Here we are once again, in the never-ending winter, struggling to keep ourselves occupied till it’s safe to go outside and assess the damage. It’s been an eventful 24 hours and it’s not over yet. The best thing for me to do is stay in the kitchen and find something to bake. Actually this recipe occurred to me a few days ago. It’s been a long time since I made it but since I still have a few jars of homemade apple butter and a couple of bags of apples from our trees, it sounds like the perfect thing to put together while the snow flies and the wind howls. Plus it’ll make the house smell so good even my 19-year-old will rouse from his comatose sleep and venture downstairs to see what’s baking.
These may look like bakery danishes but they are not made with pastry dough, so they’re more similar to the texture of a sweet roll. They literally take just minutes to stir together, and then you let the refrigerator work its magic to develop flavor. Work in the cold butter by hand or use pulses on a food processor. Be careful with a processor so there are little pieces of butter in the dough after processing. Warm the half and half ever so slightly in the microwave, until it feels just barely warm to your finger. It’s a sticky dough that’s easiest to roll out and work with when it’s cold, so make half and keep the other half in the refrigerator until you’re ready for it. Got a crowd to feed, or want to experiment with different fruit fillings? This recipe is easy to multiply.
We experimented with several fruit fillings – apple, cherry, blueberry, raspberry, even a little lemon pie filling. All are good. There’s no fancy method to prepare filling. Use chopped fresh or frozen apple slices and heat till the slices are soft and water is evaporated, then stir the slices to break them up a little, add 2-3 tablespoons of sugar and the apple butter or applesauce. A bit of cinnamon and cloves are a good touch. Let the mixture cool before using. For other fruit just mash a few pieces slightly and add whole fruit, then add sugar sparingly, tasting as you add. Drizzle the finished twists with a powdered sugar/milk icing and warm a bit before serving.
– Joan, 14 April 2018
- 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
- 5/8 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons (75 grams) cold butter, cut into pieces
- 1½ teaspoon instant yeast
- 2/3 cup (158 grams) half and half or whole milk, warmed slightly
- 2 beaten egg yolks
Combine flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter till just small pieces remain. Stir in yeast. Mix the beaten egg yolks with the warmed cream and add to the flour mixture. Don’t overmix it, just get it together. Cover and refrigerate for about 18 hours.
Remove from refrigerator and divide dough into two pieces. Roll each piece into an 6″x18″ rectangle, then cut into 1″ wide strips, 6″ long. To form, place one strip on another and twist together. Pinch ends together and overlap the ends as shown to provide a base for the filling. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place formed twists on the sheet, cover and set aside to rest for 1½-2 hours. They won’t rise noticeably but will rise in the oven. Even there they don’t swell much, but they still bake up fine.
When ready to bake, place a spoonful of cooled filling in the center of each one. Bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool before drizzling each with a powdered sugar/milk icing. These are best when served slightly warm.