I tried this Almond Puff Loaf from King Arthur Flour last week. I don’t like it as much as a nice Danish Pastry, but for an easy “cheat” it is pretty tasty. The link above takes you to the recipe, but I will include a few photos below of what some of the stages look like. You make a crunchy base, top it with a smooth paste and bake it. Then top with jam, almonds and icing. It looks like a lot of steps, but they are all very easy. I am debating with myself to see if I can work some marzipan into it next time. The almond flavour in this one is achieved with extract and sliced almonds.
Since the recipe makes two puffs, I have divided the recipe in half below, because that is how I would prefer to make it unless I am baking for a larger crowd. I also changed the amount of almond extract used to make a more obvious almond flavour and aroma. I just toasted the almonds in a pan on the stovetop as I can toss them about and keep my eye on them to make sure they don’t burn. I made one puff with cherry jam (thanks C and P for picking the sour cherries and making the jam), and one with apricot jam.
This is the second layer covering the first before they are baked.
The second layer puffs and spreads during the baking process.
This one is fresh out of the oven before it begins to deflate.
Side view of the completed puff. Crunchy bottom, layered middle, sweet top.
I put the icing on when the puff was a bit warm still, so the icing ran on the cherry one. What can I say, we were ready for dessert!
The apricot version. I was more patient with this one because I was taking it to a meeting.
Here is the halved recipe:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
1/4 cup butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup flour
1/8 cup water
Work butter into flour with fingers until it is all crumbly. Stir in the water until you get a dough. On parchment paper, shape into a 10″log and then flatten to 3″wide with your fingers. Don’t be too fussy about this.
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
In a saucepan, bring the butter and water to a boil. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until it steams and leaves the sides of the pot. It takes only a few seconds to form a nice ball. Dump it in a mixer bowl and beat for a minutes to cool it. Add the eggs one at a time, beating to smooth after each addition. Mix in the almond extract. Spread this batter over the first layer using a spatula. Try to make it an even depth across the length of it.
Bake for 45 – 50 minutes until deep golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack.
1/3 cup jam
1/4 cup toasted, sliced almonds
While the pastry is still warm, spread the jam over the top and sprinkle with the almonds.
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. milk (or enough to make drizzle icing)
Mix the milk into the icing sugar until smooth and drizzle-able. Drizzle overtop of the cooled pastry.