Brushed with sweet orange syrup, filled with almond cream, and covered with toasted almonds, even the most run-of-the-mill store-bought croissants are transformed into something heavenly.
Active time: 2 1/2 hr Start to finish: 20 hr
Makes 8 pastries.
- for orange syrup
- 3/4cup granulated sugar
- 1/2cup water
- 1vanilla bean
- 1/4cup fresh orange juice
- for almond cream
- 1/2cup natural almonds(2 1/2 oz)
- 1/4cup granulated sugar
- 1/4cup almond paste(not marzipan; 2 oz),cut into pieces
- 5tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1large egg
- 1tablespoon rum
- 1/2teaspoon pure almondextract8(day-old) croissants
- 3/4cup sliced natural almonds(3 oz), toasted
- confectioners sugarfor dustingspecial equipment: a pastry brush, parchment paper
DIRECTIONS Make syrup:
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Split vanilla bean with a sharp small knife and scrape seeds into sugar mixture. Add pod and bring to
a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer 1 minute, then remove from heat and stir in orange juice.
Make almond cream:
Pulse almonds with 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Add almond paste and pulse until finely chopped.
Beat together butter, remaining2 tablespoons sugar, almond mixture, and a pinch of salt with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy,2 to 3 minutes. Whisk together egg, rum, and extract in a small bowl and gradually add to almond cream, beating until combined well. Chill, covered, until set, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°’F.
Cut croissants in half horizontally. Brush insides of croissants (both top and bottom halves) with some orange syrup. Spread 2 tablespoons almond cream on each bottom half, mounding in centers, and cover with tops. Spread 1 tablespoon almond cream on each top. Transfer croissants to a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle about2 tablespoons toasted almonds on each.
Bake croissants in middle of oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly, then dust with confectioners sugar.
Cooks’ note: o Orange syrup and almond cream may be made, and almonds may be toasted, 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.