This pastry specialty from the city of Leipzig is called Leipziger Lerche, and if you don’t know German, you might not know that “Lerche” is a German songbird that has the most unique sound (in English lark). During the 18th and 19th century millions of these birds got captured because the bird was a delicatessen. The bird was roasted with herbs and eggs and served as a filling in a pastry crust. In the year 1720 alone, 400,000 larks were sold in Leipzig for consumption. They even exported the food to Russia.
In 1876 the hunting of the songbirds was officially banned by King Albert I from Saxon after recognition of their agricultural importance. Still, larks were still exported from Leipzig until the end of the 19th century. The pastry of today is mimicking the traditional meat-filled pastry after the ban. Here’s the recipe on how to make this pastry. Happy Baking!
250 g flour
70 g sugar
1 tsp brandy
125 g butter, melted
dash of salt
125 g butter, melted
250 g apricot or cherry jam
150 g powdered sugar
75 g flour
1 tbsp corn starch
4 egg whites
2 egg yolks
200 g raw baking marzipan
bitter almond flavor to taste
Make the Shortcrust
– Sieve the flour into a big bowl.
– Add the egg, brandy and salt. Then the sugar and the melted butter.
– Mix well and knead until you get a smooth dough.
– Wrap in plastic film and let rest for 30 min in the fridge.
Make the Filling
– Beat egg whites until firm.
– Melt butter and mix until bubbly. Add all other ingredients except egg white and jam. Mix well.
– Carefully fold in firm egg whites.
– Pre-heat oven to 200 C or 390 F.
– On a smooth surface that is sprinkled with flour roll the dough 0.5cm (1/4 inch) thick.
– You can use small tartlet forms (diameter 6cm, 2.5 inches) or use a muffin tray. (If needed) grease the forms.
– Place rolled dough over the forms.
– Gently press the dough into the forms.
– Add one tsp jam into each form (directly from the jar).
– On top add the filling. In the video the baker is using a frosting bag and squirts the filling into the forms. But you can also use a tbsp for each form.
– From the remaining dough cut stripes that will be placed as a cross on top of each pastry.
– Bake the pastries in the oven for 20 min.
– When done let them cool off then release from the form.
Use 6 tsp cherry jam and 100 g apricot jam and mix it.
You can add a glaze of apricot jam after the pastry is baked. Warm the jam and press through a sieve so it has no fruit pieces in it. Spread in a very thin layer over each pastry.
Video How to Bake the Leipziger Lerche – In English
Note: It’s not following this recipe. They use a different filling.