Cherry Almond Twist Pastry

This scrumptious breakfast treat, like an almond croissant studded with dried cherries, is one of those gorgeous creations that looks complicated but is really a cinch to put together. Going into the oven, it may look atrocious, and you may think you've done something wrong. But don't despair: once in the oven, everything smooths out and puffs up into a bakery-perfect swirl. This pastry would be perfect for Christmas breakfast, but it's so simple to make that it's good on any weekend morning. If you don't have time to make it it n the morning, you can put it together the night before, refrigerate, and then glaze and bake it the next day.

Cherry Almond Twist Pastry
Cherry Almond Twist Pastry

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

8

servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

8

servings

Ingredients

  • 2/3

    cup dried cherries (about 3 ounces; see note)

  • 1

    package (7 to 8 ounce) almond paste (not marzipan)

  • 4

    tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

  • 1

    17.3 ounce package frozen puff pastry, thawed (see note)

  • 1

    large egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water

  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted

Directions

1 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 2 In a small bowl, combine the dried cherries and just enough warm water to cover. Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. 3 In a food processor, process the almond paste and butter until smooth. add the cherries and pulse until evenly mixed - the cherries should still be in chunks. 4 On a lightly floured surface, gently roll out one of the pastry sheets to remove any creases. Place on the baking sheet. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, trim the corners of the pastry to form a circle about 11 inches in diameter. Spread the almond filling over the pastry, leaving a ½ -inch border around the edge. Roll out the second sheet of pastry to remove any creases and place over the filling. Trim to fit the bottom layer and press to seal the edges. 5 Lightly press a 1½-inch-wide biscuit cutter in the center of the pastry to make a circle without cutting through the pastry.) This will serve as your guideline for cutting the pastry. Next, cut 16 evenly spaced spokes radiating out from the center of the circle, cutting all the way to the edge. Keep the spokes attached to the center of the circle. You'll end up with 16 attached wedges, each about 1½ inches wide at the outside edge. Once all the spokes are cut, gently grasp the outside edge of a wedge and give it a double twist. Twist gently so as not to tear the wedge away from the center. Place the twisted wedge back down and proceed to twist the remaining wedges, forming a starburst pattern. Don't worry if your twists are uneven. The pastry will smooth out miraculously as it bakes.) Brush the egg wash over the pastry. Sprinkle the almonds over the top, if desired. 6 Bake until the pastry is golden brown and puffed, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly; the pastry is best served warm. (Toast the almonds at 350 degrees for about 5-7 minutes. This improves the flavor. Really easy when you make the night before. Cut into wheels and add almonds and egg wash the morning you cook the pastry. I have used both sweetened and unsweetened cherries - just a matter of preference.)

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