Dessert: Danish pastries

 

danish pastries

We had a brunch today for ten lovely people and I needed to make something sweet and nibblely, but simple to make (as I still hadn’t finished cleaning the house and was running around half-naked when our guests were due to start arriving…) so I whipped out some puff pastry sheets and made danishes.

This was also the first time I used my silicon baking mat that I purchased with the money we saved from the pantry challenge.

baking mat

If you haven’t bought yourself one of these yet, go out and immediately buy one. They’ve even got ruler markings imprinted down the sides for measuring.

To make the danishes you’ll need 3 sheets of puff pastry, 200g of cream cheese (you can use marzipan too if you prefer it), fruit of your choice, 2 egg yolks & some apricot jam (jelly) for making a glaze (makes approx. 20 danishes).

I used tinned peaches, fresh kiwi fruit & frozen blueberries & raspberries. If using tinned or frozen, make sure you drain then really, really well or your pastry will go soggy or you’ll have a berry ooze all over your oven and that ain’t pretty.

Slice whatever fruit you’re using thinly:

sliced peaches

Slice 5mm chunks off the cream cheese block and lay them on the pastry making sure you space them out:

cream cheese on pastry

(Also, don’t try to peel your layers of puff pastry apart while they are still frozen like I did or they will split and crack and not look very pretty.)

Lay the slices of fruit on the cream cheese so it is completely covered. You might need to trim the fruit so there is at least 10mm of space around the edges so that the pastry can puff up around it.

Then slice into individual pieces:

fruit on cream cheese

Brush the borders with egg yolk and put into a pre-heated 180c/350F oven for 5-10mins.

ready for the oven

I then decided to get arty-farty and make some triangles and other shapes. Here’s how I cut up the pastry:

triangles and other shapes

(You can see that the cream cheese was starting to get softer by this point and it was sticking to the knife so those are the imprints of my fingers left while I was trying to remove said cream cheese from said knife. This is why it’s good to keep the cream cheese firm, or chop it all up at the beginning instead of as you work like I did.)

Once the danishes are cooked, you’ll need to glaze the fruit. Put about a tablespoon of jam in the microwave for a few seconds. If it’s too thick, add a tinyamount of hot water. Push it through a sieve to remove any seeds. I used strawberry jam because that’s all we had and below is a blurry picture of the strained jam and the seeds I removed on the right.

jam

I then brushed the glaze over the fruit with a pastry brush to give it a nice shine that you can’t really see in this pic so you’ll just have to imagine it.

plate of goodies

I tried one of the peach ones as all the berry ones had disappeared before I had a chance to scoff one, and it was scrummy!

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