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Red Currant, Apricot, Strawberry and Sour Cherry Koláče With Streusel

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    Red Currant, Apricot, Strawberry and Sour Cherry Kolace With Streusel
  • 2/22
    Dough ingredients: egg and egg yolks, butter, flour, milk, powdered sugar and dry yeast
  • 3/22
    Lightly whisk the egg, egg yolks and warm milk in a small bowl to combine. Place the egg mixture, flour, salt, powdered sugar and yeast in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, and using the dough hook, knead for 1 minute.
  • 4/22
    Add the butter, and knead until the dough is shiny and smooth, about 7 minutes.
  • 5/22
    Brush the bottom and sides of a big bowl with the vegetable oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of flour.
  • 6/22
    Let the dough rise undisturbed, until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.
  • 7/22
    Dump the dough onto a floured surface and divide into 4 equal parts. Shape each piece into a bun.
  • 8/22
    Place the bun in the middle of a baking sheet, and brush each with ¼ teaspoon vegetable oil.
  • 9/22
    With your hands, gently flatten the dough into a circle about 10 inches in diameter, ¼ inch high, and with a ¾-inch edge.
  • 10/22
    Streusel ingredients: butter, sugar and flour
  • 11/22
    Streusel: In a small bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Work in the butter with your hands, until crumbled and pea-size.
  • 12/22
    Topping ingredients: ricotta mixed with an egg and sugar, apricots, strawberries, streusel, sour cherries and red currant
  • 13/22
    Red currant on top of ricotta
  • 14/22
    Apricot topping
  • 15/22
    Apricots with streusel
  • 16/22
    Strawberries
  • 17/22
    Strawberries with streusel
  • 18/22
    Sour cherries sprinkled with sugar
  • 19/22
    Sour cherries with streusel
  • 20/22
    Apricot Kolác
  • 21/22
    Sour Cherry Kolác
  • 22/22
    Strawberry Kolác

Text, photos and food cooked by Michal Martinek

Jul 16, 2015

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Red Currant, Apricot, Strawberry and Sour Cherry Koláče With Streusel

Yes, it looks like pizza, but don’t be fooled. Koláč (pronounced “colatch”), a common and popular Czech pastry item, is also made from a yeasted dough, but it’s topped with a variety of sweet ingredients and a crumbly streusel. Think strawberry, not pepperoni.

Koláče (plural, pronounced “colatchay”) typically come in circular shapes—from the medallion-size ones traditionally served at weddings, to those the size of a dartboard. Sliced into triangles, the larger ones are perfect for feeding a family of 10, or for competitive eating. When I was growing up in the Czech Republic, three other boys and I participated in a comical and slightly gross eating contest at a country fare. Two adults held a giant koláč while we all bit as fast as we could toward the middle—the goal being to reach the five-Czech-crown coin baked inside.

My recipe here makes a medium size—around 10 inches in diameter—yielding about six to eight slices each.

The topping comes down to what’s on hand or currently in season. During summer in my family, we try to use up all the fruit as it becomes ripe in the garden: first rhubarb, then strawberries, followed by red currant, sour cherries, and apricots. If wild blueberries from the local forest are sold by foragers on the side of the road, we jump at the opportunity and use those, too. In the fall, it’s about cooked apples and pears, plum jam, and poppy seed filling.

Bottom line: Use whatever fruit is fresh and ripe, but avoid thin-skinned kinds such as raspberries or blackberries, as those tend to break down easily and turn into a pool of juice and seeds.

The dough is very easy and quick to make. If you don’t have an electric mixer, roll up your sleeves, grab a wooden spoon, and use some elbow grease; after all, that’s still how my grandma does it. The rising time for the dough will depend on the temperature and moisture in the air; the warmer it is, the faster it will double in size. To get the nice round shape of koláč, it is best to bake them individually, each on their own baking sheet. 

O

  1. Makes 4 koláče
  2. Dough
  3. 1 egg
  4. 2 egg yolks
  5. 1 cup warm milk
  6. 3½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  7. Pinch of salt
  8. ¼ cup powdered sugar
  9. 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  10. 10 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
  11. ¼ teaspoon vegetable oil
  12. 1 egg for brushing dough
  13. Streusel
  14. 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  15. 1/3 cup sugar
  16. 7 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
  17. Topping
  18. 1 cup fresh red currants, destemmed
  19. 1 cup ricotta
  20. 1 egg
  21. ¼ cup powdered sugar
  22. 10 fresh apricots, pitted
  23. 2 cups fresh strawberries, destemmed and cut in half
  24. 2 cups fresh sour cherries, destemmed and pitted
  25. Sugar to taste

1

Make the dough. Lightly whisk the egg, egg yolks and warm milk in a small bowl to combine. Place the egg mixture, flour, salt, powdered sugar and yeast in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, and using the dough hook, knead for 1 minute. Add the butter, and knead until the dough is shiny and smooth, about 7 minutes. (Alternatively, knead the dough by hand in a large bowl, using a large wooden spoon or dough whisk, and following the same steps).

2

Brush the bottom and sides of a big bowl with the vegetable oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of flour. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel, and let the dough rise undisturbed, until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.

3

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, place two oven racks in the middle of the oven, and line four baking sheets with parchment paper. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and divide into 4 equal parts. Shape each piece into a bun, place it in the middle of a baking sheet, and brush each with ¼ teaspoon vegetable oil. With your hands, gently flatten the dough into a circle about 10 inches in diameter, ¼ inch high, and with a ¾-inch edge.

4

In a bowl, whisk the egg and set aside.

5

Make the streusel. In a small bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Work in the butter with your hands, until crumbled and pea-size.

6

Red currant topping. In a small bowl, mix the ricotta with the egg and powdered sugar. Spread the ricotta evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the currants evenly over the ricotta, and brush the edge with the egg.

7

Apricot topping. With your fingers, gently press each apricot half down and place, cut-side down, in a circle on top of the dough. Brush the edge with the egg. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of the streusel evenly over the apricots, and lightly press down.

8

Strawberry topping. Place the strawberries, cut-side down, evenly on top of the dough. Brush the edge with the egg. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of the streusel evenly over the strawberries, and lightly press down.

9

Sour cherry topping. Place the sour cherries evenly on top of the dough. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of sugar over the cherries. Brush the edge with the egg. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of the streusel evenly over the cherries, and lightly press down.

10

Bake the koláče—two at a time—in the oven until the edge is golden brown, about 20 minutes. For even baking, switch the baking sheets halfway through, placing the top one on bottom and vice versa.

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