Banket? Do I mean ‘blanket’? No. I promise its ‘Banket’ – pronounced bahn-ket. It’s Dutch. Did you really think I would pass up Christmas without a Dutch inspired dish? So many of my Christmas traditions have a finger in my Dutch heritage so it was only natural to include this phenomenal treat.
Now let me tell you what it is. Its almond paste, which is like a more natural version of marzipan. It’s a little coarser and isn’t dyed or shaped like a lot of marzipan is. Around the almond paste is flakey pie dough that kind of holds it all together. Then it’s baked together.
Traditionally over my lifetime we have gotten our banket in a wreath shape about twelve inches in diameter. This has led to the family nickname of “almond wreath”, which does accurately describe it. A few different years we have ended up with an “almond bar” which is just a straight banket about 12 inches long. It usually depends what the bakery has available to buy at the time so we aren’t really sure year to year.
Banket is very rich yet light in flavor. It’s really both a complicated and simple dessert that you slice into small pieces and eat only one or two a day. Most of the time, we open a wreath, slice up about a quarter of it then save the rest of it for another time. One wreath usually lasts a couple weeks.
This year when I decided to attempt my own banket, my dad suggested making individual ones instead of one large one. He did note that he really like the pastry part so he wasn’t opposed to more pastry in his bites. I figured I would oblige. I mean… I like the pastry too.
Now if you want to impress people but don’t want to be so complicated here’s how you do it. Buy some almond paste (I honestly have never bought it but I assume you can get it online… yep, tons of it on Amazon) and buy a pie crust – not the one already molded to a pie shell, and that’s it! Roll the crust out, put the paste inside, brush with egg and bake. See I told you it could be easy.
So you can make this really simply or much more complicated. I made it completely from scratch, ie. the complicated way. I have to say though, it was the best banket I have ever eaten. No joke. The pastry was flakey, the almond paste soft and definitely almond-y but not a smack in your face. Complete success if you ask me. I used Budget101.com’s recipe for almond paste – exactly how they wrote it and it was perfect. Plus I used my pie dough recipe I had posted before with my Chicken Apple and Mushroom Pot Pie.
Problem is – my dad is never going to want to buy it from the bakery ever again.
- Almond Paste – recipe at Budget101.com
- Pie Dough – recipe on One Fine Shindig
- 1 egg, whisked in a small bowl
- Sliced Almonds
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Using extra flour on your surface, roll out pie dough to ¼ inch. Slice into sheets about 3 x 4 inches. Using about 2 tablespoons of almond paste, form it into a log with your hands.
- Roll the almond paste log in the pie dough pinching shut the seam as well as the sides. Your almond paste should completely covered in dough.
- Put the rolls on a baking sheet covered with a silpat or lightly sprayed with cooking oil. Brush the tops with the egg wash and place a couple sliced almonds on top.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until it starts to become golden brown. Let cool. Serve slightly warm or room temperature.