I got to thinking about frangipane and how I hadn’t enjoyed it since way back in my culinary school days. I remembered fondly the rich, creamy sweetness wrapped in a crisp pastry pillow encrusted with sugared almond slices.
I was inspired by this memory to try my hand at a vegan pastry with all the flavor but none of the dairy contained in the classical French preparation.
I was in a hurry to put my theory into action, so I picked up ready-made (accidentally vegan) puff pastry sheets from my grocer’s freezer and set to work.
I let the sheets thaw at room temperature (about 75 degrees) for 45 minutes, until they could be handled easily, but not completely soft. I set my oven to 400 degrees and started making my filling.
I just needed a creamy ingredient to loosen up the almond paste and make it spreadable, so I chunked the paste into my food processor with a bit of cashew cream I happened to have leftover in the fridge.
I processed the two ingredients until very creamy, the consistency of soft frosting.
I spread a nice thick layer of the frangipane then topped it with raspberry pie filling. I made a second pastry, for good measure– topping the filling with chocolate chips.
My pastry forming skills are more than a little rusty but I managed it into a shape that looked right, then dabbed a bit of soy milk on top, followed by sliced almonds and sugar. The most important goal, for me, was getting it into the oven 🙂
I allowed the pastry to bake for 30-40 minutes, until brown and crispy on top and bottom.
It turned out every bit as good as I had imagined.
Pepperidge Farm Frozen Puff Pastry sheets, although not exactly a health food, are one of those accidentally vegan products that comes in handy for creating a special treat on the fly.
The frangipane filling was tasty and sweet, but not overly so due to the addition of the unsweetened cashew cream (about 1/2 cup altogether). If I had it in the cabinet I might have bumped up the almond flavor just a bit with some extract, but all in all this quick and easy pastry was a great success!