Recipes from Home: Placek (Polish Coffee Cake)

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Main Ingredient: Bread
Menu Part: Dessert
Serves: 7 8-in. pans

Virginia Ohanian, Culinary Services Director, St. Andrews Estates North, Boca Raton, Fla., says: My great grandmother was from Poland and she made this amazing coffee cake. She was always there when we arrived home from school to greet us with some warm rolls or fresh coffee cake. It was such a comfort food. It’s a family thing where everyone gets together and all of us kids knead the dough and mix the crumb topping and slice the apples to put on top.

Ingredients

1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup whole milk
2 tbsp. Crisco
2 lbs. butter
1 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. dry yeast
7 whole eggs
8 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 tbsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. lemon rind, grated
1 cup raisins, plumped in water
1 12-oz. can apricots, drained

Crumb Topping:
9 tbs. butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. vanilla
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped

Fondant Glaze:
5 to 6 cups confectionary sugar
2 cups hot water

Steps

1. Scald milk on medium-high heat while stirring with wooden spoon so mixture does not burn.

2. Add Crisco, butter and salt. Keep mixing until melted. Cool to room temperature.

3. Mix yeast according to package directions. Set mixture in warm place to activate and develop foam.

4. Beat eggs until light.

5. Add sugar to eggs, beating until mixture is light.

6. Sift and add 2 cups flour to egg/sugar mixture.

7. Add yeast mixture.

8. Add vanilla and lemon rind.

9. Slowly add remaining 6 cups flour.

10. Fold in raisins.

11. Knead dough, incorporating more flour as needed until dough is elastic.

12. Put mixture in large, greased bowl. Let dough rise until doubled in size.

13. Punch down to collapse dough. Then let dough rise again.

14. Divide dough into 7 8-in. cake tins.

15. Moisten dough with few drops of water.

16. Thoroughly mix together all ingredients for Crumb Topping. Cut butter into dry ingredients to pea size.

17. Sprinkle Crumb Topping on dough.

18. Arrange apricot slices on top of Crumb Topping.

19. Bake at 325°F for 50 to 60 mins., or until toothpick comes out clean.

20. Cool. Mix together confectionary sugar and water for Fondant Glaze. Drizzle cakes with Fondant Glaze.