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Nancy Birtwhistle’s Apple and Lemon Kites

Great British Bake Off 2014 winner Nancy Birtwhistle shares her recipe for Apple and Lemon Kites, as seen on the finale episode.


Very pretty pastries, these have an open filling of thin apple slices and a marzipan-like almond paste.

Make these alongside Nancy’s Rasberry and Almond Croissants


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1/2 quantity dough made for Raspberry and Almond Croissants
4 tablespoons icing sugar, to finish
For the filling:
65g ground almonds
65g caster sugar
65g icing sugar
2 drops of lemon extract
1 medium egg, beaten to mix
2 Pink Lady or Braeburn apples (or other sweet apples with a pink-blushed skin)
100ml lemon juice (from a squeezy bottle)

Essential kit

You will need 2 baking sheets and a disposable piping bag.


1. Make the filling while the dough is having its final chill. Put the almonds, both sugars and lemon extract into a bowl and mix well, then work in enough beaten egg to make a firm marzipan-like paste (save the rest of the egg for glazing). Weigh the mixture, then divide into 12 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball. Set aside on a plate until needed.

2. Quarter the apples (leave the skin on) and cut out the cores. Slice the apples as thinly and neatly as possible – you need 48 perfect slices. Drop them into a bowl containing the lemon juice and mix well, then set aside until needed.

3. Roll out one portion of dough on a floured worktop to a 31 x 41cm rectangle. Trim the sides with a sharp knife and ruler to make a neat 30 x 40cm rectangle. Cut into twelve 10cm squares. If the dough starts to feel soft and hard to work, lay it on a baking sheet or tray lined with clingfilm, cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes until firm but not solid.

4. Shape the pastries one at a time. With the tip of a sharp knife, cut through the point of two opposite corners, cutting about 2.5cm in towards the centre of the square. Lightly brush the dough with a little of the saved beaten egg, then set a ball of the lemon almond paste in the centre of the square. Arrange 4 apple slices neatly on top. Lift one side of one cut corner so it crosses over the other side of the cut corner. Repeat with the second cut corner, so the dough crosses over the other way.

5. Once all the pastries have been filled and shaped, arrange them on the lined baking sheets, spaced well apart. Cover lightly with clingfilm and leave to rise in a cool spot for 30–40 minutes until almost doubled in size. (Save the lemon juice left from the apple slices for the icing.)

6. Towards the end of the rising time heat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7. Uncover the risen pastries and brush lightly with beaten egg to glaze. Bake in the heated oven for 10–15 minutes until well risen and a good golden brown (for the best results rotate the sheets after 8 minutes so the pastries bake evenly). Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

7. To finish, decorate the kites with a lemon glacé icing. Mix the icing sugar with enough lemon juice (1–2 teaspoons) to make a smooth icing that can be piped. Spoon into the piping bag, snip off the tip and pipe neat lines or zig-zags of icing over the cooled pastries.

Make these alongside Nancy’s Rasberry and Almond Croissants


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