Lithuanian Almond Pastry (Bandeles su Migdoliniu)
Traditionally, puff pastry turnovers in America have a crispy finish with sugar on top. The Lithuanian versions were brushed with a syrup to make the almonds stick and this would also soften the pastry.
Ingredients - makes 24
Method1. On a lightly floured board roll out one sheet of pastry (leave second sheet in fridge) to approx. 16 x 12 inches. Cut off uneven edges and cut into 12 squares. My chopping board is 12" x 18" so I use that as a rough measure for 16"x12". Then use a ruler to measure and pizza cutter to cut every 4 inches on 16" side and every 3" on 12 inch side to give you 12 squares. They don't have to be perfect.
2. Use a pastry brush to brush a thin line of milk or water along two adjoining sides of each square. You can brush pastry in one long line across length and width of pastry.
3. Filling. Remove almond paste from box and foil wrapping. Cut into ½ inch slices, place in microwave safe bowl and soften in microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir in cream to cool mix and then stir in egg.
4. Using a pampered chef tsp measure (or similar measure that ratchets filling out) put just over 1 tsp filling into the center of each square. If you have rolled and cut both sheets of pastry to make 24 squares then you can make sure you have enough filling for all 24 pastries.
5. Fold over each pastry square to make a triangle and firmly press down on cut edges to seal and prevent filling leaking out. Place on lined baking sheet. Snip a hole in top of each pastry to let air out during cooking. Repeat with second sheet of pastry.
6. Bake in preheated 425° oven for 15-18 minutes until well risen and golden brown. If you baked pastries on baking stone then I found after 15 minutes you needed to flip pastries so bottoms could cook crispy for another 5 minutes. If you bake on a thin or dark baking sheet, the bottom will brown very rapidly and is in danger of burning.
7. Remove from oven and brush tops with mix of corn syrup and almond extract. Dip syrup brushed tops into chopped almonds so they stick. This is easier than trying to sprinkle almonds on top.
8. Remove to cooling rack to continue cooling.
NotesThese can be frozen uncooked and cooked from frozen, add on about additional five minutes baking time, but check. They can also be frozen cooked but totally cooled and then thawed and refreshed in oven.
Oonagh Williams, proprietor of Royal Temptations, has a Culinary Arts degree, offers Catering services, teaches a variety of classes in International Cooking, makes regular appearances on WMUR ABC Channel 9's Cooks' Corner and has her own series on Merrimack TV. You can contact Oonagh at 603-424-6412.