For as long as I can remember, my mom made what she called Stollen every year at Christmas. Traditionalists would not recognize our family’s rendition since Stollen is similar to fruitcake. Ours would be described best as a pastry with its tender sweet roll dough cradling fresh or canned fruit, nuts, and spices and sweet glaze topping.
Shaped like a Swedish Tea Ring, it makes a beautiful presentation. Smaller rings can be made for holiday gifts or afternoon tea with friends.
Blueberry Christmas Stollen
- 1/2 recipe Sweet Roll Dough (see below)
- 1 can Wilderness More Fruit Blueberry Pie Filling
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds , toasted (optional)
- parchment paper (optional)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract - or - 1/2 vanilla extract
- Strain pie filling in a colander with fairly large holes. Gently shake colander from side to side to remove as much of the thick syrup, so that mainly the fruit remains. Lightly chop berries to make a very chunky paste.
- Roll 1/2 Sweet Roll Dough into rectangle, 15x9 inches, on a lightly floured surface. Spread blueberries over dough leaving 1 inch clear of edge of dough; dot with butter. Roll up tightly, beginning at 15-inch side. Pinch edge of dough to seal well. Gently stretch roll to make even.
- Shape into a ring on a parchment lined baking sheet, seam side down (if not using parchment paper, butter baking sheet). Pinch ends together to seal the ring. With scissors, make cuts 2/3 of the way through the ring at 1 inch intervals. Gently separate the sections just a little. Let rise until double, about 40 minutes.
- Heat oven to 375° (if using sliced almonds, this is a good time to toast them while waiting for pastry to rise). Optional egg wash: Just before baking, whisk 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of cream together (milk or water can also be used). Using a pastry brush, gently brush the stollen with the egg wash to give the finished pastry a shiny, golden appearance.
- Bake stollen until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Check after 15 minutes of baking; if ring browns too quickly, cover loosely with foil while it finishes baking.
- Remove from baking sheet onto wire rack to cool. Once cooled, glaze and sprinkle with sliced toasted almonds, if desired.
- Mix 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk and 1/4 almond extract until glaze is smooth. Place in a Ziploc® bag and press down to a bottom corner. Snip the corner when you are ready to glaze and simply squeeze desired amount of glaze onto the ring.
- Store loosely wrapped in aluminum foil or in a storage container with the lid slightly askew.
Sweet Roll Dough
- 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup lukewarm whole milk (scalded then cooled)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup butter , softened but not melted
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 large egg
- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in milk, sugar, butter, salt, egg and 2 cups of the flour. Mix until smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.
- Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Punch down dough. Shape, let rise and bake as directed in Christmas Stollen Recipe
- This recipe makes enough dough for 2 Swedish Tea Rings (Christmas Stollen)
- For whole wheat dough, substitute half of the flour with King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour.
- Make-ahead Tip: After kneading, the dough can be covered and refrigerated in greased bowl no longer than 3 days.