If you like almond paste (like I do), then this one is for you! This pie does not appear to be known outside The Netherlands (other than by Dutch people), where it goes by the name "pensée taart". I have not been able to find an explanation as to why the French word "pensée" is in the name...

The pie crust is shortcrust pastry (F: pâte sablée; NL: zandtaartdeeg, D: Sandteig), the filling is mostly almond paste, and there is a thick apricot glaze on top. I jazzed up the dough with ground hazelnuts.

  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Bake time: 40 minutes
  • Makes 16-20 servings.


  • Ingredients for the dough:
  • 300 grams (2.5 cups) all-purpose flour (D: type 550; F: type 55)
  • 50 grams (2 oz.) ground hazelnuts, or ground caramelized hazelnuts ("pralin")
  • 200 grams (7 oz. = 3.5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 100 grams (3.5 oz.) brown or dark brow sugar (5-10% molasses)
  • In France, use "sucre complet" or "sucre intégral"; second choice: "cassonade" ( = sucre roux de canne); note: "sucre vergeoise" is just beet sugar ( = sucre de betterave) that has been sprayed/coated with caramel coloring!
  • 1 package of vanilla sugar (standard 8 grams envelope; with real vanilla, not artificial flavoring)
  • pinch of salt

  • Ingredients for the filling:
  • 300 grams (10 oz) almond paste
  • Use paste with at least 50% almonds. Confectioners almond paste is 70% almonds, regular marzipan only 20-30%.
  • I use paste with 53% almonds, and mix in 5 rounded tablespoons of ground almonds
  • 50 grams (1.75 oz. = 3½ tablespoons = ½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon of heavy cream (in a pinch, whole milk may be substituted)

  • Ingredients for the glaze:
  • 6-8 tablespoons of apricot jam or preserve
  • If using preserve, remove or puree the whole pieces of apricot
  • 8 tablespoons powered sugar (F: sucre glace)


  • Large bowl
  • Small bowl
  • Wire whisk
  • Optional: kitchen machine with dough hook
  • Rolling pin
  • Small sauce pan
  • Round pie pan, diameter about 25 cm (10 inch), about 3-4 cm high (1.5 inch)
  • Brush
  • Small sharp knife


  • Instructions for the filling:
  • Crumble the almond paste into a small bowl, add the butter, egg, and cream, and work into a smooth paste (with a strong fork or by hand)

  • Instructions for the pie:
  • Put the flour in the large bowl and whisk (to loosen up the flour and to get clumps out, if any)
  • Add the rest of the ingredients (ground hazelnuts, brown sugar, vanilla sugar, butter, salt)
  • Knead into a smooth dough, by hand or with a kitchen machine
  • Cool in refrigerator for 30 minutes
  • Pre-heat the oven to 160 °C (320 °F)
  • Grease the pie pan with some butter
  • Split the dough into 2/3 and 1/3 and form each part into a ball
  • Dust the work surface with some flour and roll out the 2/3 dough part until about 5-6 mm thick (1/4 inch), and at least large enough to fully cover the bottom and side of the pie pan
  • Transfer the dough sheet to the pie pan and gently push into place
  • If you have too much dough for the size of the pan, do not use it up by making the crust thicker!
  • Spread the almond paste evenly in the pie pan
  • Roll out the 1/3 dough part until large enough to cover the entire top of the pie pan
  • Put the dough sheet on top of the pie pan, and close the edges. Cut off any overhanging dough.
  • Bake for 40 minutes, then let cool.
  • If using the oven's circulation fan, start checking after 30 minutes.

  • Instructions for glazing:
  • Heat the apricot jam and spread a thin layer all over the top of the pie
  • Let cool
  • Mix the powdered sugar with some water and mix until smooth. The mix should be thin enough that you can easily brush it over the apricot jam
  • Brush the entire pie top with the sugar glaze and let set.



  • This pie is rather sweet. Serve small slices.

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