Are you a sucker for those fancy shaped Danishes you see at the bakery?
Of course, I am a sucker for ANY kind of Danish. Well, except maybe Brigitte Neilsen, as she scares me quite a bit. I mean, the Stallone relationship kind of ruined Rocky for me for several years, but then when she hooked up with Flavor-Flav? I was done. That chick (if that’s in fact what she is) flips me out.
But back to pastry.
Danishes can be found in so many fun and fanciful shapes. Some are better than others for showcasing a fresh filling, and this particular shape, called the envelope, is perfect for cradling a big scoop of lemon curd and bright red strawberries. Such a punch of flavor – you’ll find yourself just standing at the refrigerator door, gazing in at those little pretties, thinking you deserve a pat on the back. And you do. You really, really do.
Well, first of all, if they are actually IN the fridge, that means you didn’t shove all of them in your face immediately. And second, if they are there to gaze upon, it means YOU made them. You should be proud! Lastly, you aren’t a giant blond Dane on my list for tainting the Italian Stallion. That should count for something. Go ahead – pat that back.
But make these first!
Lemon & Berry Filled Danish Pastries
Prep Time: 4 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours, 15 minutes
Yield: 16-20 Pastries
1 Recipe Danish Pastry Dough
1 cup fresh berries
Cream Cheese Icing (if desired)
2 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar (I prefer Dixie Crystals)
1/2 cup cornstarch
Zest of one lemon
6 large egg yolks, beaten
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tsps vanilla extract (I use Beanilla)
To Make the Lemon Pie Filling
Bring water to a boil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for round 5 minutes. In a separate bowl whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and lemon zest together, then add the mixture slowly to the hot water, whisking constantly until incorporated.
Place mixture over medium heat,continuing to whisk until it comes to a boil and becomes very thick.
Add about half of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, and whisk until smooth. Carefully whisk the warmed yolks into the pot and continue cooking and whisking until mixture comes to a boil.
Remove from heat and add butter,lemon juice, zest and vanilla, stirring until combined. Allow to cool roughly 10 minutes, then add by large spoonfuls to the pastry envelopes.
To Make the Pastries
Preheat oven to 400.
Shape and form pastry “envelopes”. Fill each with dollop of lemon pie filling. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Top with fresh berries and cream cheese icing, if desired.
You will likely have extra lemon curd…just save it and use it on biscuits or on ice cream. It’s a good problem to have! For the Cream Cheese Icing: Soften about 2 tablespoons butter, 4 ounces of cream cheese, a tablespoon of milk and 3/4 to a cup of powdered sugar. You can use an electric mixer if you want, or a strong whisk, or an egg beater works great. Just get it nice and creamy, then drizzle it on top of each pastry. Enjoy!
In case you are a more visual learner (who am I kidding? I don’t want to type out how to make these shapes) here is a step by step picture account of how to make the pastry envelope.
1. Fold a square of pastry dough into a triangle. Cut 2 slits into the dough, as pictured.
2. Open the square of dough.
3. Fold one side of the edge across to the opposite side of the dough and press it down to seal.
4. Pull the opposing side of dough over the top of the pastry you just folded, and press it on the opposite side to seal.
Have a wonderful weekend!!
FYI – More Villeroy & Boch plates featured here today – these are from the New Wave Collection!