These almond crowns have all of the flakiness and buttery flavor of crescents but are taken to the next level thanks to the vanilla-infused custard filling and the icing drizzled on top. The toasted, slivered almonds add a great amount of crunch to these soft pastries. These almond crowns are a great treat for brunch or even as a little mid afternoon snack.
Vanilla Custard Almond Crowns [Vegan]
For the Pastry:
- 1 cup and 1 1/2 tablespoons water
- 2 packets fast-action yeast
- 4 cups plain flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 2/3 cups vegan butter
- Splash of soy milk
For the Custard:
- 3/8 cup raw cashews
- 1 1/3 cups and 1 tablespoon water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons corn flour mixed with 2 teaspoons water to make a paste
- 1/2 cup flaked almonds
- 2/5 cup icing sugar
To Make the Crowns and Assemble:
- In a large bowl, put your water, sugar, and yeast. Stir together.
- Add your flour, salt and scant 1/2 cup of vegan butter. Knead until it all comes together (mix it in the bowl first before kneading). If you have an electric whisk with a dough hook, you can use this.
- Cover the dough with cling film, place in the refrigerator, and leave for 8 hours or overnight.
- Once you’ve placed your dough in the refrigerator, take the remaining vegan butter and place between two pieces of parchment paper or into a sandwich bag.
- With a rolling pin, flatten the butter until it becomes a square shape that is roughly 7×7-inch.
- Wrap in cling film and place back in the refrigerator and leave until your dough is ready (you need to be working with the butter cold but not rock solid, so ensure it stays in the refrigerator until needed).
- Once your dough has been left for at least 8 hours, remove from the refrigerator, and place on a lightly floured worktop.
- With a rolling pin, roll into a rectangle that is 14×7-inches in size.
- Take your slab of butter and place it in the middle of your dough. Fold the two ends of the dough to meet in the middle over the butter slab. Make sure the butter is sealed by pushing the dough together all around the edges.
- Turn the dough so that the join is now straight in front of you, not lengthways. Starting from the middle, roll your pastry out into a long rectangle, till it’s roughly 22×7 inches in size. Do not roll back on yourself, always come back to the middle and roll out towards the edges.
- Now it’s time for your first fold. Take one end of your dough and fold about two thirds of the way down. Then, take the other end and fold it on top so that you’ve folded the dough into thirds and you’re left with a rough square shape.
- Wrap your dough with cling film and put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Remove from the refrigerator and place it so that the folded end of your dough (the part like the binding of a book) is on your left.
- Roll your dough again until it’s 22×7 inches (step 10), then repeat step 11 (the fold), wrap in cling film, and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Repeat this again (make sure fold is on left, roll, and fold), wrap in cling film, but this time place in the refrigerator for 60 minutes.
- After your dough has been in the refrigerator for its third and final time, remove from the refrigerator and on a lightly floured surface, roll out to about 24×9 inches.
- Cut your dough in half lengthways with a knife. Then, cut along to make 4 rows. You should be left with 8 pieces of dough.
- Very carefully stretch and roll each piece of dough into a square shape.
- Take a piece of dough, and carefully fold each corner into the middle so that each corner is now touching the middle of the dough.
- With your thumb, gently press down in the middle to make a small dent. Repeat for all pieces.
- Place the pieces back on a baking sheet, lightly cover with some parchment paper and leave to rise for 2 hours. Whilst your dough is rising, make your custard (method below).
- Once your dough has been rising for 2 hours, preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Remove the parchment paper and grab a glass. Carefully and firmly make a small dent in the middle of each pastry with the glass, which will act as a hole for the custard.
- Carefully pour your custard into each ‘hole’. Repeat for all pastries.
- Scatter your flaked almonds onto each pastry. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool
- Make your icing mix by placing your icing sugar in a bowl, adding a tablespoon at a time of warm water, and mixing until you have a paste that you can drizzle. Once cooled, drizzle your icing sugar over the top of each pastry.
To Make the Custard:
- First, you need to make your cashew cream. In a blender, add your raw cashews and water and blend until smooth.
- Next, in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, place in all of your custard ingredients (including your cashew cream) except the cornflour paste and heat over a medium heat.
- Bring to boil, stirring constantly to make sure there are no lumps.
- Once boiling, turn off the heat, and continuing to stir, add in your cornflour paste and whisk until smooth.
- Once everything has mixed together, pour into a container, cover with cling film, (push down the cling film to ensure it is touching the custard) and set aside until needed.
Whilst it seems like a lot of steps, it's mostly a lot of waiting around. If you'd like to see how to make the dough with step-by-step photo instructions, these can be downloaded from The Rose & Bean website on the 'croissant recipe' page.