Flaky Kringle with Almond and Raisins (For Grandma, with Love)
July 13, 2020
She would have turned 104 this month.
So in honor of Grandma Agny, today I’m sharing my recipe for kringle, a flaky pretzel-shaped Danish pastry filled with almond and raisins.
As I’ve written about in the past, I was getting ready to drive to Grandma’s home to celebrating her birthday–with a stop at Larsen’s Bakery in Seattle to buy a kringle for her–in 2009 when I got the call from my mom with the news that Grandma had passed away unexpectedly. The weekend of her 93rd birthday.
Although I will always miss her so much, I’ve worked through the grief (indeed, this blog has helped mightily with that) and now try to honor her legacy of faith, love, courage, heritage, and hospitality as I embrace our shared Norwegian heritage and carry on some of her traditions and create others of my own.
So today, to celebrate that beautiful woman who was so full of love and generosity, I’m sharing with you my recipe for kringle, which I developed in her honor. It truly is one of my favorite recipes, as much for its taste as for its significance. Happy birthday, Grandma. I’ll always love you.
Various types of this pretzel-shaped pastry exist throughout Scandinavia. The word kringle or kringle can refer to a pastry or a cookie, depending on the recipe and the family. While some make a version of soft cookies by the same name, I grew up associating the term with the flaky, buttery pastry made with layers of pastry and remonce studded with raisins. That pastry was ridiculously buttery and rice, and utterly amazing.
To make the remonce, in a small bowl, mix the butter, marzipan, and sugar with a fork or with your hands until creamy.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out and stretch the dough into a skinny 6-by-48-inch rectangle. Spread the remonce lengthwise along one side, then sprinkle with raisins and roll up the dough, sealing it.
Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and form it into a pretzel shape. Cover and let it rise for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Brush the kringle with the beaten egg, then sprinkle pearl sugar and almonds on top. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden, tehn remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the pastry cool on the pan.
If you're using the icing, sift the confectioners' sugar into a medium bowl, then add the milk, melted butter, and almond extract and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over the kringle. Let set before slicing.
Save yourself a potential oven catastrophe by using a rimmed baking sheet to catch any errant butter.
2stickscold unsalted buttercut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
Warm the milk to 110 degrees F and pour it over the yeast and 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar. After it foams, add the egg, flour, the remaining sugar, and the salt. Knead a few minutes. Chill for 1 hour. Arrange butter slices next to each other between sheets of parchment and rolll very thin, approximately 6-by-16 inches.
Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface into a 16-by-24-inch rectangle. Arrange teh butter on one half of the dough, lenthwise, leaving space along the border. fold the other half of the dough over this and press to seal well so no butter seeps out during baking. Fold into thirds (like a business letter), wrap in plastric, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Rotate 90 degrees from teh position the dough had been in before chilling and repeat the process, rolling it out into a long rectangle and folding it into thirds, then refrigerating for an additional 30 minutes
Do this once more. Refrigerate until you're ready to use the dough, once again making sure to give it at least 30 minutes to get the butter cold enough.