It’s my birthday today, and I’ve decided to celebrate by trying new things. We’re not talking drastic measures, but I am giving the One True Chocolate Cake a miss this year in favour of Lemon Meringue Pie, Coffee Cream Pie and Nut-free Linzer Torte.

Here’s a photo of the trial run for the pastry… and here’s the recipe:

Nut Free Linzer Torte (adapted from the Settlement Cookbook)

1 cup sugar
1 cup/8 oz butter
3 eggs, separated (whites beaten to soft peaks)
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 tablespoon brandy
8 oz crushed ginger biscuits (or ginger and digestive biscuits mixed)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks, lemon zest, juice and brandy, then biscuit crumbs, flour and baking powder. Beat egg whites to soft peaks and add to dough.

Roll or pat 2/3 of dough to line a springform pan (9″) keeping the base thicker than the bottom. Fill with raspberry jam. Roll out remaining dough, cut into strips and arrange in a criss cross. Bake at 175 C/ 350 F. Before serving fill holes with more jam.

Notes: Because I don’t seem to be able to read directions very well, I used a double yolked egg and a single yolked egg, having missed the direction to use the egg whites. I got a slightly wet dough, so I don’t know what would happen if you used three whole eggs of a normal size. Perhaps adding the whites a little at a time would be safest. (You can use the excess to glaze the pastry.)

The recipe only says to beat the egg whites, not how much, so I made it up.

Let me know how it goes if you try making it yourself!