I’ve used my favourite rough puff pastry with yeast, which is easy to make, but requires a little patience for resting time. All the sweetness comes from the dried fruit in this recipe. These cruffins are probably best made in cooler weather – if it’s too hot, the butter will leak from the pastry.
This hybrid is a cross between a croissant and muffin – flaky pastry formed in a muffin tin.
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz/3⅓ cups) plain bread or baker’s flour, plus extra for dusting
- 2 tsp instant dried yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 400 g (14 oz) butter, chilled and cut into 1 cm (½ in) pieces.
- 150 ml (5 oz) iced water
- 150 ml (5 oz) cold full cream (whole) milk
- 1 earl grey tea bag
- 75 g (2¾ oz) dried figs, sliced
- 40 g (1½ oz/¼ cup) sultanas (golden raisins)
- 35 g (1¼ oz/¼ cup) raisins
- 45 g (1½ oz/⅓ cup) slivered pistachios or almonds, plus extra to garnish
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Proving time: 1 hour
For the rough puff, mix the flour, yeast and salt together in a large bowl. Add the butter and toss through the flour with your fingers until coated. Add the water and milk, and mix and press the mixture together to form a rough dough, being careful to leave the butter in lumps. Do not knead. On a clean work surface lightly dusted with our, press the pastry into a square about 3 cm (1¼ in) thick. Roll it out to a rectangle about 20 cm x 40 cm (8 in x 15¾ in) in size (or 20 cm x 30 cm/8 in x 12 in if you are making a half-quantity). It will seem very messy but don’t worry, it will all come together as the process continues.
Fold the dough in by thirds, as you would to fold a letter, brushing off any excess our as you go. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and then repeat the rolling and folding instructions, using extra flour to stop the dough sticking, and to lightly coat any bits of butter that stick out. It will still look quite rough at this stage with visible lumps of butter, but it should look more like a dough now.
Wrap the dough well in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Repeat the above process twice more. The dough is ready to use after it has been chilled three times. The finished dough should be smooth and elastic, with ne slivers of butter between the layers of dough. If you cut through the dough with a sharp knife, you will see the layers quite clearly.
Lightly grease a 12-hole 80 ml (2½ fl oz/⅓ cup capacity) muffin tin.
Place the tea bag and fruit in a small heatproof bowl. Add just enough boiling water to cover the fruit and set aside to plump for 30 minutes or until cool, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving the liquid and fruit separately, and set aside.
Divide the pastry dough in half, then, working with half at a time, roll the dough out to a 30 cm x 40 cm (12 in x 15¾ in) rectangle, 5 mm (¼ in) thick.
Scatter with half of the soaked fruit and half of the nuts, then roll the pastry into a tight scroll from one of the long edges. Using a sharp, well-floured knife, cut the scroll in half lengthways. (This may look and sound strange, but stick with me.) Now, carefully cut each length into three portions, being careful not to spill the fruit everywhere.
Take each portion, twist and curl it around into a nest-like shape and nestle it snugly into the prepared tin. Repeat the process with the remaining dough, fruit and nuts. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap and place the tray in a cool place for 45–60 minutes or until risen by about one third.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F (fan-forced).
Bake for 15–18 minutes or until the cruffins are well-risen, golden and flaky. Remove from the oven and cool for 2 minutes in the tin before carefully removing to a wire rack. Brush with the reserved earl grey syrup from soaking the fruit, sprinkle with the extra nuts and serve immediately.
These cruffins are best served warm from the oven, however they will keep for 2–3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat before serving.
This recipe is from Incredible Bakes (Smith Street Books). Photography by Chris Middleton.