One of the perks of being from Dutch stock is that we grew up on all sorts of traditional Dutch goodies. And, this Dutch Almond Ring is definitely high on the list of our faves. Served at Christmas time in the form of a wreath, complete with ruby red glacé cherries, it never fails to delight and satisfy.
Now before I continue, I must confess: I didn’t actually make this. Nope, li’l sister Julie (that’s her posing below, complete with crown befitting a princess!) was the chef on this occasion – in fact she’s the self-appointed head honcho when it comes to the annual Christmas morning smorgasbord. And, amongst all the delicious offerings on the table, this Dutch Almond Ring justifiably takes centre place.
Making the almond ring is simplicity itself, especially if you buy both the puff pastry and the almond paste. However, you’ll get a WAY nicer (not to mention, far less expensive) almond paste if you make it yourself. But, fear not, it’s a doddle to make.
Julie borrowed the basic recipe from Rachel of Foodlovers.co.nz, but felt the overall result was too sweet so she prefers to add about 2/3rds of the sugar indicated in the recipe. She also added her own (very artistic) decorative touches on top of the ring, including not just glacé cherries, but lemon glaze and sliced almonds. As far as I’m concerned, it’s these extra additions that take the almond ring to a whole new level, adding extra tang and crunch.
Now, before I go, I have a second confession… I didn’t take the photos either – my big brother stepped in to take photos on the day with his fancy Samsung Galaxy S7. So, as you can see, I had absolutely NOTHING to do with any of this, and was more than happy to watch from the sidelines, eggnog in hand! Enjoy!
DUTCH ALMOND RING
- 17.6 oz ground almonds (almond flour)
- 17.6 oz caster (superfine) sugar*
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- Finely grated rind of 2 lemons
- 1 sheet of butter puff pastry, room temperature
- Apricot jam
- Lemon glaze: 1/2 cup icing sugar + 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
- Glacé cherries
- Toasted sliced almonds
The day before:
- Mix together almonds, sugar*, eggs and lemon rind until it forms a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
On the day:
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius (375 degrees F).
- Roll puff pastry sheet out to form a long rectangle.
- Place the almond filling in the pastry as if making a large sausage roll. Roll the pastry over the filling and form a log. Seal the edges, bring the log together to form a ring, using the filling to join it together.
- Place on a baking tray with the sealed edge on the bottom. If you have any spare pastry, cut out a few leaf shapes and drape over top of the ring, using a little milk brushed on to each leaf to adhere.
- Bake the ring for 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden.
- Remove from the oven and glaze with apricot jam while still hot. Allow to cool.
- Add the icing sugar and lemon juice into a small bowl and mix together with a fork; adjust quantities as needed to ensure a pourable (but not too thin) glaze. Drizzle over the cooled ring.
- Decorate with glace cherries and toasted sliced almonds.
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