Monday, August 6, 2018

Cream Cheese Puff Pastry Danish with Berries and Lemon Glaze

OMG - these are so delicious and a treat for a special occasion or just because you want to spoil yourself or someone else!    I made these a couple of months ago and totally forgot to post the details. Shame on me.  These are just TOO GOOD to keep to not share and be sure everyone has the chance to try them.  I have not used puff pastry often and was a not sure how difficult it would be to make these shapes, but it was not difficult at all.  And the puff pastry is very forgiving which makes it easier to  cast any fears aside and go for it!!

I hope you will try these soon - I promise you will NOT be disappointed.


adapted from Natasha's Kitchen

Danish Ingredients
1 pkg (2 sheets) puff pastry, thawed
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature (I used Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese - perfect!)
1/4 c. organic cane sugar
1 egg yolk, room temperature
1/2 t. vanilla bean paste (vanilla extract is fine as well)
1 t. lemon zest
1 1/2 c. mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and/or strawberries)

Egg Wash Ingredients
1 egg
1 T. water

Lemon Glaze Ingredients
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. lemon zest
1 T. fresh lemon juice

Thaw puff pastry according to package directions.  Depending on the temperature of your kitchen it should take about 30-40 minutes.  You want the dough to still be cold.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the center of the oven.  Line a half sheet baking pan (my favorite size for many things!) with a parchment sheet and set aside.

Unfold the first puff pastry sheet onto a clean work surface (I use either parchment paper or waxed paper underneath - either works great) and roll lightly into a 10"x10" square.  Use a pizza cutter to slice each sheet into 12 even strips. (NOTE:  If you are not great at cutting straight even strips, like me, you can mart the strips on either end every 2 cm.  the 10" is just a little over 24 cm so it's practically perfect!  This added step made it super easy for me.)

Combine two of the strips by pinching the ends together to make one long 24" strand.  Twist it gently so you have a loose spiral curl.  Press one end onto your work surface and loop the twisted strand around in a circle. (I was really afraid that these has to be perfect, but they don't. They will bake up beautifully and hide any imperfections!)  Press the remaining end underneath.  Gently press the center to depress it and make it ready for the filling, and prick the center with a fork 3-4 times to keep it from rising.  Transfer to the parchment.  Continue this for the remaining strips. You will have 24 beautiful spiral circles! (Note:  The original recipe has you fill each with cream cheese and berries and then transfer tot he baking sheet.  I found it easier to fill once they were on the sheet, but you do what works for you!  I love options.)

In a medium bowl, mix the softened cream cheese, 1/4 c. sugar, egg yolk, vanilla and 1 t. lemon zest. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy (and fight the temptation not to eat the bowl of lusciousness!)

I used a 1 T. cookie scoop to fill the center of each pastry. It was the perfect amount and there were no leftovers in the cream cheese bowl (darn!)   Then I placed raspberries, blueberries and one blackberry into the cream cheese.  As I did this I had visions of the cream cheese oozing out from the danish and becoming a runny mess in the oven - but my fears were NOT realized.

Make the egg wash, by whisking the egg and tablespoon of water.  Brush over the pastry part of the danish for added golden browning.  It makes them look beautiful.

Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

While the pastries are baking, blend the glaze ingredients.  I used less powdered sugar so my glaze was not as white and didn't show on the danish when I drizzled it - but the taste was awesome.  Be generous with the glaze. That lemon freshness takes them over the top!!

 Let them cool completely to room temperature so the cream cheese can completely set.  Then drizzle with the lemon glaze and serve.

These are SO good and worth every effort. And once you make them once, you will want to add them to the breakfast menu for any occasion - especially if you just want to indulge a little!

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