Brushed with warm preserves and sprinkled with sugar, these comforting Apricot-Almond Pastries are wonderful for breakfast or afternoon tea.
- 1½ cups whole milk
- ½ cup sugar, divided
- 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 (14-ounce) packages frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¾ cup chopped sliced almonds, toasted
- 4 (15-ounce) cans apricot halves, drained and patted dry
- ¼ cup apricot preserves, warm
- Garnish: sugar
- In a large saucepan, whisk together milk and 1⁄4 cup sugar. Heat over medium heat until steaming (do not boil).
- In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, cornstarch, salt, and remaining ¼ cup sugar. Gradually add warm milk mixture to egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return mixture to saucepan, and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and mixture starts to boil. Cook, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Stir in butter and extract. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly onto surface of pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate and let cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 375°. Line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry dough into 15-inch squares; cut each into 9 (5-inch) squares. Place squares on prepared pans. Pastries can be baked in batches. Keep remaining pastry in refrigerator, covered, until ready to assemble and bake.
- In a small bowl, whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush edges of dough squares with egg wash. Scoop heaping tablespoon pastry cream into the center of each dough square. Sprinkle top with 2 teaspoons chopped almonds. For each pastry, begin in one corner and line in a row 3 apricot halves (cut side down) in the center of dough toward the opposite corner. Fold opposite sides toward the center, covering the middle apricot completely. Press dough edges together slightly and brush tops with remaining egg wash.
- Bake until golden brown and puffed, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly on pan, about 5 minutes. Brush fruit evenly with warm apricot preserves. Garnish with sugar, if desired. Remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.
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