VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm fat-free milk (110° to 115°)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2/3 cup apple cider or unsweetened apple juice
- 4 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 4 teaspoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add the sugar, butter, egg, salt and 3 cups flour. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning once to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and cider. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Stir in apples; cook 5-10 minutes longer or until crisp-tender. Remove from the heat; stir in cranberries. Cool to room temperature.
- Punch dough down; roll into a 15x12-in. rectangle. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Spread filling lengthwise down center of dough. On each long side, cut 1-in.-wide strips 3 in. into center. Fold strips at an angle across filling; seal ends. Cover and let rise until doubled.
- Beat egg and water; brush over dough. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Combine confectioners' sugar, water and extract; drizzle over loaf. Sprinkle with cranberries and almonds. Yield: 1 loaf (24 slices).
Originally published as Festive Fruit Ladder in Light & Tasty December/January 2008, p50