Brunch Bunch

Classic Fresh Blueberry or Apricot Coffeecake Ring with Icing & Almonds on Top

April 13, 2017

Last time I chatted with longtime Minnesota State Fair “Supreme Ruler of the Kitchen,” Elaine Janas, the topic at hand was coffeecake. During that summer conversation, Elaine shared the recipe for her old-fashioned, yeast-raised coffee cake with apricot filling. Fast-forward to a week ago. With brunch guests coming, I decided to bake Elaine’s cake.  All was perking along nicely, dough rising on the counter, etc., until I discovered we were out of apricots (!) Phooey. But I did have three cups of fresh blueberries hanging around…so…I used Elaine’s recipe for the yeast cake and created my own blueberry filling to go with it. I think Elaine would approve: at 84, she’s still an innovator. Here then is the blueberry version, and, Elaine’s original apricot version.

Classic Fresh Blueberry or Apricot Coffeecake Ring with Icing & Almonds on Top
Serves 10
Beautiful yeast-raised coffee cake ring with apricot or fresh blueberry filling, drizzled with icing and sprinkled with almonds. Perfect for brunch or weekend morning gatherings!
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Ingredients
  1. Dough Ingredients
  2. 2 pkgs dry yeast
  3. 1/2 cup (110 to 115 degree) warm water
  4. 1/3 cup butter, slightly softened
  5. 1/3 cup sugar
  6. 1 tsp salt
  7. 1/2 cup hot milk
  8. 1 cup flour
  9. 2 eggs
  10. 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  11. 1/8 tsp mace
  12. 3 more cups flour
  13. 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  14. Blueberry Filling Ingredients
  15. 3 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and picked over to remove any stems
  16. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  17. 1 tsp cinnamon
  18. 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  19. 3 Tbsp Sure-Jell
  20. 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  21. Apricot Filling Ingredients
  22. 1 1/4 cups dried apricots
  23. 1/4 cup sugar
  24. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  25. 1 tsp grated lemon peel
  26. 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  27. 1/8 tsp salt
  28. Glaze Ingredients
  29. I cup powdered sugar
  30. 1 Tbsp milk
  31. 1 tsp butter
  32. 1/2 tsp vanilla
  33. 1/2 cup thinly sliced blanched almonds for garnish
Instructions
  1. Instructions
  2. Make dough: Dissolve yeast in warm water. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar. Add salt, hot milk and one cup of flour. Blend. Add dissolved yeast and two eggs. Combine. With wooden spoon, mix in 2 ½ cups flour, grated zest and mace. Knead until smooth, adding remaining ½ cup of flour as needed to make a soft dough, about five to eight minutes. Place in bowl greased with the oil; turn to coat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and kitchen towel. Let rise until doubled.
  3. Make apricot filling (OR make blueberry filling): Place dried apricots in saucepan and just cover with water. Cook until apricots are soft. Drain water. Finely chop the plumped apricots. Return to empty pan and toss with sugar, cinnamon and grated lemon peel. Cook until mixture thickens. Mix in lemon juice and salt. Set aside.
  4. Make blueberry filling (OR make apricot filling): Heat oven to 350. In an enameled cast iron pot with lid, or other lidded, ovenable glass casserole dish, combine blueberries with sugar and mix. Put lid on and pop pot into the oven for one hour. After an hour, stir in the lemon zest, cinnamon and Sure-Jell. Bake for another 20 minutes. Open pot, stir in lemon juice and allow mixture to cool, uncovered. Blueberries should be slightly thickened.
  5. Roll out dough: On a large piece of baking parchment, roll dough to a long, 7 x 22-inch rectangle. Spread 1 to 1 ½ cups of the apricot (OR blueberry) filling across the dough, leaving at least an inch and ½ of unspread dough around the edge. Roll up the long side like a jelly roll, carefully pulling dough up and over the filling, being careful not to tear. Crimp seam at bottom. Shape this long rope into a ring and pinch two ends together. Carefully transfer parchment paper with cake on top onto a cookie sheet. With sharp kitchen shears, make cuts into the ring: cut straight down to ½ inch from the bottom of the ring. Cover the cake with oiled plastic wrap and let rise 40 to 45 minutes. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
  6. Make glaze: Toward the end of the cake-baking time, whisk together powdered sugar with butter, milk and vanilla. Drizzle over finished cake while it is still slightly warm. Sprinkle with almonds.
Notes
  1. Blueberry skins have oxalic acid in them which attacks starch thickeners unless you cook them. The three tablespoons of Sure-Jell I added AFTER baking the fruit with sugar for 1 hour, and BEFORE baking the filling for an extra 20 minutes, thickened it up perfectly.
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