As I mentioned previously, in the countries I come from, we have had a long tradition of baking, especially during a season like Advent, Christmas, New Year or Easter. This year, I decided to treat my little family, as well as you my readers and make a proper Christmas Pie.
Where else to seek for the inspiration if not in my list of goodies? I created the real smell of Christmas. I combined a beautiful Linzer pastry dough, a good layer of homemade marmalade and Florentine caramel-nutty topping. Easy, stunning and incredibly tasty!
Follow my instructions and enjoy this treat any time of the year.
Total Time: 2 hours + an overnight sit of The Dough
The Pastry Dough as per in my Special Linzer Cookies’ Recipe:
250g of plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon of baking powder, sifted
80g icing sugar, sifted
2 packages of quality vanilla pudding mix, sifted
100g of butter, soft in cubes
1 whole egg + a bit more for brushing
8 tablespoons of milk + a bit more for brushing
1 lemon, juice and zest
Few spoons of sour marmalade (I used sour cherries)
The Florentine Topping as per in My Florentine Cookies Recipe:
25g of butter
50g of caster superfine sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar
1 tablespoon of good quality honey
80ml of double cream
50g of hazelnuts, hardly chopped
50g of walnuts, hardly chopped
25g of almonds, hardly chopped
Nuts to decorate (I used walnuts, almonds and pecans)
Ice cream or whipped cream to serve with
The Pastry Dough
One day ahead:
In a large mixing bowl place the flour with baking powder. Stir in the sugar and pudding mix. Mix gently with a spatula.
Next, add butter, egg, milk and lemon juice with the zest.
Knead the dough with hands until it becomes one homogeneous piece.
Then, wrap it in a cling foil and set in the fridge overnight.
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.
Break two-thirds of The Pastry Dough and bring it to a room temperature. The remaining part of the dough leave in the fridge.
Between two pieces of a cling foil roll out the dough into a bit larger shape than your springform cake pan is. This way you can leave the sides of the pie higher.
Make the round cut with a pastry wheel and gently transfer it into a lightly greased springform lined with a baking paper (I used 24cm).
The important note is to put some weight on it while baking. Otherwise it can get deformed or puff too much. My tip is to place 22cm tin in it.
Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes until it gets firm and light golden.
The Florentine Topping
Meanwhile, in a small deep pan melt the butter on medium heat.
Stir in sugars and honey. Mix with a spatula.
When it darkens a bit, pour in the double cream. Continue mixing with a balloon whisk until the sugars are dissolved completely, for about 2 more minutes.
Next, stir in all the nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds), a half at a time. Incorporate well with a spatula. Continue mixing until it becomes a beautiful sticky caramel texture, for about 2 more minutes on medium heat.
Take off the heat and let it cool down in a cold place.
Take The Dough Pastry Base out of the oven and let it cool down a bit.
Meanwhile, take the remaining dough out of the fridge.
Sieve a working board with a bit of flour and roll it out into ½ cm. Create shapes of your liking. You can also create a pastry lattice of strips, no limits to imagination. I used angels, Christmas tree and bells of different shapes. Depending on your creativity, there can be some dough left. Do not waste it and make some extra cookies as per my Special Linzer Cookies'Recipe. Just bake them for 10 minutes once The Christmas Pie is ready. The more, the better.
Layer the cake with few spoons of the marmalade.
Next, mold The Florentine Topping.
In a small bowl break the egg and stir in a bit of lukewarm milk. Mix.
Gently place the shapes on the top and brush with the egg mixture.
Sprinkle with nuts of your liking. I used almonds, walnuts and pecans.
Bake in the oven for about 10-15 more minutes until the cookies on the top get golden.
Makes 24 cm pie.