Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ginger Pear Coffee Cake

This is a really fantastic dessert; I know it looks tedious, but its very good and you're sure to be proud of your creation {the pictures don't do it justice!}.

I found the original recipe from Allrecipes, but changed a few things.  I wanted more fruit and changed some of the fruit used.  You could still add more fruit or experiment with the fruit you love most.  Be creative, make it what your family likes!

I also like to add some turbinado sugar to the top before baking; it gives it that extra crunch and sweetness.  

What is turbinado sugar...
According to turbinado sugar is: (pronounced [tur-bih-NAH-doh]) sugar is a semi-refined, light brown, coarse crystalline sugar with a molasses flavor. It gets its name from the method used in making it: sugar cane juice is evaporated and spun in a turbine or centrifuge to remove most of the molasses and to produce large crystals. It can be used as a sweetener to replace table sugar in coffee and tea or as a topping for cookies, cakes, muffins, and pies.

Ingredients for Dough:
-2 1/4 tsp yeast
-1/4 cup warm water
-1 cup warm buttermilk {or stir 1 tbsp vinegar into 1 cup milk; let sit 5-10 minutes before using}
-1/4 cup sugar
-2 tbsp butter, melted
-1 egg
-1 tsp salt
-3 cups flour

Ingredients for Filling:
-3 fresh pears, peeled and diced
-2 cups dried apricots, chopped {you could use raisins; or half apricots and half raisins, or 1 cup raisins and 2 cups apricots}
-2 fresh peaches, diced
-1/2 tsp grated lemon zest (only the yellow)
-1 tbsp ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
-1/4 tsp ground cloves
-1 tbsp butter, softened
-1/4 cup sugar

Ingredients for Topping & Glaze:
-1 egg, lightly beaten
-about 1/4 cup coarse sugar, optional {I like turbinado raw sugar}
-1 cup powdered sugar
-1/4 tsp vanilla
-3 tsp milk

1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, let sit about 5 minutes.
2. Add warm buttermilk, sugar, melted butter, egg, salt and 1 1/2 cups flour.
3. Beat just until moistened, about 2 minutes.
4. Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour.
5. Turn dough out onto a slightly floured surface
6. Knead until elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
7. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to coat.
8. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
9. Meanwhile, for the filling; mix  together pears, apricots/raisins, peaches, cinnamon, ginger, lemon peel and cloves.  Let sit until dough is ready.
10. Punch down dough, turn onto a lightly floured surface.
11. Roll dough to a 9 inch by 16 inch rectangle {I think I went a little larger}.
12. Spread softened butter over dough.
13. Sprinkle fruit mixture over the dough.
14. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar over fruit.
15. Roll up jelly roll style, starting on the long side.
16. Carefully, place seam side down on a greased and/or lined baking sheet.
17. Form roll into a ring and pinch ends together to seal.
18. With a kitchen shears or very sharp knife, cut from the outside edge to about 2/3 of the way in toward the center of the ring at about 1 inch intervals.
19. Separate strips slightly and twist to allow filling to show.
20. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour.
21. Brush dough with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if using.
22. Bake in oven preheated to 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes  until golden brown.
23. Cool on wire rack {I just used the parchment to move it from the baking sheet to the wire rack}.
24. For glaze, combine powdered sugar, vanilla and milk until smooth; you can add more powdered sugar to thicken or more milk to make glaze more fluid.  {You want it thin enough to drizzle but not so thin that it will just run off of the dough.}
25. Drizzle glaze over ring.
26. Enjoy!
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