Sunday, May 18, 2014

Danish Kringler Pastry aka Almond Pastry Puff

My Mom is an excellent cook. Just don't ask her to share a recipe with you if you are a family member. It's not happening. If you're a complete stranger or the child of a family friend, then it's all yours. For years she fixed a pastry she called Danish Kringler and everyone that ate it raved over how good it was. What makes it so good is the almond-flavored glaze and the sliced almonds that are resting atop the glaze. This is not an overly-sweet treat and goes down great with a hot cup of coffee. Mom received this recipe years ago from a family friend, Susan N. After Mom moved in with my sister, she ceased bringing this delectable pastry over for us to enjoy. Since then, I've begged  her to give me the recipe. She would reply by telling me she needed to fix it to show me how it's done. About six months ago she brought the recipe, along with a bag of family photos, and the promise I could copy it after we sorted through the pictures. I almost wept. She even pulled the recipe out of her purse and teased me by showing me the outside before she hid it again. Well, time got away from us and she left without letting me copy it.

A few months later she brought a recipe book full of goodies by for me to look through. I was flipping through her Taste of Home Christmas recipe book and saw "Almond Pastry Puff " along with a picture that looked strikingly like my Mother's Danish Kringler. Hmmmm. So I read on. I "Googled" the recipe after she left and printed a copy out and bought the ingredients the next day. Now, I'm not saying this is EXACTLY like she fixes her's, but it's a pretty decent replica. I found Susan N. on Facebook about a month ago and I'm hoping to be able to compare her version with this.

You know how I like to "tweak" recipes? I didn't with this one.

    2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup cold butter, divided
    2 tablespoons plus 1 cup cold water, divided
    1/4 teaspoon almond extract
    3 eggs

    1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
    2 tablespoons softened butter
    4 teaspoons water
    1/4 teaspoon almond extract
    2/3 cup chopped almonds, toasted

   Combine one cup flour and salt in a large bowl.
With a fork, cut in a half cup of butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbles.
 Add 2 tablespoons of cold water to the flour and butter mixture and stir until blended.
Divide the dough in half.
   Roll out the dough into log shapes.
   Flatten both pieces into 12-inch x 3-inch rectangles.
Add the remaining butter and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
    Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the extract and remaining flour.
   Take the saucepan off the heat and let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.
One at a time, add the eggs. Beat them into the flour mixture well until it is smooth and shiny.
Spread over the flattened pastry mixture.
 Bake at 400° for 18-20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. 
Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to wire racks.
  In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, water and extract; beat until smooth. 
Split the frosting between the two pastries and sprinkle with almonds.

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