Saturday, 30 March 2013
I wanted to make a special bread for our Easter Breakfast this year . . . something which would remind me of the beautiful fruit breads that my mother's sister Thelma would send up to us each Easter. She was a dear saintly woman, who managed to raise five children all on her own. She worked really really hard, on her knees scrubbing other people's floors and cleaning other people's homes. It was so kind of her to make this for us each year and it was something we always really looked forward to.
It is only as an adult I have come to realize the magnitude of her gift to us and the sacrifice it must have taken. I know that she must have been really tired at the end of her work days and that it would have taken her a lot of effort to make these breads for us, not to mention a chunk of what must have been a very tight food budget. She was an excellent baker, and they were always so delicious . . . glazed with icing and studded with candied fruits.
I am not much of a bread baker . . .and I'll be the first to admit it. I have never quite been able to master the art of baking a good loaf . . . that's why I love quick breads so much. I have always enjoyed a lot more success with those. These Fruit and Nut Scrolls are absolutely beautiful . . .
Created by using a lovely buttermilk scone type of dough that you press out to a rectangle and then spread with a lovely moist fruit and nut mixture . . . chopped apricots, prunes, sultanas, currants, cranberries, chopped apple . . . flaked almonds . . . all moistened with rich calvados (you can use orange juice if you wish), sweetened with some soft light brown sugar and then flavoured with some cloves, cardamom and a bit of cinnamon and orange extracts.
Rolled tightly and then cut into slices and baked. Taken warm from the oven, they are then glazed with an orange marmalade glaze and then drizzled with a sweet icing drizzle. All round these are quite simply fabulous and the perfect thing to offer your family as a part of their Easter morning breakfast!
*Fruit and Nut Scrolls*
An easy scone dough, rolled out flat, slathered with a spiced fruity mixture, rolled, sliced and baked until golden brown. A simple marmalade glaze and icing drizzle completes these delightfully delicious baked treats.
450g self raising flour (3 cups)
2 tsp caster sugar
50g of butter (3 1/2 TBS)
330ml of buttermilk, approx (1 1/3 cups)
For the filling:
40g sultana raisins (1/4 cup)
35g dried currants (1/4 cup)
35g of chopped dried apricots (1/4 cup)
50g chopped dried prunes (1/4 cup)
40g dried cranberries (1/4 cup)
1 medium apple, peeled and finely chopped
2 TBS flaked almonds
1 heaped dessert spoon of orange marmalade
1 TBS Calvados
1/3 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon extract
1/2 tsp orange extract
50g of soft light brown sugar (1/4 cup packed)
For the glaze:
2 TBS orange marmalade
2 tsp water
55g icing sugar, sifted (1/3 cup)
1 tsp hot water
Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 5. Line a large baking tray with foil. Butter the foil. Set aside.
To make the filling combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Mix together well. Set aside.
Sift the flour and sugar into a bowl. Drip in the butter and rub it in with your fingertips until you have a mixture that resembles fine bread crumbs. Add enough buttermilk to give you a soft, sticky dough. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently, until smooth. Pat the dough out to a rectangle about 12 by 18 inches. Spread with the filling. Roll the dough firmly up from the long edge like a Swiss Roll. Cut into 3/4 inch thick slices. Carefully transfer them to the prepared pan leaving about 2 inches in between each.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and well risen. Remove from the oven. Heat the orange marmalade and water gently in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Brush this mixture on top of the hot buns. Remove immediately from the pans to a wire rack to cool. Whisk together the icing ingredients until smooth. Drizzle this over the cooled buns. Best served on the day they are baked.