Tuesday, 19 November 2013

What do you get if you cross a mince pie with a croissant?

Answer: Rugelach (singular 'rugela'), Yiddish pastries with origins that date back centuries, made with cultured milk or cream, traditionally filled with dried fruit, nuts, cinnamon and honey. Nowadays the buttermilk or sour cream is usually replaced by cream cheese and the honey with jam (usually apricot). Sometimes chocolate chips replace the sultanas and sometimes chocolate hazelnut paste replaces the jam. A few people leave out the jam altogether, and I have no doubt that just spreading them with British style fruit mincemeat would work very well.

The dough divided and ready to be chilled.
I'd never heard of them before, but discovered them when I was looking for recipes that used walnuts.

Dried fruit, our home grown walnuts, sugar and spice mixed together for the filling.
This is my take on them, made with ingredients I had in the house:

 A pastry disc with filling spread on top prior to cutting and rolling.

Ingredients:
200 ml lait fermenté (buttermilk, drinking yoghurt, lait ribot)
250 g butter
¼ cup sugar + 8 tablespoons extra
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups plain flour
¼  cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup sultanas
1 cup walnuts, chopped
4 tbsp mild runny honey or fruit jelly (I used homemade sour cherry and redcurrant jelly)
A beaten egg for egg wash (or milk)

Method:
  1. Cream the butter and ¼ cup sugar.
  2. Add the vanilla.
  3. Beat in the flour alternating with the buttermilk.
  4. Divide the dough into 4, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  5. Make the filling by combining 6 tablespoons of sugar, brown sugar, half the cinnamon, and the sultanas and nuts.
  6. Roll out one of the dough balls into a 20 cm disc. Keep the rest refrigerated.
  7. Spread the dough circle with a tablespoon of honey or jam.
  8. Sprinkle half a cup of filling evenly over the disc and press it lightly into the dough.
  9. Cut the disc into quarter wedges, then each quarter into 3 wedges.
  10. Starting on the outside and working to the point, roll each wedge up and place on a lined baking sheet.
  11. Repeat 6 - 10 for the other 3 balls of dough and refrigerate the uncooked pastries for 30 minutes. (Alternatively you can divide the dough in half and roll it into rectangles which you then roll into a cylinder and cut so the pastries take the form of pinwheel spirals, but they are not so traditional.)
  12. Heat the oven to 200°C.
  13. Brush each pastry with the wash and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon and sugar.
  14. Bake for 20 minutes then cool on a wire rack.
Although the pastry is quite well behaved it is extremely soft, so it is crucial to take the time to chill it periodically as outlined in the recipe.

 Rolled pastries ready for their pre-baking spell in the fridge.
This recipe makes 48 small pastries, and Simon and I scoffed half of them in a single evening.

The finished rugelach. 
Consume with a small glass of homemade liqueur de noix for extreme satisfaction.
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Au jardin hier: I cleared the tomato bed and prepared a bed for the yellow Stuttgarter onions that Tim very kindly procured for me. I hoed, weeded, cultivated and raked, taking advantage of the fact that it has not rained for 3 days. I ended up wearing fairly substantial mud galoshes, but although it was 3°C and the fog never lifted it was surprisingly pleasant down in the potager.
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A la cuisine hier: Rabbit sausages from the local rabbito, mixed root vegetable mash and steamed buttered spinach, followed my version of the Tourangelle gateau médiévale served with creamy custard.

7 comments:

  1. I am not a lover of mincemeat or mince pies but some of the other fillings sound good.

    Now we have the sausage skins I will buy a lapin and make some sausage... IF I can convince Elizabeth it is something else! C

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  2. Swine!
    You published the recipe...
    I've been very carefully avoiding looking it up!!!!

    But blooking* at the last picture I can see why you scoffed them...
    look yummy"

    Pauline, next on the baking list, please!!!




    *blooking = looking at blogs....
    actually it was a typo!!

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  3. The rugelach look delicious. I take to that the scoffing evening wasn't on a '2' day...

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  4. Gaynor: Purleez! Even we have more discipline than that!

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  5. We could try it with some home-made mincemeat... I love the idea of bunny snags - a lapin gris de Touraine would do nicely, tho they are rather cute. P.

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  6. P: way too cute and fluffy for sausages.

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