These plums have been rolling around on my counter top for the past few days, getting to a perfect soft/firm feel. Not too mushy and not too hard. I plan to slice them into slivers and lay them over top a cream cheese pastry filling. I'm going to wrap some puff pastry around them, slash the top and bake the danish. Then, I'm going to drizzle the top of the pastry with just a bit of sugary glaze.
Later, I plan to make a hot pot of tea and devour at least two slices ... that is after I have gone for a long bike ride to assuage any guilt. No. Never mind the guilt. I plan to leave the guilt out on the bike path somewhere ... under a rock ... so it can't catch up with me and my thoughts of sweet treats.
Perfect plan, don't you think?
I know this is a terrible picture, composition-wise. However, I wanted you to see just how firm and perfect these plums are ... they have juice but it's still in the flesh and not mushing out on my fingers and the cutting board ... perfect for this danish treatment. Pay attention to the condition of your fruit when you take it in mind to make danish ... no mushiness, please! You need firm fruit that will release its juices and flavour without drenching the pastry. It's a fine line, folks!
So, this is an easy danish to make, as I used a freezer pack of puff pastry. Notice I used the folds of the pastry to guide my construction. Easy, easy! I just rolled the dough a bit to seal any small holes at the folds, made an easy pastry cream from a recipe that I found on the Web at Cooks.com, placed the slivers of plum over the top of the cream, and latticed the side strips up and over everything, using an egg white wash to seal and put a bit of glaze over the top of the completed danishes. Notice, I say ... danishes. The pastry cream recipe made enough for two. The puff pastry box has two sheets of dough. The bowl of plums was plentiful; I used four plums per danish.
... and, voila!
Drizzled with an easy sugar glaze, it was perfect with a big pot of tea. SB, The Lodger, and I polished off one and reserved the second one for the photo shoot ... practically had to whack the hands to keep the guys from slicing into the second one before I could grab the camera. For the record, I did have two thin pieces of the first and have kept to my diet and left the second one alone ... so far.
So ... a recipe? You can make your own danish! Use apples or blueberries or plums or apricots or peaches ... here's the creamy cheese filling recipe. Get busy next time you've got guests coming for tea or weekenders coming or a special brunch to bake for! This danish can be made and placed on the pretty platter in less than two hours. Really!
Cream Cheese Pastry Filling
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 oz. sugar
⅛ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. flour
1 egg yolk
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
Whip the cream cheese and sugar until it is light and creamy. Add the salt, vanilla extract, and flour and whip until incorporated. Add the egg yolk, lemon juice and lemon zest and beat in by hand.
Use the pastry filling in puff pastry hand pies and oblong danish. This recipe makes enough for two sheets of frozen puff pastry or a dozen handpies that use a yeast dough or pie crust or puff pastry base. Add your chosen fresh fruit slices over top the pastry cream and seal the pastry.
Bake at 375 ° F until golden brown and crusty perfect. Drizzle with your choice of sugar glaze and serve as close to bake time as possible.