Dutch Banket (Almond Pastry)

 

Years ago when my stepdad was a resident in Grand Rapids, Michigan he discovered Dutch banket (pronounced bahn-KET) at a local bakery. The combination of almond paste and pastry dough was seemingly unforgettable, and a few months ago he tracked down the recipe and baked some up. Airy and flaky with a dense filling, the resulting long rolls are sliced up into individual pieces before serving. A slice makes for the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea, or so I’ve heard!

 

 

Ingredients

Dough
• 2 C all-purpose flour
• 1 C (2 sticks) cold butter
• 1/2 C cold water

Filling
• 1 C almond paste (8 oz)
• 3/4 C sugar
• 1 tsp almond extract
• 1 egg
• dash of salt

Topping
• 1 egg white
• 1/4 C sugar
• sliced almonds (optional)

 

 

Preheat oven to 425º. In a medium sized bowl, cut the butter into the flour and combine until mixture is crumbly. Make a crater in the center and slowly add the cold water to the mixture. Mix well and add small amounts of additional flour until dough becomes smooth and forms a ball. Chill in the refrigerator.

Onto the filling. Combine almond paste, sugar, almond extract, and egg together in a mixing bowl. Using either a stand or hand mixer, combine until mostly smooth.

Divide dough into four parts. Roll on portion into a ball and place it on a flour-covered surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a long rectangle that measures about 12-inches by 3-inches. Spoon one fourth of the filling into the center of the dough, leaving about an inch on all sides. Fold the ends over first, then bring up the sides and pinch the dough together (you may want to wet your fingertips with water for a better seal). Repeat the process three more times for the other portions of dough and filling. Place the rolls onto a greased baking sheet, sealed side down.

Whisk egg white, then brush generously over each roll. Sprinkle with sugar and add sliced almonds if desired. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a light golden brown.

 

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