First make the pastry. Place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a large bowl and mix together. Then whisk together the warm milk, egg and almond extract and gradually add and stir until you have a smooth, slightly sticky dough. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes dusting with more flour as necessary until the dough is smooth and the surface is slightly springy to touch and not sticky. Place into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. On a lightly floured board, roll out into a 5mm thick rectangle about 30cm x 40cm with the shorter side facing you. Place the butter onto a board and bash with a rolling pin until it is approx. 26cm wide, 10cm in length and 1cm deep. Place in the middle of the dough and make sure there is a 2cm border. Leave a 1cm border at the sides clear of butter, so that it doesn’t spill from the sides of the pastry during rolling.
Fold the butter-free part of the dough over the middle third, then fold the remaining, unbuttered third over to make a flat parcel (like folding a letter into 3 to put inside an envelope). Lightly press down the open ends to seal, then chill, covered in cling film, for 15 minutes. Remove the cling film and lay the dough on a floured surface with the short side facing you. Roll out in one direction. You’ll get a very long rectangle – don’t worry as the next time you roll the dough it will be a more manageable size. As before, fold the bottom third of pastry over the middle third, then fold the top third over. Wrap in cling film and chill for 15 minutes more. Repeat the rolling and folding process 1 more time, but this time start the dough on the floured surface with the longest side facing you. Allow the dough to rest in the fridge for another 15 minutes.
Repeat steps 5 and 6, so you’ve rolled the dough into a long rectangle 4 times. Wrap the dough with cling film and chill overnight until firm. Trim the edges; the dough is now ready to make Almond custard Danish pastries or croissants. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Line a baking sheet with nonstick baking paper. Roll out the pastry to a 5mm thickness and cut into 12 x 10cm squares. Place a generous tablespoon of custard into the middle, then brush the edges of pastry with beaten egg and fold the pastry corners into the centre to enclose the filling. Place the pastries on a lined baking sheet.
Chill, covered in cling film, for 20 minutes. Brush each pastry with the beaten egg, scatter with flaked almonds and bake for 15-18 minutes or until puffed up and until golden brown. Meanwhile, whisk the icing sugar, milk and almond extract together in a small bowl until it forms a thick but pourable icing and set aside. Cool the pastries for 5-10 minutes, drizzle with the icing and serve.
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