If you asked me to choose between a bagel and a Danish for breakfast… I’m always gonna go Danish. And when I worked at a Safeway grocery store as an 18 year old freshly without parent’s rules… That’s what I did. It was my first lesson in moderation. After a few pant sizes and acne flare ups, I suppose I’m better off having learned that lesson… though it would have been better if I hadn’t learned it the hard way. But old habits don’t die easily, and If I’m gonna have sugar, it’s still gonna be first thing in the morning.
My family is Danish, and something that’s been exciting for me recently is learning a little bit more about my heritage and cooking things a little bit closer to “home”. That’s how I found this recipe for Almond Bankenstaaf, an almond puff pastry that’s topped with powdered sugar and a little apricot preserve. Talk about a Danish! Really, this recipe is so Danish I needed Google to translate the page for me. *I think that’s kinda rad*
What I really enjoy about this recipe is the almond paste. Compared to the frangipane I’m used to making, this paste has a deeper richness and with the addition of lemon zest and juice, it kills a little bit of the sweetness that’s inherently a part of anything sugar based (duh).
Plus, bonus, it’s incredibly easy to make. Buy a puff pastry skin from your local grocers freezer section, add the paste in the center, roll, and pop it in the oven. You’ll have fresh morning pastries everyone will think you got from a shop. An easy way to impress your family.
Almond Banketstaaf (Danish Puff Pastry)
For Amandelspijs (Almond Paste):
- 3/4 cup almonds, with or without skin
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- grated lemon and juice of 1/2 lemon
*Can be made 3 days ahead for better flavor and consistency *
For Almond Bankestaaf:
- 1 1/3 cup amandelspijs
- 10 1/2 ounces ready-rolled puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 Tbs. apricot jam
- Garnish: powdered sugar
For Almond Paste:
- In food processor, blend almonds into a fine texture, similar to flour. Place in medium mixing bowl.
- Add egg, sugar, lemon juice, and zest to bowl and combine adding lemon juice gradually. Assure that mixture is not too runny or too dry.
- Place to side, either resting in fridge for up to 3 days or using immediately.
For Almond Bankenstaaf:
- Preheat oven to 435 F/ 225 C
- Cut ready- rolled puff pastry into a strip approximately 4 1/2 inches wide x 15 inches long.
- Roll the almond paste into a log that is 1 1/2 inches shorter than the pastry, lengthwise.
- Place on pastry. Wet the edges of the pastry with a pastry brush dipped in water.
- Fold in the short edges first and then fold over long bits and press at the seams.
- Carefully flip the pastry over so that the seam is at the bottom. Brush with the beaten egg.
- Bake for 20- 25 mins, or until the pastry turns golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack.
- 8. Heat apricot jam in microwave safe container for a few seconds, so it begins to melt. Brush the still warm jam onto the bankenstaaf.
- Dust with powdered sugar.
- Cut into slices and serve with coffee.