Name this pastry!
January 15, 2012 5:11 AM   Subscribe

What is the proper name and original recipe for this traditional family pastry?

I want to know the proper name of my family's 'Grandma Cosimano's Breakfast Kuchen', which my family makes every holiday. This is the only name we know it by... And to make it more confusing, we believe that my great-grandmother immigrated from Florence, Italy and not Germany (like the name, Kuchen, would suggest). Also, has it been changed to fit an American family's taste? What is the original recipe for this?

The bottom crust is like a pie crust, the middle has either cinnimon/sugar or almond paste in it, and the top is a pâte á choux dough. The top then has frosting on it, with optional cherries on top. The shape is a baking-sheet long oval that takes up half the width, and pieces are sliced from it. Below is the recipe:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon water
Make into a pastry ball, divide into two parts, and flatten onto a baking sheet. Optional almond paste or cinnamon/sugar on the dough.

Heat 1 cup water with 1/2 cup butter. Take off heat, add 1 cup flour. Mix in 3 eggs, one at a time. Add almond extract and put half of the dough on the base dough. Bake for 1 hour, frost when cool. Add nuts and cherries on top.

Any ideas? This has been bugging me for my entire life.
posted by Peter Petridish to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Cook's Country had this recipe in their most recent issue (I had never heard of it before and here it is again. Maybe it's a sign I should start making it?). They call it Danish Puff Pastry, and say that it was developed by Betty Crocker in 1961 "seemingly to capture some of kringle's fancy, layered appeal without the complex, time-consuming process of laminating."

The article said that all the recipes they collected for it were virtually identical, so you probably have what is pretty close to the original recipe.
posted by Bresciabouvier at 5:33 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've seen this called an Iced Kringle (here's another yummy looking one, that makes me drool: Almond Kringle). The nuts and cherries are there, I bet, to make it more festive. Sounds delish!
posted by thylacinthine at 5:37 AM on January 15, 2012

The pastry is often called pate a choux. I think it originates from France, where the recipe is used for crockenbouche and other gateaux made from cream pastry and then filled with different types of puddings or creams. The large ones have whipped cream, the smaller ones have chocolate pudding, usually. The individual pastries may be eaten singly or mounded together with other ingredients.
posted by francesca too at 7:49 AM on January 15, 2012

My grandma made something basically identical that our family called Swedish Kringler.
posted by vytae at 11:40 AM on January 15, 2012

My grandmother also made this, and called it kringler. (She came from German-descended Idaho farmers, but if it was Betty Crocker...)
posted by linettasky at 2:50 PM on January 15, 2012

it's possible this is the original recipe, or that betty did change it. if the latter, then it's possible the original was made with danish pastry dough, which as you see here, seems to refer to what is essentially croissant dough and is something of a production number to make, like adding a yeast component to puff pastry. however, i also have a recipe for danish pastry in a rather older book that is basically a non-fatted dough rolled out and then stretched carefully over the backs of the hands to create a giant sheet of what is essentially phyllo dough; the sheet is then buttered lightly and sprinkled with various delicious toppings and rolled/folded to create what we think of as danishes, but also to make pastries more like this one.
posted by miss patrish at 3:39 PM on January 15, 2012

Response by poster: Gasp! I confronted my mother about this pastry, and she first had it when she was 9 or 10 years old (which makes sense with 1961) and that she thinks her grandmother got it from a magazine and then put her own spin on it. Also, I shouldn't tell anyone else that it came from a magazine and not a family tradition. So, internet, please keep this a secret -- just between you and me.
posted by Peter Petridish at 1:24 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

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