Catholic Recipe: Banket
- 4 cups flour
- 1 lb good margarine (very cold or frozen)
- 7/8–1 cup ice water
- 1 lb. almond paste
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
Yield: 8 sticks
Prep Time: N/A
Difficulty: • • • •
Food Categories (2)
Linked Prayers (1)
Also Called: Dutch Almond Pastry
This Dutch Almond Pastry can be made in the food processor. This recipe is often made for St. Nicholas day, December 6.
On the day before baking prepare both the crust and almond filling.
Crust: With metal blade in place, add flour and margarine, cut into 1" pieces. Process 10 seconds or until margarine is in pieces no larger than peas. With processor running, pour ice water through feed tube in a steady stream. Stop processing as soon as dough begins to form a ball. Do not add more water than necessary. Chill over night. If you don't want to use a food processor, mix like pie crust.
Filling: With metal blade in place, break up almond paste and add eggs. Process until beginning to blend. Add sugar; process until blended. Chill over night. If you are not using a food processor, combine almond paste and eggs; add sugar until well mixed.
Assembly and baking instructions: Divide crust dough into eight equal pieces. Roll piece into rectangle 9" long (it will be about 3" wide). Fold each end over the middle third, so that the piece is about 3" square. Turn it so the folded edges are on the left and right in front of you. Then roll in into a rectangle 4" x 15", (the folded edges make it easy to have nice straight sides).
Divide filling into 8 equal pieces. On waxed paper, sprinkled with a little flour, roll with your hands into a snake 15" long.
Place roll of filling on prepared piece of crust, fold first one side and then the other so they overlap (making a double thickness of crust). Seal ends. Place on baking sheet with the overlapped side down. Brush top with slightly beaten egg white. Score top diagonally every inch using a sharp knife. Repeat with other seven pieces. Bake 450º for 15–20 minutes. (I bake four sticks while preparing the other four for baking.) Makes 8 sticks. They freeze well.Recipe Source: St. Nicholas Center: Discovering the Truth About Santa Claus , St. Nicholas Center
The Legend of Old Befana: An Italian Christmas Story (Tomie dePaola)