Marzipan, to me, is more of an art than an edible, although some people do crave the almond taste. Mom was the one who taught us how to roll the little pieces of candy into various fruit shapes. Dad would mix the paste at the bakery and bring it home, where we would spend most of the weekend working on it. The first thing to do was to cut the dough into small uniform pieces by rolling into logs about one inch around and cutting three at a time into bite-size pieces. Mom insisted on keeping them small. She always looked at the big marzipan in other places and would say, “They must have been in a hurry. How ugly.” She was a real critic, but I agree with her. The smaller pieces look more delicate and attractive.
To make the marzipan dough:
1 cup almond paste
1½ cups powdered sugar
1 egg white
Cream almond paste and sugar.
Add egg white and mix until smooth.
To form the fruit:
Apples—Roll into a ball, slightly taper one end by rolling with forefinger to form apple shape, place on parchment paper and poke a hole in the top with a wooden skewer to accept the plastic leaf later.
Pears—Just like apples, except leave a dent in the side as you roll it and elongate the top end a bit.
Peaches and plums—The same as apples, except leave round and score a crease down one side with the back of a paring knife.
Oranges—Roll into balls on the bumpy part of a cheese grater, poke a hole for the clove stem.
Strawberries—Done on the same grater as the oranges. Start with a ball and then taper with forefinger into the shape of a strawberry. Poke hole in end for leaf.
Bananas—The hardest one to make. First, roll into small tube and taper the ends with your forefingers. Now flatten the sides of the tube to resemble the facets of a banana. Finally, as you place the banana on the sheet, give it its curve.
After the fruit was formed, we painted and glazed it as soon as we could. Painting the fruit was where the art came in. We used an airbrush or small paintbrush to apply the diluted food coloring. The proportion of coloring to water is where you need your artist’s touch. Strawberries and plums need a lot of color, while items like peaches need just a blush. Then a glaze of corn syrup and hot water was applied to seal the candy. Finally, after drying, they had to be packed in those little white paper candy cups. Plastic leaves were inserted when appropriate, like apples, peaches, pears, and plums.
To paint the fruit:
Apples—You can paint these all green, all red or blush one side with green and the rest red.
Peaches—The crease was blushed with red and the remainder with a peach color.
Pears—Could either be light green or blushed with red.
Oranges—I think you know.
Strawberries—You want a real concentrated red for these. As you paint these, you’ll notice the color collecting in the little holes formed by the grater. When they dry they will look like strawberry seeds.
Bananas—Paint yellow and tip the ends with black.
3 packs dry yeast or 1 ½ oz. fresh yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
3 cups all purpose flour
½ cup water
½ cup milk
2 packs dry yeast or 1 oz. fresh yeast
1 cup egg yolks
½ cup sugar
2 tbs. salt
1 cup shortening
1 cup butter
All purpose flour (varies)
10 oz. fruit mix
8 oz. chopped red cherries
8 oz. chopped pineapple
7 oz. dark raisins
7 oz. yellow raisins
5 oz. sliced almonds lightly toasted
1 tbs. spice mix (Cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice)
Make a sponge from the first three ingredients. Let proof until it begins to fall. Add the next 8 ingredients and the flour to make a soft dough. Mix well and knead about ten minutes. Add remaining ingredients and mix until just incorporated. The stolen was scaled at 13 oz. for small, 1# 3 oz. for medium, and 1# 12 oz. for large. Form dough into loaves and place on parchment lined or lightly greased pans for baking. Proof until doubled. Bake until golden brown. Five minutes after the stollen is out of the oven, brush them with melted butter. When cool, dust with powdered sugar.
1)I have not tested this recipe at home, but there is no reason for it not to work. You’ll have to let me know if you have problems. I hope not.
2)As in the yellow dough you can use about ¼ of the flour as winter flour to give the dough a softer texture.
3)The fruit mix can be found at grocery stores. At the bakery, the fruit mix, pineapple, and cherries came packed in a sticky syrup which we washed off. After weighing the three and chopping, the fruit was washed and drained in a colander to remove the syrup. If not, the syrup would turn the dough a funny pink color.
4)When mixing in the fruit, do not overmix or the fruit will turn the dough that funny pink color
The following recipes are just for fillings and require pie dough – one piece of rolled out dough for open-faced pies, two pieces for pies with a crust top.
The fruit—apples, cherries, blueberries and strawberries—came frozen in thirty-pound containers packed in a 10 percent sugar solutions. Peaches and apricots came in ten-pound cans. We would add food starch, sugar, flavors, color and water to make the fillings. Because you can’t purchase fruit like this, you can either use a prepared canned filling from the store, which I don’t recommend, or you can use fresh or frozen fruit and make your own. It’s not that hard.
Open-faced fruit pies were topped with either cinnamon or yellow crumbs before baking.
If you want a crust top, roll the second piece of dough slightly larger than the top of your pie.
Cut a few decorative holes for vents.
After putting the fruit filling of your choice in the bottom, place the crust on top and crimp the edges to seal.
You can brush the top with egg wash for a better shine, but this does toughen the crust. Do as you see fit.
You can also dust apple pies with cinnamon sugar for a homey touch.
You can also use the scrap dough to cut decorations with cookie cutters, such as leaves, apples or stars, and affix to the top crust with egg wash.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place a baking sheet on lower rack to catch any juices that might drip while baking.
Place pie on upper rack of oven and bake at 425 for the first ten minutes; then drop the temperature to 375 degrees to finish—approximately 40 to 45 more minutes. You want a nice golden crust.
Pull from oven and cool in an open window, keeping a close watch for the neighbor kids.
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1½ Tbs. cornstarch
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. vanilla (optional, but I recommend it)
6 cups peeled, cored and sliced Granny Smith apple wedges
Mix everything except the apples and vanilla.
Sprinkle the vanilla over the apples.
Pour in the dry mix and blend well.
This makes enough for one pie.
When using fresh apples, do not mix ahead or apples may brown.
Fresh Berry Filling
1 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. quick tapioca
4 cups fresh cherries, blueberries or raspberries
1 Tbs. lemon juice
Combine sugar, salt and tapioca.
Combine berries and lemon juice.
Mix both combined items together.
These fillings can be prepared ahead and left in the fridge. Be sure to mix well before filling the pie.
I love to buy fresh berries in season and pop them into freezer bags and then straight into the freezer. They make excellent pie and pastry fillings all winter.
Frozen Berry Filling
1¼ pound frozen berries
1 Tbs. lemon juice
½ tsp vanilla (optional)
1¼ cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3 Tbs. quick tapioca
Combine berries, lemon juice and vanilla if using. Mix dry ingredients, add to berries and mix well. Can be used just like fresh berries.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
½ cup sugar
1 Tbs. cake flour
1/8 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
4 Tbs. corn syrup
1 15-oz. can pumpkin
1½ cups milk
½ Tbs. melted butter
Combine the first four ingredients and blend in the eggs.
Add the remaining ingredients one at a time, mixing after each addition.
The mixture can be used now or stored in the fridge.
To make the pie, pour filling into a partially baked shell.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake for approximately 1 hour. You want a nice golden crust.
Shortbread Dough Cookies
1 extra large egg
½ cup sugar
2½ cups winter flour (all-purpose flour will also work)
1/8 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. lemon extract
½ cup shortening
½ cup butter
This cookie recipe does not follow the creaming method.
Start by whipping the egg and sugar (at medium speed) until fluffy
with the paddle attachment.
Add flour, baking powder, salt and lemon extract.
Scrape bowl well and mix by stirring.
Cut in shortening and butter a little at a time, but do not over mix.
Refrigerate before using.
Shortbread dough is probably the most versatile cookie dough, as several cookies can be made from the same base dough. Shortbread sugar cutouts were the most popular. They came as stars, hearts, Christmas trees, shamrocks, Easter eggs, pumpkins, etc. All were topped with colored sugar.
Shortbread Sugar Cutouts
On a floured surface, roll the dough to a thickness of ¼”.
Cut with a cookie cutter.
Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Brush the cookies lightly with egg wash to moisten—if the cookies get too wet, the sugar will dissolve.
Cover with colored sugar.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place baking sheet on upper rack and bake lightly for approximately 8 minutes until just brown around the edges.
I first ran across this recipe at the CIA.
It is a personal favorite of mine.
Bloom 1 pack dry yeast
in 1/2 cup warm water.
In your mixer's mixing bowl combine:
3 cups A.P. flour
1/2 cup minced onion or 1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
2 Tbs. sweetener (Honey, sugar, agave nectar....)
Add bloomed yeast with:
1 cup cottage or ricotta cheese
1 large egg
Mix with dough hook on low speed for 8-10 min.
Fold in 3 tbs, fresh or 1 tbs. dried dill.
Transfer to greased bowl, cover, and let rise.
When doubled, punch and divide into pieces.
Roll pieces into a ball and place on oiled baking
sheet. You could use parchment instead.
Cover rolls with towel and let rise until doubled.
Brush lightly with egg wash and bake in 350 oven
until golden brown. 12-15 minutes.
Remove and let cool slightly,
While still warm, brush with melted butter and
sprinkle lighly with coarse sea salt if desired.
Eat em' while they're hot!