the appetizer:

Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours by Sarabeth Levine and Rick Rodgers, includes recipes like Stollen; Almond Pastry Dough; Plumped Vanilla Beans; and Apple Bretonne Tartlets.


Almond Pastry Dough

Makes enough for one 9-inch pie


This delicious, buttery crust bakes into a crisp, nut-flavored shell. Use a single batch for my signature Banana Cream Pie (page 185 of the book), and a double batch for the luscious Apple Bretonne Tartlets.


Baker's Note: When making the tartlets, you will have leftover dough, which can be made into cookies. Roll out the dough 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter and bake at 350 degrees F until light golden brown, about 12 minutes.


Almond Pastry Dough

1. Grind the almonds in a coffee grinder with 1 tablespoon of the flour until powdery. Combine the remaining 1 cup flour, the ground almond mixture, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter cubes and toss to coat with the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture looks like coarse meal with some pea-size pieces of butter, about 2 minutes (figures 1 and 2). Using a fork, mix the egg yolk, 1 tablespoon ice water, vanilla seeds, and almond extract together in a small bowl. Drizzle the yolk mixture all over the flour mixture and, using a wooden spoon, combine just until the dough clumps together. If the dough is too dry, add more ice water, a little at a time (figure 3).

2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and shape into a 1-inch-thick disk (figures 4, 5, and 6). Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled but not hard, 30 minutes to 1 hour. (The dough can be refrigerated up to 1 day, but it will be very hard, and should stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before rolling out. The dough can also be frozen, double wrapped in plastic, for up to 2 weeks. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight.)


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This page created December 2010