Leipziger Lerchen (Apricot Marzipan Pastry) at

Leipziger Lerchen (Apricot Marzipan Pastry)

Course Pastry
Cuisine Gourmet
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 12 pastries
Author Ben & Christina Lakey


For the Crust:

  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter 1 cube, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Dash of salt

For the Apricot Marzipan:

  • 1 cup slivered almonds 150 grams, or alternatively, you can skin whole almonds - see notes for directions
  • 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 almond extract
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar 100 grams
  • 1 teaspoon apricot brandy optional - see notes, or sherry
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 grams apricot 45-60, peeled and pitted, or 1 heaping tablespoon apricot preserves

For the Almond Sponge Cake Top Filling:

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter 70 grams, softened
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 70 grams
  • 1/2 egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons apricots pureed or 2 heaping apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream 30 grams
  • 2/3 cup almond flour 75 grams
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 30 grams
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 egg whites


For the Crust:

  1. In a food processor, cream together butter and sugar.
  2. Add egg and blend until incorporated.
  3. Add flour and salt and blend until dough is just formed.
  4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in fridge until ready to assemble.

For the Apricot Marzipan:

  1. Place almonds in a food processor.
  2. Blend on a medium setting until finely ground, about 30-45 seconds.
  3. Add almond extract and blend until evenly distributed.
  4. Add powdered sugar. Mixture may appear to seize up momentarily, but will then start to mix. Blend until distributed, about 20-30 seconds. (If any powdered sugar gets stuck on side wall of processor, take a quick break and scrape down the sides so that it will mix in.)
  5. Add apricot brandy, butter, and apricot.
  6. Blend for for 1 and 1/2 to 2 minutes. Mixture will ball up and appear very smooth in consistency when ready.
  7. Check consistency (it will seem almost like play dough) and process for an additional 30 seconds or so, if needed, to get it very smooth.
  8. Place in bowl and cover (or put in plastic wrap) and place in fridge until time for assembly.

For the Almond Sponge Cake Top Filling:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
  2. Mix in egg yolk until combined.
  3. Mix in almond extract.
  4. In process or with a hand mixer, puree apricots with sour cream until well combined.
  5. Add apricot mixture to butter mixture and stir until combined.
  6. In another bowl, mix together the almond flour, all-purpose flour, and cornstarch.
  7. Add to butter mixture and blend until just incorporated.
  8. Beat two egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold into batter.

For the Assembly:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Generously spray your brioche molds/muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. On a well-floured surface, roll out pastry dough very thin (about 1/8 inch).
  4. Cut circular dough rounds to fit your molds (I usually do about a 4 inch diameter for standard muffin tin)
  5. Re-roll dough as needed to get 12 pastry shells. Set scraps aside to make decorative crosses for top.
  6. Place a marzipan round in bottom of each pastry shell.
  7. Place a generous scoop of top filling.
  8. Roll out remaining dough and cut 24 equal-sized skinny rectangles. Place a cross on top of each pastry.
  9. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until filling is set and crust and top is beginning to turn golden brown.
  10. Let pastries cool about 10-15 minutes in tin, or until cool enough to handle.
  11. Remove from tins and enjoy. These also taste great the next day with a hot drink!

Recipe Notes

Peeling Whole Almonds:
Boil a small pan of water on the stove. Remove from heat and add your almonds, making sure all are submerged. Soak for about 2 minutes and then drain. Peel almonds quickly. The skins will slip right off!
Dress it Down:
If you don't have apricot brandy or sherry on hand (or just don't like cooking with alcohol), you can simply eliminate it. It is such a small amount that it should not affect the consistency of your marzipan. If you do feel that your marzipan is a little dry, you can add a little extra apricot preserves or softened butter.