This Cream Cheese Tea Ring makes a lovely breakfast or brunch pastry or a wonderful accompaniment to a cup of coffee or tea.
It makes a perfect morsel for Christmas morning, which is when I tend to make it -as you can see in the photos!
This is actually like scones on steroids. The dough is very scone-like and then there is all that luscious filling!
You could substitute puff pastry or something like Pillsbury Croissant dough. The filling is based on a pastry sheet that will roll out to about 10" X 14".
It makes about 12 slices so you can serve it to a good size crowd. And it is rather rich so you don't need a large serving.
You can switch up the dried fruit in the filling to suit your taste. I have used dried strawberries and citron before. This time is used dried blueberries and citron and raisins. You could use dried cranberries and raisins, dried apricots and raisins - whatever you like or happen to have on hand.
It keeps well. The cream cheese stops the dough from drying out.
The glaze is optional. I have made it with and without the glaze. The glaze starts to push this into the dessert-like stratosphere. For breakfast or brunch timeframe I actually prefer it without the glaze. The cream cheese and fruit make it plenty sweet!
Cream Cheese Tea Ring
- 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup dried blueberries or dried fruits of your choice finely diced
- ⅓ cup raisins
- ⅓ cup citron
- ⅓ cup almond slices (set aside to sprinkle over dough just before baking)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsps sugar
- 4 tsps baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup butter cubed
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup icing sugar
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract (or 1 teaspoon amaretto liqueur)
- 1 tablespoon milk (use only 2 tsps milk if you used 1 teaspoon of liqueur)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla till creamy and set aside.
- Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Stir to mix evenly. Cut the butter in with a pastry cutter until it is uniformly the size of peas. (Or pulse dry ingredients and butter in a food processor).
- Add the milk and stir until it is incorporated. Use your hands if needed to work it into a ball. Turn out onto a floured surface and roll out to a 10 X 14" rectangle.
- Spread the cream cheese mix evenly over the dough leaving about a half inch along the long sides.
- Distribute the dried fruits evenly over the cream cheese.
- Gently roll up the long edge to make a seam on the top. Wet your fingers if necessary to help make the seam meld. Gently roll the dough over so the seam is on the bottom.
- Bring the free ends together forming a circle. Wet your fingers to help meld the ends together in seamless circle.
- Using 2 spatulas, gently lift the ring and transfer it to the baking sheet.
- Make about 12 diagonal slashes evenly spaced around the top of the dough ring. Gently lift and twist the slashed dough a bit so it is slightly raised. Sprinkle the almond slices over the top of the dough. Get lots in the dough openings and some spread over the top of the ring.
- Bake 35 minutes till dough is golden brown. Allow tea ring to cool at least 30 minutes before glazing.
- To make the glaze mix the icing sugar, almond extract (or liqueur if using) and the milk until you have a glaze you can pour. Drizzle over the top of the tea ring.
- Slice between the diagonal slices in the tea ring and serve.