It is a tradition in Finland, I understand, to not serve holiday baked goods until Christmas Eve. When these preserve filled stars or Joulutortut come out, it signals the beginning the høytiden.
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Finnish Christmas Stars
I read in The Great Scandinavian Baking Book (from where I found this recipe) that the day after Christmas is a day for visiting and comparing the quality of stars from one household to the next! Well, we certainly have not perfected this recipe yet but it is one of our favorites.
2 cups pitted prunes
water to cover
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
1 cup softened butter
1 slightly beaten egg
2 tablespoons milk
Pearl Sugar or crushed sugar cubes for garnish
Cover the prunes with water in a saucepan and simmer slowly until very soft. Puree and add the lemon juice and sugar. Cool.
For the pastry, mix the flour and baking powder. Stir into the whipped cream and knead in the softened butter. Shape dough into a ball and chill 1 hour.
On a floured board, roll out pastry to 1/4 inch thickness. Fold dough into thirds, folding first one third over the center, then the opposite third over the center. Roll out to seal the layers. Turn dough and fold again into thirds, making the dough into a perfect square. Roll out, retaining the square shape to make an 18″ square.
Cut into 3″ squares with a sharp knife. Make cuts (approx. 1″ – 1 1/2″ long) from the corners toward the center of each square. Place a spoonful of the prune filling onto the center of each square. Shape into pinwheel stars by lifting every other corner toward the center onto the filling.
Cover baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease them. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place filled stars on the prepared baking sheets. Mix the egg and milk and brush stars with the glaze. Sprinkle with pearl sugar or crushed sugar cubes.
Bake 7 – 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
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Thank you so much for joining me this week. I hope you have enjoyed the recipes I have shared – our favorites for the Christmas season and all year!
It’s a holiday hopscotch! Join the iHomeschool Network bloggers for more Christmas themed posts all week!