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Easter Tradition – In The Making

Easter is a time to celebrate with family and friends.

Most families have traditional favorites for Easter gatherings, but it is always good to try something new. It might just become a tradition!

Welcome spring with one of today's choices: Orange-Glazed Coffee Cake, Classic Orange Chiffon Cake (easier version using a cake mix), Lemon Blueberry Cheese Tart.

ORANGE-GLAZED COFFEE CAKE

1 pkg. active dry yeast, 1/2 c. warm milk, 1/4 c. warm water, 1/2 c. fresh orange juice, 1/2 c. sugar, 1/2 c. ricotta cheese, 1 T. grated orange zest, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 lg. egg, beaten lightly, 3-1/2 to 4 c. flour

glaze: 1 lg. egg, beaten lightly

icing: 1 c. confectioners' sugar, 1-1/2 to 2 T. fresh orange juice

In large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir the warm milk, orange juice, sugar, ricotta cheese, orange zest, salt and egg into the yeast mixture. Using electric mixer with paddle attachment set on low speed, beat 2 c. flour into yeast mixture until wet dough forms. Beat in remaining flour, 1/2 c. at a time until stiff dough forms. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking. Place dough in a large greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover loosely with damp cloth and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours. Grease 10-inch springform pan. Punch down dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead for 1 to 2 minutes. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 20-inch long rope. Braid ropes together. Coil braided dough in prepared pan; tuck ends under. Cover loosely with damp cloth and let rise in warm place until almost doubled, 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush dough with egg glaze. Bake until top of the cake is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Turn cake out onto wire rack to cool slightly. To prepare icing, in small bowl stir together confectioners' sugar and orange juice until smooth. Spread icing over warm coffee cake. Serve warm.

CLASSIC ORANGE CHIFFON CAKE

cake: 5 egg whites, 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar, 1 yellow cake mix, 3 egg yolks, 3/4 c. orange juice, 1/2 c. oil, 1/4 c. frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed, 1 tsp. grated orange zest

glaze:

2 c. confectioner's sugar, 3 T. orange juice

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Cake: Place egg whites and cream of tartar in medium bowl. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 to 3 minutes. In second large bowl place cake mix, egg yolks, orange juice, oil, orange juice concentrate and orange rind in large bowl Beat on low speed 1 minute. Scrape bowl with rubber spatula. Increase speed to medium and beat 2 minutes. Batter should look well blended. Turn beaten egg whites out on top of batter; fold whites into batter until mixture is light but well combined. Pour batter into ungreased 10-inch tube pan, smoothing top. Bake in 325 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown and top of cake springs back when lightly pressed with finger. Remove pan from oven and immediately turn cake (still in pan) upside down on the neck of a glass bottle to cool for 1 hour. Run long sharp knife around edge of cake; invert onto wire rack; then invert again onto serving platter, right side up. Glaze: Place confectioners; sugar and orange juice in bowl and beat with electric mixer 1 minute. Spread laze over top and sides of cake. Let glaze set 20 minutes.

LEMON BLUEBERRY CHEESE TART

almond crust:

1/2 c. slivered almonds, 1/4 c. packed brown sugar, 1 c. flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, 6 T. cold butter, cut up, 1 T. cold water

lemon cheese filling:

2 8-oz. pkg. low fat cream cheese, softened, 3/4 c. sugar, 1 lg. egg, 1 T. grated lemon zest, 2 T. lemon juice

topping: 3 T. strawberry preserves, 1 c. fresh blueberries

Crust: heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom with cooking spray. Place almonds and sugar in food processor; pulse until nuts are finely ground. Add flour and salt; pulse until blended. Add butter; pulse until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle with water; pulse until dough comes together. Press dough evenly onto sides and bottom or prepared tart pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden. Filling: Beat cream cheese and sugar 1 minute until blended and smooth. Beat in egg, lemon zest and juice until blended. Spread into hot crust; bake 20 minutes more, until just set. Cool completely on wire rack; cover and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. Before serving spread preserves over tart; top with blueberries.