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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription LLC

www.cathyskitchenprescription.com

 

Very Berry Cherry Wreath

(Please note photos above as a guide to the recipe.)

 

This cheery fruit-filled wreath feeds a holiday crowd. An alternative to brandy-soaked, caloric, high-emission fruitcakes, Very Berry Cherry Wreath wraps date-sweetened dough around a mound of fresh berries, cherries, and grapes for a delightfully fruity, juicy dessert.  Bursting with colors and flavor, kind to the climate and the waistline, this pretty wreath makes a beautiful centerpiece for the holiday table.

 

Prep 2 passive hours for the bread to rise, plus 45 minutes

Bake 45 minutes                

Serves 8 to 12

 

Dough

1 cup date paste from 1½ cups whole pitted dates, any variety

1 cup unsweetened soymilk, warmed to body temperature

2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast

3 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour, plus more for dusting

 

Filling

2 cups blueberries

2 cups cherries, pitted and cut in half

2 cups seedless red grapes, cut in half

1½ cups wild berries or fresh currants whole, or blackberries, cut in half

 

Glaze Choices (choose one glaze)

Either 2 red bell peppers, cut in quarters, roasted, blended, thinned with water

Or ½ pomegranate molasses, thinned with water

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. To make date paste, add pitted dates to a bowl, just cover with water and microwave for 2 minutes. Alternatively, simmer on stovetop for 5 minutes. Cool. Throw in a high-speed blender and purée until very smooth.
  3. To make the red bell pepper glaze, dry roast the quartered peppers on a tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes or until peppers are soft and collapsing and are lightly toasted on their edges. Cool. Transfer the peppers and any juices they produced to a high-speed blender. Add two tablespoons of water and purée the peppers to make a smooth sauce. We will brush coats of this sauce on the pastry to glaze it. If it is too dense to smoothly apply with a pastry brush, thin with a minimal amount of water.
  4. Warm the soymilk in microwave for 30 seconds or on the stovetop. It should be no warmer than 100°F. Pour the warm milk in a medium bowl and sprinkle yeast over the surface. Stir and wait 10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
  5. Add ½ cup of date paste and mix well. Use a Danish dough whisk or a wooden spoon and then a clean hand to mix the flour and make a dough.
  6. Gather the dough into a ball and turn it out on a board, dusted with flour. Knead for 10 minutes.
  7. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm corner, a proofing box, or an oven with a proofing setting. Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, roughly 1½ to 2 hours.
  8. Use a curved plastic dough scraper to transfer the dough to a large cutting board, dusted with flour. Stretch and fold the dough several times, rotating it 90 degrees with each stretch and fold.
  9. Line a largest rimless cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Place the parchment on the counter and sprinkle it with flour. Place the dough on the parchment and using a rolling pin, roll dough into a large circle about ¼ inch thick. 
  10. Place a 5 ½ - inch diameter bowl, inverted, or a lid or cutter in the center of your dough circle and press down lightly to mark the outline of an inner circle. Do not cut through the dough, however.
  11. Cutting through the dough this time, use a knife and straight edge to cut 4 lines through the center of the inner dough circle only, as if you were cutting 8 equal slices of pizza. To space them evenly, cut the first line vertically, the second horizontally, and then cut each quarter in equal halves. After we fill the pie, we will fold each of the triangular tabs back over to cover the fruit filling.
  12. Using an angled icing spatula spread a coat of date paste over the entire dough surface.
  13. Mix all the fruits together in a bowl and pile it generously onto the outer dough circle only, leaving a 1-inch dough border. 
  14. Fold the dough border up around the fruit to create a vertical edge to hold the baking fruit and juices.
  15. Clean and dry the angled spatula. Use it to gently slide under each central dough triangle, lifting and pulling it gently back over a section of fruit. Press its tip lightly to seal it to the outer dough rim.  Repeat with each triangle.
  16. Apply the first of three glazing coats. Using a bristle brush apply red pepper or pomegranate molasses glaze on the dough only.  If your glaze is too dense to brush easily, thin it with a minimal amount of water. If your dough is very tender and tears easily,  apply this first coat of glaze after the first 10 minutes of baking. 
  17. Bake for 40 minutes or until fruit is soft and juicy and crust is beginning to brown.
  18. Remove the baking sheet. Apply the second coat of glaze, this time to both the dough and the fruit filling. Return the baking sheet to the oven for the final 5 to 10 minutes of baking. The wreath is ready when its fruit is soft, its juices actively bubbling, and its crust is golden.
  19. Remove the wreath from the oven. Brush the dough only with a final coat of glaze. Allow The juices from the cooked fruit to congeal as it cools before attempting to slice it.
  20. When cool, run the angled icing spatula under the wreath to free it up from the parchment paper before transferring it to a serving platter.
  21. Very berry cherry wreath is delicious served at room temperature, but its flavor is enhanced when it is warm. Before serving, reheat it in a 200°F oven for 15 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very Berry Cherry Wreath

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