frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
1 egg, lightly beaten with a small pinch of salt
Fish pattern: using cardboard or heavy paper, draw a fish pattern about 15"x5"
For the Frangipane:
3 Tablespoons blanched almonds
5-1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon flour
Prepare the frangipane:
1. Place the almonds and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a food processor and grind to a fine powder.
2. Add the butter and blend for 3-4 seconds.
3. Add the egg and flour and blend just until the mixture gathers into a ball.
For the Poisson:
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Lightly flour the work surface and roll the pastry into an 11"x16" rectangle. This size will give you two fish.
2. Using a wheel cutter, cut out one fish and place it on a baking sheet that has been lightly brushed with water.
Press the ends of the fish lighlty so that it adheres to the baking sheet and does not shrink.
3. Cut out another fish in the same manner.
4. Mound the frangipane along the center of 1 fish.
5. Paint a 1" border of cold water around the edge of the fish, put the second fish on top, and press gently with
fingertips to seal it well.
6. Press again lightly around the entire border.
7. Make slanting shallow slashes with the back tip of a paring knife all around the edge to seal the 2 fish
together or press with the back of the fork. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.
8. Preheat oven 450°. Paint the top of the fish with the egg glaze.
9. Let dry for a few minutes and paint a second layer of glaze. 10. Using the paring knife, make small slashes in
the tail. Make scales on the fish using the narrow end of a pastry tube, cutting slightly all over the body in half-
11. Cut a mouth and outline an eye. Press the raisin in for the eye.
12. Bake for 20 minutes, lower the heat to 375°F and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve immediately or allow to cool slightly. The poisson is best served the same day it is baked.
The Tradition of Poisson d'Avril
The tradition of "poisson d'avril" in France dates back to 1564. Before that year, New Year's Day was
celebrated on April 1st. Gifts were exchanged, best wishes given to family and friends and large feasts were
held. In 1564, King Charles IX, changed New Year's day from April 1 to January 1. Many people decided to
still celebrate April 1 by giving gifts, but since it was not the "true" New Year's Day, the gifts were not "true"
gifts, instead they were gag gifts. From that day on, the idea caught fire and young and old began to play special
jokes on April 1. What does the "fish" (poisson) have to do with the tradition? According to some sources,
sometime during this same period, fishing was forbidden beginning April 1st to allow the fish to reproduce.
Some pranksters decided that it would be funny to throw some herrings in the rivers as a joke on the fishermen
and call them "April fish" or "Poisson d'Avril". Others say the name Poisson d'Avril comes from the fact that at
the beginning of April the moon is leaving the zodiac sign of Pisces. Personally, I like the herring story better,