- To make the pastry: combine water, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Scald milk until heated but not boiling. Stir in butter until melted. Add egg, lemon zest and salt then combine in the bowl of a mixer with the yeast. Stir in the flour a little at a time to make a soft, sticky dough. Knead on medium speed until a smooth, soft dough forms, about 8 minutes. Cover and let rise until doubled.
- Flatten the dough on a well-floured surface. Roll it out into a 12 x 18-inch rectangle. Spread dough with the softened butter then fold in half. Chill dough for 20 minutes.
- To fill the almond pastry ring: roll chilled dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 12 x 18-inch rectangle. Spread the Almond Schmear evenly over the dough. Roll it tightly from the narrow end into a tight log. Curve rolled dough into a circle tucking the ends under to form a neat ring.
- Place ring on a greased baking sheet. Brush with the egg wash. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Bake in a preheated 350ºF oven until well browned, about 35 to 45 minutes.
- Combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice and drizzle over the cooled pastry ring. Sprinkle with sliced almonds.