Adapted from Freya Ruegsegger via Carole Ruegsegger [history]

  • 11 Tablespoons butter

  • ¾–1.4 cups sugar
    [After several decades, I happened to notice some differences between the original recipe (listing ingredients by weight) and what my sister relayed to me (by volume)--the amounts didn’t match. In particular, the original amounts for sugar and flour were significantly lower. Using the lower amounts, the resulting torte is still adequately sweet and a bit more tender.]

  • 160 grams (about 1½ cups) grated
    ["Grated" suggests grasping each almond between thumb and forefinger and rubbing it across a fine grater, but there are easier ways! I used to chop the almonds with a pound-on-the-top nut chopper, between coarse (crumbly, crunchy but harder to roll the lattice strands) and fine (smoother, more dense torte) to taste. If you like them fine, the food processor’s cutting blade does the job in no time flat, but don’t try to make the whole dough in it; even with lots of power, it’s difficult to get everything uniformly mixed. If you want them extra fine, you can purchase almond flour.]

  • 1½–1¾ cups flour

  • 2 eggs

  • seedless raspberry jam

  • currant jelly

  • (optional) confectioner’s sugar

  1. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy (I use a mixer).

  2. Add almonds, then flour, then eggs.

  3. Refrigerate the dough at least 20 minutes. You can, of course, make batches ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze longer.

  4. Grease and flour a 9-inch
    […or 10-inch, or 8-inch, whatever’s handy, it’ll just be slightly thicker or thinner. A tart pan with a removable bottom works nicely, too, and gives the torte a pretty edge.]
    springform pan. If the pan bottom has a raised texture, turn that side down so it sticks less.

  5. Place most
    [You’re reserving a bit, invariably too much, for the lattice strands. No matter, you can use the leftover to pop a mini-torte into the oven with the big one.]
    of dough on bottom of form as a flat base with a raised rim
    [The raised rim that keeps the jam from overflowing will double in width as it bakes.]

  6. Spread a mixture of (half and half) seedless raspberry jam and currant jelly over the base, inside the raised rim.

  7. Roll the rest of the dough into long strands, 3-6 mm in diameter
    [If the dough gets sticky and hard to work, pop it in the freezer for a while. A cold rolling surface helps; I chill a plastic cutting board.]
    and lay them over the torte in a lattice pattern
    [A 3 x 3 square lattice is typical but the strands crossing the center will get unattractively mangled when the torte is sliced. Lately, I’ve been making a pentagram lattice; besides keeping the center clear, it fosters entertaining controversy about whether it’s patriotic or satanic ;)]

  8. Bake at 350°F
    [For convection, 315°F is about right.]
    30 to 45 minutes, but keep watching: don’t let the edges get darker than a light brown.

  9. Remove from oven. Optionally, dust with sifted confectioner’s sugar
    [Dust with confectioner’s sugar while the torte is still hot, so the sugar dissolves on the jam while staying white on the rim and lattice. The dusting is pretty but I think the finished torte is sufficiently dramatic without it.]

  10. As soon as possible (typically several minutes after it comes out of the oven), release and remove the outer ring of the springform pan, then slide a spatula or blade beneath the torte to separate it from the bottom.

  11. Once the dough has cooled and firmed enough to move safely, slide the torte directly onto the cooling rack so the bottom can dry and set.

Ted notes:

Portion sizes: A larger diameter makes it easier to cut smaller portions (24 slices is reasonable without looking stingy). If you need smaller servings, say, for children, consider baking half in each of two 6- or 7-inch pans.