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Christmas Pull-Apart Bread

1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. butter or shortening
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. (1 packet) dry yeast
1 egg, beaten
3-3 1/2 cups flour

Filling and glaze:

1/2 cup pecans
2 1/2 cups apples, peeled
1 tsp. Fruit Fresh
1/2 cup red and green maraschino cherries
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar


Whole red and green maraschino cherries, not drained too thoroughly. The coloured juices will flow and help decorate the finished bread.

Bread: Heat milk, butter, 2 Tbsp. sugar and salt until butter is melted. Cool to 115-105 F. Add yeast; let rest 10 minutes, or until yeast is active. Mix in beaten egg and 1 cup flour; let rest 10 minutes. Stir in flour to stiff dough. Knead, adding flour, until dough is elastic. Place in greased bowl and let rise until double in bulk.

Filling: In a food processor, chop together the pecans, the apples, Fruit Fresh and the cherries. Mix in 2/3 cup sugar and the cinnamon. There should be about 3 1/2 cups of filling. Just before forming the dough, drain and reserve excess liquid. Forming the dough: Divide the dough in half. Cut each half into 16 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball; roll out to 2 1/2 inch circle. Place 1 tsp. filling in center of circle, form into a ball, dip in melted butter, place in greased tube pan. As each layer of balls is placed in the pan, tuck whole red and green maraschino cherries against the edge of the pan and then scatter 1/4-1/2 cup filling over the layer. Repeat until all of the dough and filling is used.

Note: Forming the balls with a perogie-maker is quicker and much cleaner. They will look nice placed spoke-wise in the tube pan. In the third layer in the pan, place the balls so the crimped edge is down, as the rising dough may pull it open. Let rise. Bake in 350 F oven on low rack of oven 40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes and invert onto plate. Heat the reserved liquid from the filling and mix 1 1/2-2 Tbsp. with 1 cup powdered sugar to make a glaze. Dribble over the warm cake.

Submitted by Carl B. Mathis, Charlottetown

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