Danish Pastries: Fig, Goats' Cheese & Honey and Blackberry & Apple
Homemade Danish Pastries are a rewarding bake which can be enjoyed for those indulgent breakfasts, lazy brunches and as a tantalising teatime treat.
prooving and resting about6hrs
Course: Cake, Dessert
Keyword: baking, pastries
Author: Angela – Only Crumbs Remain
For the dough
500gstrong white bread flour
10gfast action dried yeast
1large egglightly beaten
250gbutterunsalted & chilled
For the Blackberry & Apple Danish Pastry
2.5tsp sugaror to taste
For the Fig, Goats' Cheese and Honey Danish Pastry
60gsoft goats' cheese
1tsprunny honeyor to taste
1large egglightly beaten
Make the dough.
Place the flour, sugar, salt and yeast into a good sized bowl. Avoid letting the yeast touch the salt at this stage. Combine with your hands. Make a well in the flour. Add the egg and most of the warmed milk. With your hand mix the flour into the liquid aiming to make a dough. Add more liquid as required. Once all of the flour has been picked up with the dough, and the bowl is 'clean', place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and soft.
Rest the dough. Place the dough into the bowl and cover with cling film. Place into the fridge to rest for at least 2 hours.
Meanwhile shape the butter. Sandwich it between two large sheets of greaseproof paper. Use a rolling pin to knock and roll the butter into a neat oblong measuring about 30cm x 15cm. Transfer the butter, still sandwiched between the greaseproof paper, onto a board / baking tray and place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours to firm up.
Incorporate the butter into the dough. Remove the dough from the fridge. Tip it onto a lightly floured work surface. Punch it back with your knuckles. Use a rolling pin to roll it out into a neat rectangle about 50cm x 20cm. Place the chilled butter over the bottom two thirds of the dough. Fold the top unbuttered third down and lay it over the top section of the butter. Fold the bottom third of dough and butter up over the top, creating a sandwich of alternate layers of dough and butter. Nip the sides of the dough to encase the butter. Wrap the butter in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes. Position the dough back onto the work surface in the same orientation that it was folded in. Give the dough a quarter turn. Roll out the dough into a neat rectangle measuring about 50cm x 30cm. Fold the dough as before. Give the dough a quarter turn. Indent the side of the dough with your thumb to indicate one turn has been made. Wrap and chill the dough for 30 minutes. Carry out two more cycles of rolling, folding and chilling.
Chill the folded dough. After the third turn loosely wrap the dough in clingfilm. Place into the fridge overnight to rest (at least 8 hours).
For the apple & blackberry pastries
Peel and chop the apple (removing the core) and place into a small pan with the sugar and cinnamon. Add a splash of water. Set over a low to medium heat on the hob and allow to cook down to a puree, stirring periodically. Add a little more water if required, but you're aiming for the apple puree to be quite thick. Transfer the puree into a bowl and set aside to cool.
Shape the pastry into a flower for the apple & blackberry filling. In one of the pastry squares cut an 'L' shape 1cm from the corner, so that it run parallel to the edge of the pastry. Repeat with the other 3 corners. Avoid letting the four 'L' shapes join up along the lengths of the square. Use a pastry brush to gently paint the pastry with egg wash. Fold each cut corner into the centre of the pastry and gently press to secure. Add a teaspoon of the apple puree into the centre of each shaped 'flower'. Top with a blackberry. Gently brush the egg wash over the pastry, aiming to avoid it touching the laminations. Use a fish slice to transfer it to a large baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Repeat with 5 more pastry squares. Set them aside, uncovered, for 30 minutes to prove.
For the Fig and goats cheese pastries
Place the soft goats' cheese into a small bowl. Break up the cheese. Add the runny honey and mix together. Taste, adding more honey if desired.8. Roll out the dough. Remove the dough from the fridge and set on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out into an oblong measuring about 32cm x 42cm. Use a knife or pizza cutter to trim the edges to neaten. Cut the dough into 12 squares measuring 10cm x 10cm.
Shape the pastry into a diamond for the fig & goats' cheese filling. Gently fold one of the squares in half to make a triangle. Identify the corner still at 90 degree. A centimetre or two from that corner use a small sharp knife to cut a neat line through the dough which runs parallel to the edge of the triangle. Repeat with the other edge of the triangle. The pastry should still be joined at the 90 degree corner. Open the dough back out to a square. Use a pastry brush to paint a little of the beaten egg over the upper surface of the pastry. Fold one of the cut corners into the pastry, positioning it along the new internal square. press gently to secure. Repeat with the opposite corner. Place a teaspoon of the goats' cheese mixture in the centre of the diamond. Top with half a fig - cut side uppermost. Gently brush the egg wash over the pastry, aiming to avoid it touching the laminations. Use a fish slice to transfer it to a large baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Repeat with 5 more pastry squares. Set them aside, uncovered, for 30 minutes to prove.
Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 200c / 180 Fan / Gas Bake. Once proved, place the baking tray in the centre of the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until they are crisp golden and well risen. The base of the pastry will also be golden brown. You may need to rotate the tray after about 15 minutes of cooking. Once cooked remove from the oven. Use a fish slice to carefully transfer them to a cooling rack.
Meanwhile make the glazes. For for the Apple and Blackberry pastries, mix the sugar with the boiling water. Stir to dissolve the sugar. For the Fig & Goats' Cheese pastries make a slightly loose water icing by mixing together the icing sugar with the honey and a drop of water.
Apply the glazes. With a pastry brush paint the sugar solution over the pastry of the Blackberry & Apple Danish Pastries (avoiding the fruit) as soon as they are removed from the oven. Place back into the oven for 2 minutes for the glaze to dry. Place on the cooling tray. Once the Fig & Goats' Cheese Danish Pastries are cooked through, allow them to cool fully before dribbling over the honey flavoured water icing.Enjoy!
a) Use the best quality butter you can afford. b) Stack any off cuts of pastry rather than balling them to maintain the laminations. c) The uncooked dough can be wrapped and frozen for up to 6 months. Allow it to defrost in the fridge before rolling and shaping it. d) Remember to chill the butter and dough between each stage.e) Avoid brushing the laminated layers of pastry with the egg wash as this may prevent them from puffing up successfully.
Danish Pastries are at their best enjoyed on the same day of baking.