Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cran-Apple Tea Ring

     There's a pretty good chance that if I'm baking, the recipe was pinched from Taste of Home Everyday Light Meals. Their baking recipes have been excellent every time. I figure, why mess with success?  Fair warning, this particular recipe is a bit labor intensive, but worth it. The end result is extremely impressive looking. As always, any substitutions and/or notes are in blue.

Cran-Apple Tea Ring
via Taste of Home Everyday Light Meals
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110-115F)
  • 1/2 cup warm fat-free milk (110-115F) (we used 2%. Don't judge me harshly)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel (I'm pretty sure they mean fresh. We used the dried stuff from a jar)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 2-3/4 to 3-1/4 cups all purpose flour (we ended up using the full 3-1/4 cups)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced, peeled apple
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (we didn't have enough cranberries, so we used 1/2 cup cranberries and 1/2 cup raisins)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (I found out you can toast nuts in the microwave. Put them in a single layer and nuke them on HIGH for 1 minute at a time. Eventually you'll smell the tell-tale aroma of roasting nuts. Don't be an imbecile like me and then go to remove the plate with your bare hand unless you're a big fan of burning yourself)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, egg, butter, orange peel, salt, 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 cup flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (like I said, I ended up using the maximum suggested amount)
  2. Turn dough out onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes (as always, I let the trusty Kitchenaid and dough hook take care of this step. I took this time to enjoy a cup of coffee and contemplate my place in the universe). Place in a bowl coated with nonstick cooking spray; turn once to coat top of dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
  3. In a bowl, toss the apple, cranberries, walnuts, cinnamon and remaining sugar; set aside.
  4. Punch dough down; turn onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 20"x10" rectangle. Combine egg white and water mixture; chill 3 tablespoons. Brush remaining mixture over dough. Spoon fruit mixture to within 1" of edges.
    You should be looking at something like this at this point.
    Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with long side; seal ends. (I let the wife handle the rolling portion. I was fairly sure I would screw up horribly if I tried to roll this thing).
  5. Place seam side down on a 15"x10"x1" baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray; pinch ends to form a ring. With scissors, cut from outside edge two-thirds of the way toward the center of the ring at 1" intervals. Separate strips slightly; twist so filling shows (we didn't exactly do this by the book. The wife took a super sharp paring knife and slit the dough and just pulled the cuts apart a bit. The whole scissors and twisting was getting too involved for us). Cover and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.
  6. Brush with reserved egg white mixture. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cover with foil during the last 10 minutes. (For once, it actually took close to within the suggested cooking time to bake something! We had this done in about 30 minutes). Remove to wire rack to cool. 
  7. Combine confectioners' sugar and orange juice; drizzle over ring (the icing came out way more translucent than the photo in the book. Maybe next time I'll add more confectioners' sugar. I also considered topping this with coarse grain sugar and hitting it with the kitchen torch next time. It would be nice to use that torch for something besides lighting my cigars). 
Good times!

1 comment:

  1. Yum yum yum! This looks amazing :) I followed you here from the Marvelous Mondays link party! Also, I’d like to invite you to come link up with me at my link party! I’d love it if you could stop by & link up some of your recipes! Here's the link: