Now that everyone is tired of the marshmallows, let's move on to the Kringle! A little back story first, however. This summer of mine is peppered with road trips to spend time with family. I just got back from touring the eastern portion of my home state. Visiting the Dry Falls, nibbling on macarons from a french bakery in Spokane and eating corn dogs at road side diners. (What, a girl can't love corn dogs and macarons?)
Next up in my road-trip dance card is Montana and then Oregon. My poor little children... The Eastern Washington trip is an annual outing. Once every year I am firmly instructed by my mother to make my way across the Cascades to "relax" with her by the lake. For those unfamiliar, Eastern Washington is not at all like Seattle. It is often hot, dry and home to several species of bugs the size of squirrels. Insects that seem to congregate wherever I AM. Particularly when half naked on a beach, sticky with SPF 6000.
While I may not enjoy the abundance of Ms. Humble obsessed bugs, I always like food and there are plenty of Eastern Washington farmers markets. Flush with farm fresh produce, honey, crafts and baked treats.
It was at one of these farmers market's in Manson that we came across a 10 year old selling something she called an almond kringle. A slab of iced pastry scattered with almonds.
Now, pastry in general is hard to resist and it is even more difficult when it is baked and sold by cute little girls.
She was quite the young entrepreneur, with her display of crisp white boxes. Each containing a delicious $5 pastry on little paper doilies.
My own childhood attempts at selling food was a miserable failure. Of course, I'd like to think that this wasn't because of the product but rather the location. My one attempt at a lemonade stand looked something like this:
I quickly learned that when setting up a lemonade stand, doing so near civilization has its perks. Most of the woodland critters didn't want my lemonade and the ones that did refused to pay. Needless to say, it wasn't my most successful endeavor.
Let that be a lesson to all you children looking to earn some pin money. Farmers market: Good. Lawn in the middle of nowhere, Washington: Not So Good.
So my mother and I both enjoyed the pastry and attempted to deconstruct it. We determined it was a layer of short crust, topped with choux and then an almond glaze. Simple, tasty and pretty. A good combination. I took my notes for the blog and then we sliced it up and served it for breakfast. And of course, the next time the farmer's market was open, we went back and bought more. You should too if you're ever in the area.
Of course, not everyone can make it to Manson, Washington to buy this young lady's Kringle. Many of us do live far away (or are scared of big bugs) so I've provided a recipe below: I've added an optional thin layer of marzipan to the pastry for those of us who can't get enough of the stuff.
Manson Almond Kringle
yields 2 10" Kringles Shortcrust
125g (1 cup) all purpose flour
35g (1/4 cup) rice flour
113g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
generous pinch salt
1 tablespoons cold water
4 oz marzipan
1 cup water
85grams (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cubed
5 grams (1 teaspoon) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
135 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour, sifted
3 large eggs
1 large egg white
1 teaspoon almond extract or almond emulsion*
185g (1 1/2 cup) powdered sugar
2 teaspoons almond extract or almond emulsion
*emulsions are awesome. Unlike alcohol based extracts, they maintain their full flavor when baked.
In the bowl of your food processor, briefly pulse together the flours, salt and butter until a coarse meal forms. Add the water and briefly pulse, the mixture will be crumbly but will hold together when pinched. Press together the crumbs to form a solid mass of dough (this is easily accomplished by dumping the crumbs into a plastic bag and giving it a squeeze).
Divide the dough into two equal pieces and then form each into a roughly 10" x 6" rectangle on a pan lined with parchment or silicone baking mat. Lightly dock the pastry with a fork. If using the marzipan, divide and flatten it with your finger tips or a rolling pin and press atop the shortcrust pastry, leaving some shortcrust exposed around the edges.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Begin the choux by combining water, butter, sugar and salt in a medium heavy bottomed sauce pan. Place over medium high heat and bring to a rapid boil. Once boiling, grab a wooden spoon and the flour. Add the flour and stir vigorously to completely incorporate. Continue to cook, stirring constantly for three to four minutes. When a thin film coats the bottom of your pan, you can remove it from the heat and prepare to beat in your eggs. Equip your mixer with the paddle attachment and add the flour mixture to the bowl. Beat the mixture for a minute or so on medium speed to cool. Then beat in your first egg. Once fully incorporated, scrape down the bowl and beat in the second. Repeat until you have used all the whole eggs and then beat in the white and almond extract.
Spread the choux over the marzipan and pastry. Completely cover the shortcrust, pressing the choux down onto the baking sheet. Bake the pastry for 55-60 minutes. The pastry should be a rich golden brown and puffy in the oven when finished. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan. The pastry will eventually collapse when removed from the oven and that's exactly what it is supposed to do. Allow the pastry to cool completely before glazing.
Prepare glaze by combining ingredients and just enough of the milk to make a smooth pourable glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled pastry and scatter with almonds. Allow the glaze to set and then slice and serve. Enjoy!