December 9, 2009

Leipziger Lerchen

Leipziger Lerchen is a traditional Saxon specialty. Like most German dishes, this dessert isn't a healthy treat, but it is delicious, festive, and easy to make. Each little tartlet melts in your mouth with warm almond and apricot flavors all bundled up in a buttery crust. The recipe comes from my German Baking Today cookbook, which I picked up in Munich last year. The Germans certainly know how to make a beautiful dessert for the holidays. Mine look a little rustic becasue I used a muffin tin, but if you have nice little baking tins, this is a great recipe to use with them.

Makes 12 tartlets.

For the crust

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/8 cu sugar
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
For the filling
  • 3 1/3 oz apricot preserve/jam
  • 3/8 cup butter, softened
  • 5/8 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 medium egg
  • white of one medium egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 almonds, finely ground
  • 3 tablespoons milk (I used almond)
  • 4 teaspoons rum (optional)
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F. Grease small moulds - fluted look nice, or you can use a muffin tin.
  2. Make the dough: Mix together flour and baking powder. Add in the remaing ingredients and stir with a fork or a hand mixer with the hook attachment until dough is formed. If you use the fork, switch to your hands and gently knead until well combined. Form into a ball and set aside in the refrigerator.
  3. Make the filling: Stir the butter, sugar, and eggs together. Sift in the flour and combine well. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  4. Roll out the dough, cut into 12 rounds, and gently press into each tin. Put one tablespoon of apricot preserve in each tin. Fill the rest of the tin the filling - leaving a couple centimeters free for rising.
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes. Tent with foil if browning too much. Leave tartlets in their tins for ten minutes after baking. Remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

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