Cranberry Bear Claws – The Revenant

It’s that time of year again. Please excuse the brief departure from the merits of the slow carbohydrate life. Warning, what follows may possibly involve wheat, gluten, refined sugars etc. I say it’s in the name of art. And sometimes, you just need a full palate/palette.  Here is this year’s OscarsFeast, with a dish inspired by each of the best picture nominees for the Academy Awards. First up; The Revenant.

The Film
Revenant poster

The Dish:

The Reason:

To get into the spirit of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s survival epic ‘The Revenant’ you could have your throat mauled by a bear, cauterize your own wounds and crawl across half of South Dakota during brutal winter in order to avenge yourself and family against the traitorous Tom Hardy. Or, you could turn on your oven and do a little baking. These ‘Bear Claws’ are much gentler than those that belonged to the beast that savaged Hugh Glass (Leonardo Di Caprio). Their origins hark back to the 1920’s (more than a century after Glass’ journey), when these breakfast danishes were traditionally made with yeasted dough and stuffed with almond paste. Here the frangipane gets cosy with some cranberries, which may bleed a little during baking (luckily any crimson spilled is just juice).  We’ve also taken the easy route by leaning on frozen puff pastry (though if you want to go the extra mile prove your mettle and make your own puff pastry, you’re more than welcome). Once brittle and golden, you can dust these treats with a blizzard of powdered sugar- an end result that’s a lot sweeter (and more comforting) than a soul bearing treck in thigh deep snow with the remnants of a grizzly slung over your shoulders.

The Way:

Cranberry Bear Claws


Makes 4 Bear Claws


IMG_2790 1 sheet of puff pastry/180 g puff pastry
50 g ground almonds
50 g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
50 g caster sugar
1 egg, separated
50 g frozen cranberries
Icing sugar/powdered sugar to serve.

Here’s how we roll

1) To make your frangipane filling beat together the butter and caster sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg white and the almond meal until you have a cohesive mass.

2) Preheat the oven to 200C/392F and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

3) Lay out your square of puff pastry and divide into four squares, approx 10 cm in diameter.

4) About 1 cm from the top edge of the pastry place 1/4 of frangipane, in a stripe approx 2.5 cm thick. Top it with cranberries.

IMG_27955) Roll the pastry from the top down, encircling the filling, tucking in the sides and leaving a 1.5 cm fringe of pastry free at the bottom edge. Wet your finger with egg yolk to help join the two seams of pastry together over the filling.  Transfer gently onto baking parchment and cut the bottom edge of the pastry into five even ‘claws’.

IMG_27966) Brush the pastries with the beaten egg yolk and transfer to the fridge for 10-20 minutes to set.


7) Bake for 20 -25 minutes until puffed and golden brown, then dust with powdered sugar prior to serving.

IMG_2840  For a trip down memory lane for last year’s OscarsFeast (and all the years before that, go here).

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