There’s something about pastry that I love. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an equal opportunity baker – cakes, pies, cookies, they’re all pretty awesome. But it’s that flaky, buttery, crisp exterior and the soft, not-too-sweet interior that makes pastry so special. So today I’m sharing my Blueberry Lemon Coffee Cake Rings as one of many pastry based desserts that are near and dear to me.
I know making pastries can seem intimidating. They often require particular techniques when handling the dough, and most pastries also call for yeast. But, as a self taught baker, I can assure you, that they are not difficult at all. All that’s required is a little patience, practice, and attention to detail.
These Blueberry Lemon Coffee Cake Rings are made with a laminated dough. That means that the dough is folded and rolled out a few times to achieve many, tiny, thin layers of pastry. The dough is also enriched with butter. A lot of butter.
I decided to plait these coffee cake rings because I thought they looked pretty. It’s such a simple design, but when you coil the plait up into a ring, it magically turns into something infinitely more special. It also provides a nice little nest for the blueberry lemon filling.
Why blueberry lemon filling? I realize that blueberries are completely out of season, but I wanted a little taste of summer. With 8 feet of accumulated snow piled up in our yard, I’ll take a taste of summer any way I can get it. And the lemon pairs to beautifully with blueberries so I figured they’d make the perfect filling to sit on top of these beautiful pastries.
Speaking of the 8 feet of snow outside, it’s been a month of not running outside. It’s so depressing, and I have to admit that my poor family is also suffering. Let’s just say when I don’t go running, I get a little moody. While I enjoy yoga and can tolerate (if forced to) a treadmill, there’s nothing like getting exercise outside in the fresh air. So this week I started snowshoeing, and I LOVE it. Our town has a cross-country/snowshoeing trail, and it’s the perfect way to get some aerobic activity outside with all of this snow on the ground. Here’s a shot of me in my snowshoes from this morning.
Our whole family is planning to hit the snowshoeing trail this weekend, and I think a post snowshoeing treat like these Blueberry Lemon Coffee Cake Rings would be perfect with a large mug of cocoa!
If you’re craving a more cake like coffee cake made with blueberries, I’m sharing a recipe for Mini-Blueberry Coffee Cakes over at my friend, Susan’s blog, Oh My Creative. You can check the recipe out by clicking here.
- For the Pastry:
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 16 tbs unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup warm water (between 105 to 110 degrees F)
- 4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup whole milk, warm (between 105 to 110 degrees F)
- 3 large eggs at room temperature (2 for the pastry and 1 for the egg wash)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- For the Filling:
- 1 tbs corn starch
- 2 tbs water
- 2 1/2 cups blueberries (I used frozen blueberries)
- 3 tbs granulated sugar
- 3 tsp lemon zest
- For the Glaze:
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tbs honey
- 2 tbs milk
- For the pastry, place the butter and flour in a medium bowl. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour, leaving noticeable chunks of butter still present in the mixture.
- In a large bowl, mix the yeast and warm water. Let it stand for 5 minutes to activate the yeast. Once it is bubbling, add the milk, 2 eggs, sugar, and salt.
- Then add the flour and butter mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.
- Over the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.
- While the dough rests, make the filling.
- Stir together the corn starch and water in a small bowl. Set it aside.
- Place the blueberries and sugar in a sauce pan. Add the cornstarch mixture. Cook over medium heat until the mixture boils. Allow the mixture to thicken.
- Once thickened, remove the pan from the heat. Add the lemon zest and stir to combine.
- Set the filling aside to cool completely.
- Once the dough is done resting, divide it in half. (I find it easier to work with smaller pieces of dough rather than one large piece.)
- Working with one piece of dough at a time, on a floured surface, roll the dough out into an 8 by 10 inch rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds, like you would fold a business letter before placing it into an envelope. Cover the dough and allow it to rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. While this batch rests, do the same to the second portion of the dough.
- After the dough rests for 20 min, roll it out into another 8 by 10 rectangle. Fold it into thirds again. Allow it to rest in the fridge for another 20 min.
- Once the dough is ready, divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Divide each piece into thirds, and roll each third into a 9 inch rope. Plait, and then attache the end of the plait to create a ring.
- Continue to do the same for all remaining pieces of dough. There will be a total of 12 rings.
- Place the prepared rings in a warm place to rise for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Once the rings have risen, divide the filling equally between the pastries.
- To make the egg wash, beat the remaining egg in a small bowl.
- Brush the pastries with the glaze.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.
- Allow the pastries to cool completely.
- While they cool, mix all the ingredients for the glaze.
- Drizzle the glaze on the completely cooled pastry rings.
This post is linked to these awesome parties.