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Apricot Couronne

Apricot Couronne


250g Shipton Mill organic white flour flour no4, plus extra for dusting

5g salt
8g instant yeast
50g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

135ml warm full-fat milk

1 medium egg, lightly beaten

For the filling
120g ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped
150ml orange juice (freshly squeezed or from a carton)

90g unsalted butter, softened
70g light muscovado sugar
35g plain flour
60g raisins
65g chopped walnuts
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
200g marzipan

To finish
50g apricot jam
100g icing sugar
50g flaked almonds


1. The night before, for the filling, put the apricots into a bowl, pour on the orange juice and set aside to macerate.

2. The next day, tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the butter, milk and the egg and mix together. Continue to mix until all the flour is mixed in. Use the mixture to clean the inside of the bowl and keep going until you have a soft dough.

3. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and begin to knead. Keep kneading for about 6 minutes.until the dough starts to form a soft smooth skin.

4. When your dough feels smooth and silky, put it into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise until at least doubled in size. This is at least 1 hour, but could be 2 or 3 hours.

5. While the dough is rising, make the filling. Drain the apricots. Cream the butter and muscovado sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in the drained apricots, flour, raisins, walnuts and orange zest.

6. Line a baking tray with baking parchment or silicone paper.

7. Turn the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface. Without knocking it back, roll out the dough into a rectangle, about 33 x 25cm. Turn the dough 90° if necessary, so you have a long edge facing you. Spread the apricot mixture evenly over the dough. On a floured surface, roll out the marzipan thinly and lay it over the apricot mixture. Roll up the dough tightly like a Swiss roll. Roll it slightly to seal, then cut it almost in half lengthways, leaving it just joined at one end. Twist the 2 dough lengths together, then join the ends to form a circular ‘crown’. Transfer to the baking tray.

8. Put the tray inside a clean plastic bag and leave to prove for 1 hour, or until the dough is at least doubled in size and springs back quickly if you prod it lightly with your finger. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 200°C

9. Bake the couronne for 25 minutes until risen and golden. Place on a wire rack.

10. Gently heat the apricot jam with a splash of water, sieve and brush over the warm loaf to glaze. Mix the icing sugar with enough water to make a thin icing, drizzle over the loaf and sprinkle with flaked almonds. Leave to cool.