Cherry Cheese “Danish”

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This is not a danish. Hence the quotation marks. This is for when poor supply (why don’t more bakeries do this?!) forces you to take things into your own hands. The only thing harder than finding fresh danish is finding the rare fruit AND cheese species. It is 2019 why do I have to choose??

You can make this pretty easy or you can make this very easy and it’s all down to the puff. I made my own for this project (my first time doing so) and I have to admit it was hugely gratifying. It took me probably 45 minutes of active time over the course of the day and I still have three sheets of it rolled out in the freezer for a serendipitous day. I think I must be getting old for the amount of excitement I get from stocking the freezer with presents to my future self.

So, 45 minutes of active time. OR yes you can definitely but it frozen and it will be 100% fine. While you’re at it pick up a jar of jam and a block of cream cheese. Everything else you will probably have at home.

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Mix together cheese filling. Roll out and shape pinwheels. Dollop each pinwheel with a spoonful of cheese filling and a slightly smaller spoonful of jam. Brush top of pastry with egg wash. Bake 20 minutes. You will be a star.

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Cherry Cheese Danish

Cherry Cheese Danish

  • 1 sheet homemade or store-bought puff pastry (recipe follows)
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg yolk
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • homemade or store-bought cherry jam
  • egg for wash
  • apricot jam for glaze, optional

Preheat oven to 400°. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together cream cheese, egg yolk, zest, sugar, vanilla and salt just to combined. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry sheet into a 10 x 10 inch square. Cut sheet into quarters and place on a baking sheet. On each square, cut each corner diagonally almost to the middle so you almost have a “X” shape but without the very center. Take the right side of each corner and fold toward the center.

Place a spoonful of the cheese filling in the center of each pinwheel followed by a half spoonful of jam. Whisk the egg with a teaspoon of water. Brush the tops of the pinwheels with the egg wash and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile heat up a few tablespoons of apricot jam thinned out with a little water over low heat in a saucepan. Once the jam has “melted” slightly and is a little runny, remove from heat and strain through a sieve. After you’ve removed the danish from the oven, brush the glaze over the tops. 

Homemade Puff Pastry

  • Servings: 4 sheets
  • Print

Beurrage (butter pat)

  • 3 cups unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1 cup flour

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter and flour on low speed until combined. Line an 8 inch square baking dish with plastic wrap (place a long sheet length wise and a long sheet width wise). Place mixture in the pan, fold down the overhang of the wrap and press down to mold butter into the shape of the square pan. Place in fridge to chill for 2 hours.

Immediately make…

Détrempe (dough)

  • 4 cups flour + 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup cool water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix together 4 cups flour, water, sugar, salt and lemon juice. Add 1/2 cup flour and butter, switch to the dough hook attachment and mix for 4 minutes. Shape dough into an 8 inch square, wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge to chill for 2 hours.

Method

On a lightly floured surface, roll out détrempe (dough) into a large rectangle approximately 9 inches high and 17 inches across. Place the beurrage (butter pat) in the center of the dough and fold the rest of the dough up and over to enclose the butter pat. Roll again length wise into a rectangle 20 inches across (you may need to beat down with the rolling pin to get the butter to spread).

Do a three-fold (fold each end toward the middle, one end should be on top of the other end like an envelope). Try not to get excess flour between these layers so if there is any excess from the board just brush it off before you keep folding.

Turn dough 90° and repeat this process (roll out 20 inches across, three fold). Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to relax for 2 hours.

Take dough out of fridge. Roll out into rectangle 20 inches across, three-fold. Turn dough 90°. Roll out again, three fold. Wrap and place in the fridge to relax 2 hours.

Take dough out of fridge. Roll out into rectangle 20 inches across, three-fold. Only once this time. Re-wrap and place in the fridge to relax for 2 hours.

Cut dough into 4- 250 g pieces. Roll each piece into an 8 inch square. Stack each piece (layering parchment in between) and seal in a large Ziploc bag or wrap very tightly in plastic wrap. Freeze until ready to use.

Notes:

When ready to use a piece, plan ahead and take out of freezer and place in the fridge for 24 hours to reach a roll-able temperature.

Whatever you choose to do with the dough, brush with an egg wash before baking and bake at 375° for 25-20 minutes. You can also bake slightly higher, at 400° but for less time (about 20 minutes).

This recipe is transcribed from the puff pastry episode of Bake with Anna Olson.

 

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