Serving Size: 2
We were in Poland visiting Pawel's friends a few years back, and one of his friends showed me how to make these pastries stuffed with an almond 'paste-like' filling which was so delicious. They are very popular in the city of Poznan and you can find them in most cafe's there.
The ones I make now are slightly different as I make them into 'lattices' rather than into a traditional croissant shape and I think this works better and also looks better on the eye.
* 1 sheet of ready rolled puff pastry (14"x 9"roughly)
* 4tbsp of ground almonds
* 3tbsp of sugar
* 3 teaspoons of room temperature butter
* 2-3 drops of almond extract
* Flaked almonds to decorate
* Icing sugar to decorate
* 1 egg
1. Preheat oven to Gas 5. Take your almonds, sugar, butter and almond extract into a bowl and blend together until it becomes a smooth looking paste.
2. Split the paste into two and sort of mould each into a fat cigar shape about 6-7"inch long. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for at least half hour - overnight is better. You want this mixture really cold.
3. Next, take your pastry sheet and cut it into two - so you end up with two individual sheets approximately 9" length x 7" wide.
4. Score two lines in the centre of each pastry, about an inch and a half away from each other - this is where your filling will be. DON'T cut all the way through - just lightly score:
5. On each side of the scored lines, cut diagonal strips - later you will then pull these over your filling to make a cross-cross pattern.
6. Take your filling from the fridge and pop each cigar shape length in the middle of your pastry and start taking the slit strips from one side and pulling them over your filling.
7. Brush all of those strips with a beaten egg - then when you cross over the other side, it will easily stick to the other side and seal.
8. Once you've completed the cross cross design brush the entire top of the finished croissant in egg and then sprinkle on plenty of flaked almonds.
9. Pop into your oven for approximately 15-20 minutes until puffed, flakey and golden.
10. Leave on a wire rack to cool for 5-10 minutes and then give them a dusting of icing sugar. These are so good still just slightly warm!
Chilling of the butter mixture before hand means it melts much more slowly in the oven, meaning that there should be no leaking out of the pastry and it will still all be inside :)