Strawberry-Rhubarb Puff Pastry Braid

~from Savoring Time in the Kitchen

1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed overnight

Filling Ingredients:

3/4 cup diced rhubarb
3/4 cup diced strawberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Aperol, Grand Marnier or Triple Sec liqueur (any fruit-flavored alcohol will do)
1 egg used for egg wash
1 tablespoon sliced almonds for sprinkling on top
Confectioners sugar for garnish after pastry has cooled

Frangipane ingredients:

1 cup sliced almonds
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup AP flour
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350F.

To make frangipane:

In the work bowl of a food processor, add the flour, almonds and sugar and pulse to a course powder. Add the butter and pulse until just incorporated.  Add the eggs and almond extract and process until smooth, about 1 minute.  Pour mixture into a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make filling:

Combine the diced rhubarb and strawberries in a bowl with the sugar, cinnamon and liqueur of choice. Set aside.

To assemble:

On a well-floured surface, roll out the pastry to an approximately 15x9" rectangle. Gently transfer rolled pastry to a parchment or silicone mat-lined baking sheet.

Spoon the frangipane down the middle of the pastry, lengthwise. Spoon the fruit filling over the top of the frangipane, being careful not to 'over fill'.  

Make inch-wide, diagonal incisions on either side of the filling, stopping an inch short of the filling. Fold the cuts across the fruit on a slight angle, pulling gently to cover the filling, first folding one side over and then the other, creating a braid, pressing down gently.  See this tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd3PMaMt4j4

Using egg wash to seal ends, tucking them under then egg wash the entire pastry.

Sprinkle top with almond slices.

Bake until pastry is golden brown, about 35-40 minutes, depending on your oven.  Start checking after 25 minutes and every 5 minutes thereafter. 

Cool completely and then dust with confectioner's sugar, if desired. 

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