Skip to main content

almond puff loaf ~today is your day


Today is finally the day I baked one of my favorites, the almost a Danish pastry-almond puff loaf has finally happened.  Does anyone else have the problem of having such a long list of things to bake for the holidays that the baking projects overlap into January?  January is the month of your diet.  January is dessert and alcohol free for the most part but it's different now that we're still under quarantine.  Everything that is normal is now upside down, even my baking, dessert, diet, wine etc schedule doesn't know what month it is.  Hello, it's January No desserts, sad.

So, there you have it, today is almond puff loaf day, a holiday recipe on my list since Thanksgiving that never made it to the top of the list.  Some other things, like special Christmas cookies, pies, cakes or breads took short cuts to the front of the line, I'm sure.  But, finally almond puff loaf moved into first position on the top of my list.  I was so happy that this day had arrived that I used both apricot and raspberry jam on my loafs, plus extra toasted sliced almonds on top and extra icing.  This recipe is one of King Arthur Flour baking challenge recipes and that's how I found it, tried it and put it on my holiday baking list.  I love this almond puff loaf recipe because it's the closest thing to a homemade Danish with jam I can think of that is so much easier and quicker to make than the traditional Danish pastry, ps also so much better than store bought Danish pastry.  This recipe has a few steps and takes a little bit of time but it's so worth it even in January, after the holidays.

Ingredients and Recipe for Almond Puff Loaf
makes 2 loaves

bottom layer
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick or 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/4 cup ice water

top layer
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 stick or 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon almond extract 

1/2 cup apricot jam
1/2 cup raspberry jam
2/3 cups toasted sliced almonds

1/2 cup confectioners sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment.

first make the bottom layer
Combine the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl, work in the cold butter bits with you fingertips until you have a crumbly dough, then mix in the ice cold water.  The dough will come together in a ball with visible bits of butter.  Cut the dough in half and with slightly wet hand form each piece of dough into a log.  Place the logs on the baking sheets and pat each one into a 10"x3" rectangle.  Leave at least 4 inches between each rectangle and 2 inches from the baking sheet sides.  Set aside.

next make the top layer
In a medium size saucepan, bring the water, salt and butter to a boil, butter should be melted.
Dump in the flour all at once and stir with a rubber spatula until the mixture comes together, thickens, steams and comes away from the sides of the pan.  Immediately transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat at medium speed for about 1 minutes,  to cool the mixture.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Mix in the almond extract.
Divide the batter in half, place each half on top of each rectangle.
Spread the batter over the dough rectangles, completely covering the dough, smooth the tops.
Bake the pastries for 55 minutes or until they are puffed and golden brown.
Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

for the jam and icing topping 
Spread the jams on the warm pastry.
Sprinkle on the toasted almonds.
Drizzle with the icing.
Cut into strips to serve.
Store at room temperature, best served same day it's made.
Rewarm briefly if served the following day or freeze for longer storage.


Popular posts from this blog

pear jam with saffron infused honey and cardamom

  Pear Jam with Saffron Infused Honey and Cardamom The summer after high school I worked sorting Bartlett pears at the Scotts Valley Fruit Exchange in Lake County California.  I thought I would never touch or eat another pear again in my life. But, here I am years years later making pear jam in my kitchen with pears, honey and saffron grown in Lake County.  A few weeks ago My husband and I went to visit friends in Kelseyville at their finca, they generously supplied me with the pears from their orchard-Finca Castelero- for my jam.  I will never forget getting up early in the morning and riding my bike across the valley from my cousin's house to work a long hot day sorting pears.  I remember thinking whoever came up with the idea of creating a cooperative to sort, pack and send pears from family farms, including my cousin's family farm on what is now called Hendricks road, to markets all over the country really had a good idea!  I never looked at pears in the grocery store the s

meyer lemon olive oil cake

We had our house inspected by the fire department so we could make it safer during wild fire season, which is now several months of the year in California.  One of the suggestions was to remove several large ornamental grasses from the front yard because embers from a wild fire could start a fire inside the grasses and they were all too close to the house.  The large grasses actually die completely back in the winter and were just starting to leaf out again when we ripped them all out, good-bye 👋   The good news is I don't miss the decorative grasses at all but the other news is the front of our house now looks like my Meyer lemon 🍋  olive oil cake photo, very simple, less is more.  Preparing our surroundings for fire season or even just thinking about fire season sucks but lemon cake will help with that.  This cake is simple and definitely delicious with the lemony glaze, make it before the red flag 🚩 warnings start. Ingredients and Recipe for Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake makes a

spicy orange chicken with fancy small chopped hot house tomatoes

  My first Chinese cooking classes covered: the extremely important exercise of boning an entire chicken, why we often find too much chopped celery in Chinese food, tips on dating in a Chinese family, and a handful of simple stir fry recipes, like plum chicken with walnuts, to make at home in a wok.  Over the years I've incorporated those first basic concepts I learned in my classes into every stir-fry I make, going rogue on many a recipe.  The final class was a tour of Chinatown in San Francisco and a visit to the Wok Shop to purchase an authentic carbon steel wok with the necessary tools.  I was nine months pregnant and gave birth right before the last class, so I missed my Wok Shop visit and tour.  I've since had a tour visiting many interesting shops in Chinatown in San Francisco.  If you've never visited Chinatown- you're in for a treat-it's fun for shopping and of course- a delicious multi-course Lunch in a Chinese restaurant.  Ok, I know you're dying to k