Joulutorttu: Finnish plum paste
Today Eva, author of Bake-Street , takes us to the Nordic countries with some pastries that will make you fall in love: made with a soft dough and filled with plum jam, they are ideal to accompany afternoon tea or coffee...! Or to start the day with a smile!
If there is something that fascinates me, it is spices and, among them, one of my favorites is cardamom, I think that is one of the reasons why I feel devotion to Nordic pastries.
The pastas that I am bringing you today are, without a doubt, a true delight for the palate, very aromatic, smooth and with a delicate and crunchy texture. Joulutorttu can be made with Danish pastry, a dough very similar to puff pastry flavored with cardamom, or with a sablée-type dough made with crème fraîche, making it very soft.
It is common to consume them at Christmas, in fact the translation of their name is "Christmas cake" also called Tähtitorttu "star cake", but I have always considered that recipes should not be pigeonholed since if they are so extraordinarily delicious, the good thing is to be able to Enjoy them whenever you want.
They are traditionally filled with a plum paste flavored with spices, and after baking they are dusted with icing sugar. In my case, I have kept the filling because I can assure you that it is wonderful, but for those of you who are not very devoted to this fruit, you can vary the filling with some jam that you like, such as orange, blackberries, apricot, apple... In the decoration I have chosen for using pearl sugar but you can always omit it and finish them with icing sugar if you prefer.
To bake them I used Buyer's perforated tray and silpat, which allow uniform heat distribution over the entire surface, resulting in a crunchy texture and preventing the base from browning excessively.
The recipe is inspired by one of Signe Johansen, who suggests this variation in the dough and it is undoubtedly a success.
INGREDIENTS (for 28-30 pasta)
For the mass:
- 110g cold unsalted butter
- 110g granulated white sugar
- 250 g of wheat flour for pastry
- 11 g of chemical yeast or impeller
- 75g creme fraiche
- 1 L egg yolk
- a pinch of salt (between 1 and 2 g)
- 8 cardamom pods
For the filling:
- 100g prunes
- juice and zest of one orange
- juice of ½ lemon
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 clove
- 4 cardamom pods
- ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon dark muscovado sugar
- 1 beaten egg
- pearl sugar
- demerara sugar
We prepare the dough for the cookies.
- In a mortar , mash the cardamom pods, remove the shell and crush the seeds to bring out the aromas. We booked.
- In a bowl , add the flour along with a pinch of salt. We grate the cold butter to facilitate the step of integrating it with the flour. We begin to mix both ingredients with the fingertips until we obtain a sandy mixture. Add the sugar and chemical yeast. Mix again to homogenize the ingredients.
- Add the crème fraîche together with the egg yolk and mix until you get a compact dough.
- We dump the dough on a work surface and begin to make the fraisage. This technique will help us to integrate the ingredients well without working the dough too much, so that we will avoid developing gluten and it becoming deformed during baking.
- To do this, we will place the dough on a work surface and slide the base of the hand or heel over it, sliding it forward. We collect the dough and repeat this step, we will do it until the dough is amalgamated. We will manage to unite the ingredients without overworking it, achieving a crunchy texture after baking.
- We form a disk with the dough, cover with film and put in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, we can leave it overnight if we wish.
We prepare the filling.
- In a saucepan add the chopped plums together with the orange juice and zest, the lemon juice, the sugar and the spices. Place over medium-low heat and stir with a spoon to help slightly crumble the plums into a smooth puree.
- We must obtain a "spreadable" texture, if we observe that it has dried too much in the heat and the texture is very dense, we can add a little more orange juice or water, at our choice, to soften it. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
We make the cookies.
1. We remove the dough from the cold and to favor the stretching of the dough without adhering to the work surface or the roller , we will do it between two sheets of baking paper. We will give a thickness of about 3mm, we can help ourselves with an adjustable roller .
2. Once we stretch the dough, put it back in the cold for about 30 minutes. It is very important to work with the dough very cold since otherwise it will be difficult to handle and it will easily lose its shape.
Buyer Perforated Tray and Silpat
3. Cut squares with a 5.5 cm side cutter. Remember that the colder the dough is, the cleaner and more perfect the cuts will be and the better we can unmold them.
4. We place the cookies that we are cutting on a perforated tray lined with baking paper . Once all the cookies are cut, put them back in the fridge for 30 minutes.
5. After this time we remove from the cold and proceed to fill them and give them the final shape.
6. With the help of a sharp knife, make four cuts from the corners to the center, but without cutting to the center so that the cookie can be held together. We have a small amount of plum puree in the middle and proceed to shape it into a grinder.
7. We will bring to the center the peaks that we have created by making the cuts alternating them, so that we will create a pinwheel. To seal the dough and help it keep its shape, we will gently press the union of all of them. Repeat the process with the rest of the cookies.
8. Refrigerate another 30 minutes before baking.
9. Preheat the oven to 180º C with heat up and down.
10. Prepare the perforated tray and place Buyer's silpat on it.
11. Remove the cookies from the cold, brush with beaten egg, decorate the center with pearl sugar and sprinkle the surface with demerara sugar. This type of sugar remains intact after baking without melting on the cookies.
12. Transfer to the tray with the silpat and place in the oven, at medium height, for 10-12 minutes or until they acquire a light golden colour. We take out and pass the silpat, with the cookies, on a cooling rack . Let cool completely before handling them, they are very delicate and we could break them.
13. Now we just have to prepare a good tea or coffee and enjoy these delicious cookies.
Gracias pedro Antonio, lo tendremos en cuenta! Un saludo, Claudia
Pedro Antonio Córdoba López said:
Me gustaría conocer más recetas Arabes y Marroquíes para cocinar pescado y sus especias.
Un saludo Pedro
Están deliciosas, Cristina, sin duda debes probarlas! Saludos!
Hola, me parece una combinación deliciosa, sin duda, para probarla!!
Un saludo, Cris