I love ruggies -- making them, serving them to guests and especially eating them. The dough is flaky and jam-packed with flavor. Pairing the dough with the apple confit. is genius (if I do say so). Both elements are amazing on their own; paired together they become a new family tradition-think apple pie all rolled up and compact. Make lots of confit to have on hand all season.
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Using a food mill set over a bowl, process the apples until completely pureed. Set aside while making the caramel.
For the caramel: In a small saucepan, combine 3/4 cup of the sugar with the apple cider and lemon juice. Set over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to high and continue cooking until the mixture turns amber. Lower the heat and carefully add the pureed apples, the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and the salt. Stirring continuously, cook for another 5 to 6 minutes over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. This will make the confit thicken when it cools.
Pour the hot caramelized apple confit into a shallow pan to cool to room temperature. Chill overnight until thick and jammy.
Dump the dough onto a work surface and press together, forming a mound of dough. Divide the dough and shape into 2 equal disks.
Lay 1 disk of dough between 2 sheets of parchment. If you need to use flour, use it sparingly. (Rolling the dough between parchment is necessary because the dough is soft and sticky.) Flip the dough and parchment several times when rolling, releasing the paper from the dough and replacing it.
Roll the disk into a 10-inch round, using an inverted bowl to act as a guide to cut perfectly. Once rolled, place the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Repeat with the second disk of dough and freeze that for 30 minutes.
For the rugelach: Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two sheet pans with parchment and spray with nonstick spray. Mix together the sugar, cinnamon and salt and set aside.
For the egg wash: Mix the egg yolks and milk; set aside.
Remove one 10-inch round of dough from the freezer. Spread 4 tablespoons of the apple confit on the dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon sugar.
Cut the round into 16 wedges. I like to use a pizza cutter rather than a knife for a cleaner, more precise cut. Roll each piece, starting from the widest end of the wedge, into a crescent shape with the tips of the crescent touching. Arrange on the prepared sheet pans 2 inches apart. Freeze the rolled rugelach for 20 minutes before baking. Repeat with the second disk of dough and freeze that for 20 minutes as well.
Brush the egg wash on the top and sides of each rugelach. Sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar. Bake until lightly brown, 21 to 24 minutes. Let cool completely on the sheet pans. The rugelach are best eaten within 2 days of baking. Unbaked rugelach can be stored, well wrapped, in the freezer for up to 1 month. Allow to thaw slightly before baking.