Friday, August 23, 2013
I've made my first attempt at a traditional kringle pastry and it went pretty well. Not perfect, but not too bad at all. Last week when I made peach jam my husband asked if there was a way to incorporate the jam into a pastry. Being the "sweet roll" lover that he is, he wanted "peach cinnamon rolls". I mulled that concept over for a bit and decided to make kringle instead. Kringle is a regional specialty here in Wisconsin. Racine, with it's Danish heritage, is home to one of the original kringle bakeries, O and H Danish Bakery. The pastry is light, layered, and flaky, with a rich buttery flavor. The fillings are many and varied; they are seasonal and traditional, with everything from fresh fruit to nut fillings. So I was off to find a recipe to guide me and I discovered it on the Cook's Country website. It is, no doubt, a simplified version of the original, but it's very doable for a home kitchen. I made half the recipe for the pastry, and proceeded cautiously to roll the chilled dough. I found it a little tricky to bend the delicate dough into an oval once it was filled with preserves (note to self: don't over-fill future kringles). But, although it wasn't perfectly symmetrical and it did leak a little bit of the peach filling, I am very pleased with the end result. As with all things, practice makes perfect, so there will be more kringle baking chez Devil's Food.
(makes 1 pastry, to serve 8)*
For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
1/2 envelope instant or rapid-rise yeast (about 1 1/8 teaspoon)
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
1 cup sour cream
1 egg, beaten with a little water, for brushing the pastry before baking
1/4 to 1/3 cup thick peach preserves**
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon milk
a few drops pure almond extract
toasted, sliced almonds (optional)
Place the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, butter, and shortening in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the sour cream until a soft dough forms (if the dough seems shaggy and dry, add a little ice water to make it come together). Pat the dough into a 7x3-inch rectangle and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Roll the dough into a 28 x5-inch rectangle on a lightly floured work surface. Spread the preserves along the lower half of the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the bottom and sides. Fold the top half of the dough over the filling and press the bottom edges together to seal the seam. Carefully shape the filled dough into an oval and tuck one end into the other. Seal the seams securely. Transfer to a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 or up to 12 hours. When ready to bake, place the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350F. Remove the plastic wrap, brush the pastry with egg wash, and bake until golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes. Make the glaze by mixing the confectioner's sugar and milk until smooth. Add a few drops of almond extract to taste. Drizzle or spread the glaze over the kringle and sprinkle with toasted, sliced almonds, if using. Serve warm or at room temperature. Cover tightly and store at room temperature for 2 days.
*If you wish to make 2 pastries, simply double the ingredients (except for the egg wash) and divide the dough into 2 equal pieces after it is mixed.
**Use thick preserves and don't be tempted to over-fill the kringle. It will break and the filling will ooze out.
(minimally adapted from Cook's Country )