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It’s been a few days of baking, testing and tasting in the kitchen and the Christmas aromas have been filling the cottage, getting us all in the Yuletide spirit.

Firstly I made a plum pudding and Christmas cake from the lovely blog that is  http://www.likemamusedtobake.blogspot.com  and today made some ginger snaps and an unusual Frangipane style/Jalousie pastry slice. I found a recipe for French Almond Jalousie in a Woman’s Weekly booklet from 1987, (yes I am a cookbook squirrel), and added Italian mixed peel, cinnamon, honey, walnuts & brandy. The result is a rich, but light festive scented slice, gorgeous with custard or cinnamon cream, and should make a nice change when we get tired of mince pies, as we usually do a week or so before Christmas. This is very straightforward to make using bought puff pastry, and can be made a day in advance and kept in the refrigerator before brushing with egg white and baking.

  • 375g packet of puff pastry
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 30g butter
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks (keep the whites)
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp Brandy/Rum
  • 2 tbsp Italian mixed peel
  • 2 tbsp walnuts ground
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed spice


Pre-heat oven to 220C

Separate the two eggs.

Make the almond filling:

Melt the butter in a saucepan, adding all the ingredients except egg yolks.

Cook, stirring occasionally over a gentle heat for 5 minutes. Add the egg yolks and mix well.

Cool the mixture and place in a bowl while you prepare the pastry.

Prepare Pastry:

Cut the pastry into two neat rectangles.

Line a tray with greaseproof paper and place on it one pastry rectangle.

Drizzle over the honey but leaving a centimetre border around the edges.

With the other pastry rectangle, fold over lengthwise and make slits every inch or so along the folded centre. Reopen the pastry and brush the edges with egg white and also the other pastry rectangle on the tray.

Spread the almond mix over the pastry base again leaving a centimetre border.

Carefully place the other pastry slice over and pinch the edges to seal.

Brush with the rest of the egg white and sprinkle with rich muscovite sugar or caster sugar.

Bake on high for 5 minutes, reducing the heat to 180C for the remaining ten minutes.

Drizzle with honey and custard & sprinkle with cinnamon and icing sugar!

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas………