Wednesday, 12 December 2012
A very Dutch Celebration Christmas Wreath
My Dutch friend, Cobi, who has lived in Yorkshire for over 30 years, is busy making her delicious Celebration Christmas Wreath to her Grandma’s (Oma’s) special recipe. It’s very similar to the Celebration Stick she makes at Easter.
The Christmas season is already in full swing in Holland as on 5th December St Nicholas (Sinterklass) arrives in Amsterdam with Black Peter (Zwarte Piet) in a boat from Spain, bringing presents and sweets for the children. The adults wrap their presents up in an imaginative way for family and friends, rather like our Secret Santa presents. You write a poem (Cobi says it can be humorous but not unkind) to highlight the receiver’s personality. They sometimes organise a treasure hunt around the house with succinct messages to lead you to your gift. Christmas Day is usually a quieter time with a church service and family meal.
Celebration Christmas Wreath
Marzipan (almond paste) filling:
125g ground almonds
1 egg (Meryl’s Tip : Since this recipe is cooked in the oven, I’m happy to use a raw egg in the filling. Otherwise use Grandma Abson’s Almond Paste recipe and bind the mixture with water and lemon juice)
Finely grated rind of a lemon
Juice of a lemon (If a stronger flavour is preferred, then use more lemon rind).
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until it forms a paste. Cover and leave to stand for an hour.
Puff pastry: you can make your own or use readymade puff pastry.
And if you wish : Glazed cherries (mixed colours) and strips of orange peel
Roll out the pastry thinly, about ½ cm thick, into an oblong shape of about 35-40 cm long and 12-15 cm wide. Roll the almond mixture (marzipan) into a long sausage shape and place it on the pastry. Wrap the pastry around the mixture and shape it into a circle. Slightly wet the sides and ends and push one end into the other to stick it together. Place the wreath on a baking tray. Brush with beaten egg. To finish off the decoration, cut out some holly shapes, stars or bells and lay them on the top of the wreath. Place in a hot oven, about 220C, 425F, Mark 7 for about 30-40 minutes. Allow to cool.
When completely cold, warm 4-5 tbsps of apricot jam in a pan until it’s runny. Spread the jam over the baked wreath. For a final decoration, you can use glazed cherries and orange peel strips as you wish.
I love trying out new Christmas recipes and this is certainly a hit. We love anything with Almond Paste! What’s your favourite one for this time of year? Leave me a comment and we can try it out.