I spied these in a German cooking magazine last year and they made me smile. These individual lemon cream, apricot topped raisin loaves of bread are a perfect festive flavorful addition to any Easter breakfast, brunch or lunch.
The base is a simple German raisin bread recipe. The ovals are topped with a rich mixture of mascarpone and quark with some sugar and lemon zest added for flavor. Quark is not easily found outside of Europe. In order to make quark properly, the process takes hours. A quick imitation recipe for German quark is included below.
You can use fresh or canned apricot for this recipe.
- 2 + 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 packet of active dry yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm milk
- 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup dark raisins
- 2 large egg yolks
- 8oz of mascarpone cheese
- 8 oz of quark (see recipe below)
- 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 12 apricot halves (you can use fresh, peeled halves or the peeled canned version)
1. Place the all-purpose flour in a large bowl and make an impression in the middle.
2. Dissolve the yeast in 4 tablespoons of the lukewarm milk. Stir the softened yeast into the all-purpose flour. The result should look like shredded dough. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and store in a warm place for 20 minutes.
3. Retrieve the mixture. Sprinkle the white granulated sugar and salt over the top. Cut the butter into pieces and disburse them over the dough.
Add the rest of the milk. Knead the dough with your hands until it becomes smooth. You can also use a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment for this step. Add the raisins
4. Once again, cover the bowl with a dish towel and store in a warm place for 60 minutes. The size of the dough should double in this time.
5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
6. Retrieve the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface Divide the dough into 12 portions. Roll each portion out into a flat oval. If you have a large egg shaped cookie cutter, you can use that to create more precise ovals. I used a 5+1/2 inch by 4-inch oval cutter.
7. Transfer the dough ovals to the parchment lined baking sheets and let rest for another 30 minutes.
8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.Lightly beat the egg yolks together in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to coat the dough ovals.
9. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
10. Remove the bread from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
11. Whisk together the mascarpone and quark. Whisk in the 3 tablespoons of white granulated sugar.
12. Add the freshly grated lemon zest and combine.
13. Use a pastry knife or a butter knife to spread the lemon cream mixture out onto the tops of each oval.
14. Peel the fresh apricots, cut in half and discard the pit. Alternately, drain the apricots in the can and pat each half dry. If you like, reserve the juice for future use or discard.
15. Place one apricot half on top of each bread centered in the middle.
16. Heat the apricot jam briefly in the microwave or on the stovetop. Use a small pastry brush to coat the apricot half with the apricot jam.
17. Plate and serve.
A quick recipe for making quark:
7 ounces ricotta cheese
1-ounce sour cream
Place the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Makes 8 ounces.