Sunday, August 28, 2016

Christmas Pastries in August

I love Marzipan. Peter loves Marzipan. And everyone (even my sister who insists she does not like Marzipan) likes the Dutch cookies  called "Amandel Koek", that contain a very marzipan-like filling. So when I found a Dutch recipe for a similar pastry I just had to try it. They turned out delicious, and even though they are supposed to be a enjoyed during the Christmas season, I don't feel very bad for making them in August:

The Dutch pastry "Banket", slightly modified with a home-made almond filling

The recipe I found was for something called "Banket", which traditionally consists of a flaky crust similar to puff pastry, and a filling made with almond paste. Since buying almond paste here is quite expensive I decided to use almond meal and make my own almond paste variation:

  • 1 cup butter (230g)
  • 2 cups flour (480g)
  • 1/2 cup cold water (115ml)
To make the crust, cut small pieces of butter in the flour and mix with a fork until you have many little crumbs. Then add the water and mix until everything forms a ball. It is perfectly fine if you can still see little flecks of butter in your dough, I read this makes the dough nice and flaky. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge.

  • 3 eggs
  • almond meal and powdered sugar: slightly more almond meal than powdered sugar (I am guessing I used around 1 3/4 cups almond meal and 1 1/4 cups sugar)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (150g)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract
  • a splash of lemon juice
I mixed 1 cup almond meal, 1 cup powdered sugar, and the 3/4 cup white sugar. I then added the eggs and mixed everything with a mixer until the eggs are beaten and combined with the almond-sugar mixture. After adding the lemon juice, almond extract and salt, I deemed the mixture too soft and added more almond flour and powdered sugar. After mixing again, the consistency seemed better, but not perfect for spreading on dough, but I resolved to put it in the fridge and it got considerably more solid.

I left both the filling and the dough in the fridge overnight and baked the pastries the next morning. To form the pastries, divide the dough in 4 pieces. Each piece is eventually formed into a long rectangle that is then filled and closed to a long, oval log. To form the rectangles I rolled the dough to logs using floured hands, and the flattened it length and width-wise with a rolling pin. The resulting rectangle was about as long as my baking sheet (~50 cm) and maybe 10-15 cm wide. Put the filling in the middle and flip the ends and sides over the filling. If you wet the edges with water, the dough sticks nicely and you can close the logs easily. Move all logs to the baking sheet covered with parchment paper and brush them with milk. The original recipe calls for sprinkling sugar on top which I left out. Cut small slits in the top of the logs since the filling will expand and the logs will burst if left closed. Then bake at 400F (205C) for 25 minutes.
The uncut, baked Banket

No comments:

Post a Comment