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7 Dec 2017

Festive Dutch Christmas Bread Recipe | Childhood Favourites

 

Christmas is my favorite time of the year,  there is nothing I don’t love about it!
Along with the decorations, the presents and the jingles, more than anything Christmas to me means eating a lot of heart-warming food.
Pass me the pig in blankets, the hearty roast with potatoes and the desserts!
Oh, the desserts!  ♥

 Growing up, every Christmas Eve I would spend with my small family which included my mom, my sister and my dog. Although we were a cosy bunch, it didn’t stop my mum from cooking up a storm! Christmas is a time (in my family) to indulge a little. The food is still healthy, theres just so much of it! My mom would never fail to bring to the table an impressive turkey with trimmings paired with sweet wine and filling sweets. It never failed to be a nourishing, as only your mothers home cooking can be.

The next morning she’d continue to be busy in the kitchen making this delicious Christmas bread.

She calls it Kerstkrans Bread.christmas-bread-recipe-fruit-dutch-traditional It’s a nourishing traditional dutch fruit bread that is strangely oval-shaped (it doesn’t have to be), filled with organic dried fruits and has a tang from the orange zest in it! I don’t normally like cherry but for whatever reason I absolutely love it when it’s added into this bread! If there’s fruit in it, its healthy right?
I am so excited to share with you, the original recipe to this fantastic and reasonably healthy treat!  My mom has happily given me the step by step recipe that you’ll definitely enjoy and hopefully share with your loved ones this festive season! I may even make it on the next health retreat coming up, as a cheeky dessert!

Ingredients: 

       Almond Paste:

  • 350g of peeled and blanched almonds.
  • 150g caster sugar
  • Zest from 1 Lemon or Orange (combo
  • 1 egg

        Puff Pastry 

  • ½ cup butter – frozen
  • 1 cup flour, sifted
  • 5 tablespoons ice water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg

Decorations 

  • 1 tablespoon apricot jam
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Fresh Cherries

Instructions:

Step 1 :  Create the Almond Paste. 

Begin to grind your almonds and slowly add the sugar and egg. The secret to my mum’s recipe is blend a little of your maraschino cherries into the mixture! It’ll tie the flavour in with the cherries you’re topping the pastry with!
After the cherries, add in the zest.
Once you see a paste-like mixture form, store it in your fridge to rest.

Step 2 : Make the base of the Pastry.

Sift your flour into a bowl and add a pinch of salt.
After, you can begin to add the butter that should ideally be frozen or at least in soft blocks as puff pastry gets its crisp from the butter melting in the oven.

Step 3 : Add the Water.

Slowly add your water and continue to mix after each tablespoon.
Your mixture should slowly come together to create sticky mixture but doesn’t cling to the bowl.
From there you can mould your mixture into a ball and let it rest in your fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Step 4:   Aerate your Pastry 

Take your pastry out from your fridge and begin to roll it out into a rectangle.
Fold the pastry inward 3 times and put it back into the fridge to chill. This just makes sure your pastry is light and fluffy!  You can repeat this step one more time after your first fold, but it isn’t necessary.

Step 5 : Adding your Almond Paste

Before you begin this step, preheat your oven to 425 degrees °F. Traditional Krestkans will have a wreath shape however if you don’t have a round baking tray, you can always shape it to be a long strudel shape pastry instead.
My mum, she likes to roll the pastry into a flat rectangle and then adds the almond paste into the centre of the pastry. She then begins to fold the edges of the pastry over it, sealing the little pockets.
Once you’ve added your almond paste to your pastry, take your baking tray and glaze it with the egg and also glaze your pastry.

Step 6: Bake!
Place it into the oven and it should be done in about 20-25 minutes. Make sure you check at the halfway point to ensure a brown but not burnt crust

Step 7 : Decorate! 
Once your pastry has had time to cool, you can then glaze it with the apricot jam and sprinkle on those cherries! Add however much you like!

 

That’s it, you’ve made yourself a delicious bread to share for Christmas! You can start the diet later.

 

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