Laura Raposa’s Portuguese Grandmother’s Italian Fruit Roll

Pastry

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • ½ cup milk

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of electric mixer. Add vanilla and eggs.

Sift the dry ingredients together. Add to the wet ingredients in three parts, alternating with milk.

When the mixture has come together, gather it up and knead lightly and briefly on a floured surface. Compress the dough into a disc, wrap airtight and chill.

Filling

  • 30 ounces dried fruit (pitted prunes, raisins, apricots, figs, currants), chopped
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, or to taste
  • 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries, chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

Place the chopped mixed fruit in a large bowl and just cover with boiling water. Cover with a lid and let sit for an hour or until soft. Drain thoroughly. Stir in sugar to taste, followed by the cherries, nuts, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

Assembly and Baking

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Divide dough into four equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll one piece out into a 5”x12” rectangle about ¼ inch in thickness.

Spread a portion of the filling down the lengthwise middle third of the dough. Turn up the short edges just to cover the filling, and then flap over the longer edges to make a flat log. (Leave the envelope a bit roomy so that the filling may swell in the oven without bursting the log.) Transfer log to a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Repeat with the other pieces of dough. (You may have filling left over.)

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Stir together, and brush on fruit rolls.

Bake rolls for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely on the pans, and then carefully transfer to racks for glazing.

Glaze

  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or lemon juice

In a small bowl, mix ingredients, adding water by drops until glaze consistency. Drizzle or brush fruit rolls with glaze. Decorate with holiday sprinkles, if desired.

When the glaze is completely dry, wrap rolls in plastic wrap or transfer to holiday-decorated bakery bags. Fruit rolls freeze well, tightly wrapped, but save the glazing step for after thawing.

Makes 4 fruit rolls, yielding 50-60 fat slices.

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