We found that we could streamline this two-dough pastry by making more pie dough than we needed and then turning half of it into the crust and cooking the other half and adding eggs to turn it into choux paste for the “puff” top. The pâte à choux needed lengthy baking to prevent collapse, but by the time it was finished cooking, the pie crust bottom was overbrowned. Stacking two sheet pans slowed browning on the bottom, buying time for the top to finish cooking without burning the bottom.
Serves 10 to 12
Baking the pastry on two stacked baking sheets prevents it from burning on the bottom. Be sure to cool the pastries completely before glazing. If the glaze is too thick to spread smoothly, whisk in an additional tablespoon of milk.
2cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
2tablespoons granulated sugar
1 3/4teaspoons salt
16tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
1 1/2cups cold water
4 large eggs
3/4teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2cups (6 ounces) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/8teaspoon almond extract
3tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/3cup sliced almonds, toasted
1. FOR THE PASTRY: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined, about 3 pulses. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 pulses. Add ½ cup water and pulse until mixture forms dough, about 10 pulses.
2. Transfer half of dough (11 ounces) to lightly floured counter, knead briefly until dough comes together, and roll into two 12-inch ropes. Transfer ropes to prepared baking sheet. Press ropes with hand into 12 by 3-inch rectangles. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Meanwhile, lightly beat eggs and almond extract in 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Bring remaining 1 cup water to boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Add remaining dough to boiling water and cook, stirring constantly, until ball forms, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is uniformly shiny and pulls away from sides of pan, 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Transfer hot dough to food processor and process for 10 seconds. With processor running, slowly add egg mixture until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Divide warm dough mixture between chilled dough rectangles. Spread evenly.
5. Set baking sheet with pastry inside second rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 and bake until pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 75 minutes longer. Turn oven off and, using paring knife, make four ½-inch horizontal slits in each long side of both pastries. Prop open oven door with wooden spoon. Leave pastries in turned-off oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely on baking sheet, about 1 hour.
6. FOR THE GLAZE: Whisk sugar, milk, salt, and almond extract together in bowl until smooth. Slowly whisk in butter until incorporated. Drizzle glaze over each pastry and top with toasted almonds. Serve.
HOW TWO DOUGHS BECOME ONE PASTRY
HALVE PIE DOUGH
After you've made the pie dough, set half of it aside to be used to start the choux pastry. Roll the other half into two equal ropes.
SHAPE PASTRY BASE
Press the ropes into 12 by 3-inch rectangles. Chill the rectangles in the refrigerator while you make the choux pastry.
Combine the reserved pie dough with boiling water in a saucepan and cook, stirring, until the mixture is shiny and pulls away from the pan.
Move the cooked choux dough into the food processor. Slowly pour in lightly beaten eggs as the processor runs.
SPREAD AND BAKE
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