Thursday, June 6, 2013

Lithuanian Torte

I have no idea where Lithuania is.  Nor did I know they are famous for making torte.  Somehow in all the time I lived in Omaha, Nebraska I managed to miss out on the famous Lithuanian Bakery with its magical torte.  I have a dear friend, Michaela who RAVES about the torte.  When she came to visit me, all the way from Omaha, Nebraska for her birthday, I decided it was time to introduce myself to Lithuania, and their torte.  Mind you I have never even seen one of these things. I didn't even bother to get out a map and look for Lithuania.  I  couldn't find much information about Lithuanian Tortes online, except that apricot seems to be the preferred flavor, and they contained some kind of cream, sandwiched between some kind of cakey-cookie layers.  I decided to give it a go.  I came up with a cookie layer, a simple cream filling, and added apricot preserves.  It wasn't the prettiest thing I've ever made, but my friend said the flavors were right on!  I think I may have invented Oklahoman Torte.  Lithuanian Torte via Oklahoma.  It's a lot of work, but well worth it if you've got a good friend like Michaela.
My Mock Lithuanian/Oklahoman Torte.
The Line Up, all the way from Lithuania. 
Just kidding.
Do they have Jell-O pudding there?
Beat sugar and eggs in an electric mixer.

Add milk and softened butter.  Combine.
Add dry ingredients.
Shape dough into a log. 
Wrap and chill several hours.

Cut dough into 12 even pieces.
Roll dough very thin,
and cut into a circle, using a salad plate
as your guide.  Bake and cool. If you're smart,
you will do all of this ahead. 
If you're a genius, you will cheat and used
refrigerated sugar cookie dough. 
(Not exactly the same, but close enough
when you are making up recipes to duplicate something that someone's Lithuanian Grandmother invented.)
When you're ready to assemble
the Lithuanian Nightmare,
whip the heaving whipping cream until fluffy. 
Add the instant vanilla pudding
until you get a thick, creamy mixture.
Add a dollop of preserves to the platter
to prevent the torte from sliding around. 
(This did not prevent the torte from
sliding around for me.  I now know why I've
never had Lithuanian Torte in Oklahoma. 
It's too dang hot here for tall,
fancy desserts to survive. 
That's why this is only found in
Omaha, Nebraska where it's cold.)
Place a cookie on top of the preserves.
Spread on a layer of cream.
Add another cookie and top
this one with apricot preserves.
Keep on repeating this
process forever and ever. 

Well really only 12 times. 
Sing Happy Birthday to your friend!
Slice and serve
before it falls apart :)

Lithuanian Torte (Sort Of)
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons milk
3 cups flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 small package instant vanilla pudding
1 jar apricot preserves

In the bowl of an electric mixture, beat sugar and eggs well, then beat in butter and milk.  Combine dry ingredients and add to sugar mixture.  Combine flour, cornstarch and baking powder.  Add to wet mixture until a dough begins to form.  Turn dough out onto a floured surface and roll into a log shape.  Wrap in waxed paper and chill for several hours.  Grease several cookie sheets and have them ready.  Slice log into 12 even pieces and roll out very thin.  Use a salad plate as a guide to cut a circle.  Place on greased cookie sheet.  (This dough is pretty sticky.  It's a little tricky to get the dough rolled out with enough flour not to stick to the counter or rolling pin, and not have it over-rolled with too much flour.)  Place 2 cookies on each sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees F for about 5 minutes until light golden in color.  Allow to cool on pan for 5 minutes, then remove to cooling rack.  When all of the cookies are baked and cooled, store in an air tight container, between layers of waxed paper.  It helps to do this part ahead of time, as it is the most time consuming.  Assembly is a breeze on the cookies are made.  (I think if I were going to do this again, I might cheat on this part and used refrigerated sugar cookie dough or a sugar cookie mix.  This was pretty time consuming.  I might add I was also preparing 2 full meals and two breakfast meals at this time.  Maybe you have more stamina that I do!)

Whip 1 cup of whipping cream until fluffy.  Combine with package of instant vanilla pudding until thickened.

To assemble:  Place a small amount of preserves on the serving platter.  (This will help the torte stay in place.  It gets pretty tall and you don't want it to slide around.)  Top with a cookie.  Spread cookie with a layer of the cream mixture.  Top with another cookie.  Spread with a layer of apricot preserved.  Repeat this process, alternating between cream and preserves.  I tried to "frost" the torte with the remaining cream mixture.  Slice and serve.  Wow your best friend!

Prep Time:  Approximately half of your life     Cook Time:  Approximately 5 minutes

1 comment:

  1. This blog post made me laugh out loud!! I have read it three times!! Such a fun birthday celebration I had with you! I knew that cake had to be labor intensive!! I had no idea!! Next time you come, I am taking you to the Lithuanian bakery so you can have a relaxing piece of torte! Thank you for the post, and thank you for being a terrific friend, on birthdays or just any 'ol day!! <3


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