I look forward to making this, along with Pavel’s polenta dish for the main course.

  16. Pavel April 19th, 2013 11:31 am

    Re: “Spelt is a species of wheat!” … they are related (part of the same genus) but the debate whether spelt is wheat is ongoing and the opponents of this paradigm are quite vocal (e.g. rye and wheat are also related, yet rye is NOT wheat).
    If it’s of interest to anyone – spelt does contains some gluten although way less than wheat … it’s complicated (sigh)

    How did we come from skimo to food… oh, I know, it’s all about the food. Point being, we are after an excuse to consume more caloric-rich food (and beer), yes? [grin]

  17. Lou Dawson April 19th, 2013 12:34 pm

    The thing that messes most people up with wheat is _not_ the gluten. That’s the fad part of this whole thing. The problem is the insulin reaction and some other stuff that modern wheat breed creates. Our diet is not gluten free, we don’t even think about gluten other than using it as a way of tipping ourselves off that something is wheat free. Big difference between doing the wheat-free thing and going gluten free, which is more difficult since things other than wheat have gluten in them. Lou

  18. Colin Lantz April 19th, 2013 12:37 pm

    Is wheat the problem or is it the GMO version of wheat they serve us here in the US that is the problem?

  19. Lou Dawson April 19th, 2013 12:50 pm

    According to the book any wheat grown commercially or on most subsistence farms around the world is the heavily breed or GMO version and is the problem. In the book, the guy actually gets some “real” wheat and indeed it is entirely different and very healthy, though it behaves in a way you could never succeed in doing things with it like making conventional baked goods.

    In other words, modern wheat, while I’m not sure it’s technically a “GMO” is so heavily modified through selective breeding it is not a healthy food any more for folks who can choose what they eat, or at least that’s the premise in the book and is something I tend to agree with after research and experimenting.

    It should be noted, to be fair it is these heavily breed or even GMO foods that are keeping the world fed, and we as middle and upper class Americans have an amazing privilege in that we can pick and choose. In many places in the world, a sack of wheat of whatever sort would be the healthiest thing imaginable, since the alternative might be starvation.

    Also, unless you’ve actually got celiac disease, I would suggest that getting all picky and anal about this during situations such as restaurant dining, traveling, or eating at friend’s houses causes more stress hormones than just relaxing and not worrying about it — and eating what’s put in front of you. Not to mention just being polite to people working hard to cook a fine meal.

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