One of the kitchen challenges I gave myself last year was to make homemade Danish pastry. You know those buttery, flaky, fruit/cream cheese filled pastries at catered breakfasts and meetings? They’re totally irresistible, I know.
Making Danish pastry at home was extremely intimidating, but I put on my big girl pants last October and spent days in my kitchen trying my hand at it. Call me determined, call me pastry crazy, call me whatever but I finally got it! Lucky for us, the recipe I use to make our beloved pastries at home is a quick-method.
If you haven’t tried it yet, now is the time. Don’t be scared; you can do this too!
My Danish pastry dough and method is an adaption of several trusted sources: Cooking Illustrated, Joy of Cooking, and pastry master Beatrice Ojakangas. I studied the three methods and sort of mish-mashed them all together. Using what I learned, I made a beautiful Iced Raspberry Danish Braid and brought it to Kevin’s parents’. If heaven had a taste, it would be my raspberry danish braid.
While snowed in this past week, I made the Danish pastry again – cream cheese filling this time. I also tried to cut the pastry into cute little shapes. Squares, rectangles, circles, twists. What a disaster! They puffed up, but looked incredibly awkward and lopsided.
What is Danish Pastry?
- Danish pastry is made from flour, yeast, milk, eggs, and copious amounts of butter.
- The texture is similar to croissant dough, but tastes sweeter (and has the addition of egg in the dough).
- Like croissants, typical Danish pastry dough is rolled out thinly, then folded into numerous layers with a butter square. Flaky, buttery layers. That’s what makes it so good!
My Shortcut to Danish Pastry
- Rather than laminating the dough with a butter square like Danish and croissant dough typically requires, I cut the cold butter into the dough.
- Which is a method I use for making my favorite pie crust. You’ll still get the flaky, buttery layers you love about Danish pastries, but you’ll cut a lot of work from the process.
I have a separate page for you dedicated to preparing and shaping this Danish braid. Before you begin, I suggest reading through the entire dough recipe.
- 1 recipe Homemade Danish Pastry Dough (step-by-step photos included)
Cream Cheese Filling
- 8oz (224g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw)
- optional: 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup (60g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) heavy cream (or milk)
- Make the pastry dough through step 7.
- Make the filling: in a medium bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and egg yolk together on medium speed until smooth.
- Add the sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
- Continue with steps 8-10, including preheating the oven to 400F, in the pastry dough recipe for how to assemble. *Don’t forget to add the blueberries on top of the filling (as pictured above) and sprinkle the uncooked braids with the sliced almonds before baking.
- As the braids are baking, prepare the vanilla glaze by whisking all of the ingredients together.
- After 10 minutes of cooling, drizzle the braids lightly with glaze and serve immediately.
- Braids taste best served on the same day. Dough may be prepared in advance. See “make ahead” instructions in the pastry dough recipe.
You can find complete recipes of this Blueberries And Cream Danish Braid in sallysbakingaddiction.com