Crescentini

It’s a beautiful sunny day here in Suffolk today.  I don’t know about you but, over the last few weeks, unlike a normal Summer I’ve started to believe that the sun will keep on shining.  No-one seems to be complaining about the awful British weather for a change and we are all are actively looking for new topics of conversation. 

It has got me thinking about summer holidays and in particular a wonderful June I spent with my husband in Italy.  One particular hotel served the most wonderful breakfasts on your own personal patio overlooking the sea.  Blue skies and blue sea and the air perfumed with hibiscus.   Trays came laden with coffee, tea, cereals in little pots, yoghurts, various jams and – best of all in my greedy opinion –  a selection of pastries.  And the best pastry of all was a crisp full of buttery almond ness with a dash of apricot and was named the crescentini.

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Ok. I admit that I made up the name crescentini.   I don’t know what it was actually called.  Nor do I know how it was made but when I got home I had to try to copy it. My version I think nails it.    It’s tons easier to make than a croissant as it uses puff pastry so there is no proving or kneading.  It takes about 5 mins to assemble and about 20 to cook. As soon as it comes out the oven it’s a battle not to gobble them down straight away and risk burning the roof of your mouth or wait 5 mins whilst they cool.  Yet they are delicious cold and even keep for a few days – unlike that almond croissant I compared it to earlier.  How good is that?

I was reading the excellent “A Table in Venice” by Skye McAlpine and, quite by accident, came across a recipe for something similar.  So I know now these pastries probably originated in Venice.  My version compared to hers is a cheat and is quicker to throw together but there is nothing to stop you from making both versions and judging for yourself which is for you.   Have them with coffee for breakfast and any leftovers for elevenses

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Ingredients (makes 6)

  • 320g packet ready rolled puff pastry (I use the all butter)
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam/conserve (bonne maman)
  • 100g good quality marzipan
  • 2 tbsp Milk, to glaze
  • handful flaked almonds
  • icing sugar to dredge over

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200c
  2. Unroll the pastry sheet and along the long side divide into three pieces using a knife and a straight edge (I use a rolling pin as a ruler for this
  3. Divide each of these rectangles into two triangles – see photo above – and lightly brush with the apricot jam.
  4. Take the marzipan and divide into 6.  Roll each of these into a sausage shape and place one on each triangle (see below)
  5. From the widest end start rolling up the pastry until you form a croissant shape.  Press the open “horn” edges together to seal
  6. Put on a lined baking sheet, brush with milk and scatter over flaked almonds if using
  7. Bake in oven for 15-20 mins until golden brown
  8. When you have taken the crescentini out of the oven and whilst hot  liberally dredge  the crescentini with icing sugar.  This ensures the pastry remains crisp
  9. Any leftovers(!) store in an airtight container when they are cool and eat within 4 days

A big thank you to Harjot for reminding me that I’d been spending too much time in my garden and hadn’t posted at all in June.  Harjot I’ve just made it.  Thank you so much for helping me get my act in gear! Let me know if you would like me to get Mike to bring in some crescentini to say thank you? 

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3 Comments

  1. Mags says:

    Ooooh, this looks great, definitely going to try these…not good for my figure but that’s well past saving nowadays anyway…..i’ll Let you know how I get on!

    • Lickthespoon says:

      There is nothing wrong with your figure Mags! Do try them because they really are very delicious and I’d be really interested to know if I have explained how to make them clearly enough. They are very moreish so be warned

  2. These looks absolutely beautiful Rosie!! And I’m sure so delicious! I like that you can make them with puff pastry dough– I’ve used it a bit. And I know I’d never manage to make it from scratch! We’ve taken to watching old seasons of the British Baking Show this summer and this reminds me of the pastries we saw this week! And your photo of the Italian table was so inviting. I’m wishing I could have stepped into that photo!! How is your summer going?? any more travel plans ahead? hugs friend!

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