Kerstkrans
(From Holland )

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Ingredients

Metric

  • (Pastry Mix)
  • 225g plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 25g butter or lard
  • 15g fresh yeast
  • or
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried yeast
  • 15g caster sugar
  • 5 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 125g butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • (Filling)
  • 120g ground almonds
  • 120g caster sugar
  • finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • 6 glacé cherries, halved
  • (To decorate)
  • 3-4 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 100g thin Lemon glace Icing
  • 6 glacé cherries, halved

Imperial / American

  • (Pastry Mix)
  • 8oz plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1oz butter or lard
  • 1/2oz fresh yeast
  • or
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried yeast
  • 1/2oz caster sugar
  • 5 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 5oz butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • (Filling)
  • 4 1/2oz ground almonds
  • 4 1/2oz caster sugar
  • finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • 6 glacé cherries, halved
  • (To Decorate)
  • 3-4 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4oz thin Lemon glace Icing
  • 6 glacé cherries, halved
  • Method

    To make the Pastry: Sift the flour and salt into a warm mixing bowl and rub in the fat. Blend the yeast with the sugar and water. Leave for 10 minutes to froth if using dried yeast. Stir into the flour with the beaten egg nd mix to a soft dough. Turn on to a floured board and knead lightly for about 5 minutes until smooth. Put in an oiled polythene bag and refrigerate for 10 minutes. (Or you can use pre-made/frozen puff pastry!)

    To make the Ring: Mix the almonds and sugar with the grated lemon rind. Work in sufficient beaten egg to make a soft but not sticky paste. Knead into a ball.

    Roll out the pastry into a strip 10 x 53 cm / 4 x 21 inches and 3 mm / 1/8 inch thick. Roll the almond paste into a thin roll 48 cm / 19 inches long. Press the cherry halves deep into it at equal intervals. Place the almond paste roll over the pastry strip, just above centre. Fold the upper edge of the pastry down over the roll. Damp the lower edge with water, curl it up over the roll to just overlap the first pastry flap and press the edges firmly together.

    Place a 15 cm / 6 inch saucepan lid on a baking sheet. Lift the pastry on to it with the join underneath and curl it round the lid. Remove the lid. Damp one end of the pastry roll with water and insert it in the other end. Press the join firmly and neatly together. Cover and leave to rise for 15 to 20 minutes.

    Glaze with beaten egg and bake in a preheated hot oven at 230°C / 450°F / Gas Mark 8 for 20 to 5 minutes or until well risen and golden brown. Meanwhile, heat the apricot jam with the water and sieve it. Brush the pastry with it and arrange the cherry halves in pairs in the middle, round the ring. Coat while hot, with very thin Lemon glacé Icing.

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