April 1, 2009
Danish Pastries My Way
I'm feeling generous. Only a few posts on the board and I am sharing one of my most prized recipes with you.
I first made these when the kids were in primary school, oh about 14ish years ago or thereabouts. Golly gosh that sounds like such a long time ago. Anyhow I remember what a hit they were with adults and teachers especially, not so much the kids. Funny that. I recall one particular mother begging me for the recipe and I was very secretive and mean and didn't give it to her. Feeling like I had hit the culinary jackpot these little danishes have stayed with me and they have been made many, many times and I never once shared my recipe.
It's funny how time changes one's perspective on things. Sure here is the picture and here is the recipe and I hope it turns out great for you, but, hmmm, but there is this nagging little voice inside of me saying "what the hell; are you nuts; this is your little gem; your special recipe that was exclusively yours; the recipe you held onto for so long; what the hell are you doing". Well, I guess I have entered the blogosphere and that means "sharing'. Like so many of you who are sharing your lives, your memories and your special recipes.
So here I am sharing a part of me with all of you and it feels good.
Now that you have discovered this gem of a recipe it is time to try it.
I generally use two cans of fruit to make these danishes however bear in mind you will have excess fruit left over. When I first began to make the recipe I only ever used a one 425gm can of apricots and found that was perfect to make a whole batch of 18. However over time I loved the variety and colour that adding cherries made so that is what I do now. Incidentally the can size has reduced 10gm since then. Typical.
Once the danishes are just done, I take them out and brush them generously with a good quality jam or marmalade. Apricot jam works really well however if you have a special homemade jar of something in the fridge then go for it. Experiment away. I ran out of my prizewinning cumquat marmalade so I used my mandarin jelly instead for this latest batch. It added such a delicious tangyness. My son declared, "the best ever mum".
Do not be tempted to overload each danish. If you do the fruit may literally be turfed off the pastry as it rises. I also recommend the fruit be very well drained, use a few sheets of paper towelling to remove the excess liquid. No one wants soggy pastries.
I also use a good quality store bought puff pastry. For those of you really serious pastry-made-from-scratch people, sorry to disappoint. For the rest of us mere mortals, let's get cracking!
Easy Danish Pastries
415gm can of apricot halves in light syrup, really well drained
200gm cream cheese
2tbsp castor sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2tsp vanilla extract
2 sheets Puff Pastry
1/2 cup apricot jam
Preheat oven to moderately high. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Place cream cheese, sugar, cornflour, egg yolk and vanilla extract into a small mixing bowl or small food processor. Mix or blend till very well combined and mixture is smooth.
Cut each pastry sheet into thirds vertically and horizontally. You will end up with nine squares per sheet.
Place a generous teaspoonful of the cream cheese mixture onto each square. Top with your fruit piece or pieces; remember do not overload.
Bring together two opposite corners of each square over the fruit; press the corners together to stick and secure with a wooden toothpick. This should be directly over the fruit in the centre of each danish.
Place onto baking tray; reduce temperature to 180deg; bake till pastry is puffed & just done. Usually takes about 15mins.
Remove from oven; carefully take out the toothpicks; brush each danish generously with the warmed apricot jam. Return to the oven for another 5 mins. The danishes should have a nice sheen on them. Place pastries on baking rack; allow to cool.
This recipe makes 18 danishes and like all danishes they are definitely best eaten on the same day.
Warning: Be prepared to be hounded for this recipe!