Eating Elsewhere Cream Cheese and Cherry
Bread Confections Pastries

Cream Cheese and Cherry Danishes

 

Eating Elsewhere Cream Cheese and Cherry
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Cream Cheese and Cherry Danish Pastries

Flaky, buttery, layered pastry dough for the most delicious danish pastries. Filled with cream cheese and cherry preserves, these are a perfect morning, afternoon, or after dinner snack.

Course Breakfast, Dessert
Prep Time 16 hours 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 17 hours
Servings 18 danishes

Ingredients

Danish Pastry Dough

  • 60 grams warm water 105 - 115F degrees
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 120 grams whole milk warm
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 50 grams sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 320 grams all-purpose flour
  • 10 ounces butter cold and cubed
  • Flour for dusting and working
  • 2 large eggs beaten, for egg wash

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 160 grams powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces cherry preserves

Instructions

Danish Pastry Dough Day 1

  1. In a large bowl, combine warm water and active dry yeast. Rest until foamy, 3 - 5 minutes.
  2. Once foamy, add warm milk, beaten egg, sugar, and salt to the yeast. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse flour with cubes of cold (VERY COLD) butter until mixture has flakes of pea-sized and shaped butter pieces. Stop pulsing. Flakes of butter give the pastry dough it’s light, buttery flavor.

  4. Add flour to wet mixture and gently fold to combine until just wet. Do not over mix or stir the dough. Keeping the butter in tact is essential for the texture and taste of the final pastry.
  5. Once just incorporated, roll out a large piece of cling form and double wrap the dough tightly in a small rectangle.
  6. Refrigerate for at minimum 4 hours, and at best overnight.

Danish Pastry Dough Day 2

  1. After the dough has rested, turn it onto a well-floured work surface with bowl of dusting flour near. At this stage, the dough will be quite tacky and will stick to the rolling pin and work surface, so the dusting flour is essential. Roll the dough into an 8x15-inch rectangle.

    Eating Elsewhere Guide to Rolling Danish
  2. Once rolled into long rectangle, fold the dough “letter-style.” Fold the top third of the dough down toward the center, then the bottom third of the dough over top.
  3. Rotate the dough 90 degrees. Again, roll into an 8x15-inch rectangle. Fold once again letter-style. Repeat rotation and folding once more.
  4. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
    Eating Elsewhere Rolling Danish Step 4
  5. After 1 hour rest, roll and fold the dough 3 more times for a total of 6 turns.
  6. Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, at best overnight.

Danish Pastry Dough Day 3

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and position two oven racks in the middle of the oven. Prepare four baking sheets by lining with silipat or parchment paper.

  2. After final rest, remove dough from refrigerator and cut exactly in half. Wrap one half back in plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator while rolling out the other half.

  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12x12-inch square.

  4. Divide the dough into 9 even squares, each 4x4-inches. These will be your individual danishes. 

  5. To shape the danishes, reference picture instructions below.

The Pinwheel

  1. Make four equal-sized cuts at each corner of the square.

  2. You will now have four points. Bring every other point to the center of the square.

    Eating Elsewhere Shaping Pin Wheel Danish Step 2
  3. At the finish, you will have the classic pinwheel shape.

    Eating Elsewhere Shaping Pinwheel Danish Final Step

The Envelope

  1. Fold square in half, into a triangle shape.

    Eating Elsewhere Shaping Danish Envelop Step 1
  2. Cut two 1/4-inch diagonal borders along the outside of the triangle, being sure not to cut all the way to point.

    Eating Elsewhere Shaping Danish Envelop Step 2
  3. Unfold back into square.

    Eating Elsehwhere Shaping Danish Envelop Step 3
  4. Fold one point of the border to the inner edge of the diamond on the opposide side.

    Eating Elsewhere Shaping Danish Envelop Step 4
  5. Fold the second point of the border to the inner edge of the diamond. 

    Eating Elsewhere Shaping Danish Envelop Step 5
  6. Press points down to keep shape together.

    Eating Elsewhere Shaping Danish Envelop Final Step

The Pocket (Easiest!)

  1. Place square in diamond position. Cut lines half between each of the points.

    Eating Elsewhere Shaping Danish Pocket Step 1
  2. Fold the corners into the center of the diamond.

    Eating Elsewhere Shaping Danish Pocket Step 2
  3. Press points firmly in the center so pastry will keep its shape while rising.

    Eating Elsewhere Shaping Danish Pocket Final Step

Baking the Pastry

  1. Return shaped danishes to the refrigerator and remove un-shaped dough. Repeat Steps 3 - 5 under Day 3. 

  2. Once shaped, cover loosely in plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour and 30 minutes, until pastries have doubled in size.

  3. Alternatively, if you don't want to bake all the danishes at once, you can wrap danishes tightly in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to bake. The night before baking, remove from freezer to rise and bake the next morning.

  4. Prior to baking and after rising, return pastries to refrigerator for 10 - 15 minutes, until just chilled. This helps cool the butter down and build the flaky layers in the hot oven. 

  5. While pastry is chilling, make cream cheese filling by beating cream cheese with a hand mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Slowly add powdered sugar. Once incorporated, add egg yolk, vanilla, and salt. Beat until incorporated.

  6. Remove first two trays of danishes from the refrigerator, add about 1/2 - 1 tablespoon of cream cheese filling to each pastry, and brush with egg wash.

  7. Bake first two trays of danishes (those that have been refrigerated longer) at 425 degrees until they are nice and puffy and are beginning to brown, 8 - 10 minutes. Add dollop of cherry preserves to each pastry.

  8. Rotate trays and swap oven rack positions if necessary. Lower oven temperature to 375 and bake an additional 8 - 10 minutes, until the pastries are a deep golden brown.

  9. If baking the next two trays, follow Steps 6 - 8 under Baking the Pastry.

  10. If desired, drizzle pastries with 120 grams powdered sugar mixed with 2 tablespoons of whole milk. 

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