A few days ago we made - as preparation for the arrival of Sinterklaas - filled speculaas, today it is the turn of the almond bar. The almond bar is also a traditional Sinterklaas delicacy. Well you can of course buy it in the supermarket or even better, at the pastry shop, but you can make it just as easily yourself. And maybe that's the best thing.
Quick to make
The recipe is simple and quick to make. You can choose to make the food yourself (recipe follows below). That is undoubtedly even better! In this recipe for the almond bar we have chosen to buy the food ready-made, making it all rap. The approaching party time is already busy enough. Do you have a little more time? Then you can also make the food yourself. However, almonds are not cheap, so there is certainly another cost factor.
The Almond Bar
The Almond Bar, butter or letter letter, is a bar or letter, usually an O, S, M or (on the head) W, of puff pastry, filled with food. This product is usually eaten in the Netherlands around Sinterklaas and Christmas.
Banquet letters are already mentioned in the book Max Havelaar from 1859. Chocolate letters, which are also popular with Sinterklaas, are from a later date. The butter letter is in the Sinterklaas song O, come and see, what is suddenly in his shoe. Indeed, also: a le-etter va-an banke-et. In two lines even mentioned!
The term butter letter comes from the pastry letter version, of which the puff pastry is made with only cream butter. A butter letter filled with almond paste is considered the original delicacy. A butter or pastry letter made with the cheaper pastry, has a filling of food made with ingredients such as white beans and apricot kernels. To check an almond pellet for legumes, put a drop of iodine on the food. If the food turns brown, there is no starch in it. Starch of legumes and the like turns blue when iodine is added
Almond paste or food is a mixture of almonds and sugar and is used in stuffed biscuits, butter letters, et cetera. The almonds vary in quality depending on the region of origin. Almonds from the Mediterranean, such as Italy and Spain, are qualitatively the best, while those from California are of a lower quality. The Californian almonds taste slightly bitter.
Almond paste is an expensive raw material to apply. In stuffed cakes and other inexpensive cakes, for example, the pastry bar and the pastry letter, instead of almond paste, so-called confectionary pastry is often used, in which the almonds have been replaced by ground apricot kernels and white beans.
Make your own food
Do you want to be sure that you are using real almond paste? Then you can just make it yourself. Mix the following ingredients:
250 grams of white almonds (without skin)
250 grams of sugar
juice and grater of a lemon
Grind the almonds and sugar in a food processor. Add the egg and the lemon. Mix everything together well. Wrap it in foil for a while and let it stiffen in the refrigerator. Your food is now ready!
Ingredients almond bar
6 sheets of butter puff pastry
300 grams of almond paste (or homemade, see recipe above)
1 beaten egg
pinch of cardamom
|Prepare all ingredients||Crumble the food||Add an egg, pinch of cardamom and the lemon zest||Mix everything together well|
|Wrap the food in the foil||Roll out the food into a thin bar||Sprinkle some flour on the counter||Put the puff pastry out, with the edges together|
|Put the food on it and roll it into the puff pastry||Beat the egg||Brush the rod with the egg (check the seams)||Sprinkle the bar with the almonds|
|Place the bar in the oven at 200 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes||Allow the bar to cool down for a while||Enjoy your meal!|
Sinterklaas has already started
The bar was here within 24 hours ... everyone liked it. The next time I would probably choose to make the food myself. Of course it is easier to choose ready-made food - and there is nothing wrong with that - but I would like to taste the difference once so that I can discover whether it is worth the effort (and the costs).