Birthday Danish

Happy Birthday to Patrick! One month ago today we celebrated his birthday! Unlike myself, Patrick did not put in a request for birthday breakfast. So I decided to just make him something that I know he loves -- a tasty pastry!! He always gets a danish pastry whenever we go to Guglhupf for brunch so this was my starting off point. Unlike myself again, there wasn't a federal holiday holiday for his birthday which meant there wasn't ample time to prepare his breakfast. I had to do some prep the day before!

Birthday Boy
I decided to use Ina Garten's Easy Cheese Danish recipe and wanted to add sauteed cinnamon apples to the danish (for an apple cream cheese danish) but didn't think there would be time to saute the apples and then bake the danish for 20 minutes. The breakfast had to come together and be on the table by the time Patrick showered and got dressed for his work day. He may not have requested a specific birthday breakfast but he did request not to be late for work! With that in mind I thought making the cheese danish as directed would be best and then to serve it with sauteed apples. That way I could be finishing the apples while the danish came out of the oven. And guess what?! The breakfast was ready in time! Read on for the recipe.

Ina Garten's Easy Cheese Danish from Food Network
   Makes 8 Danish
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
   I halved everything for 4 danish

   Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
   Place the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream them together on low speed until smooth. With the mixer still on low, add the egg yolks, ricotta, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest and mix until just combined. Don't whip!
   Unfold 1 sheet of puff pastry onto a lightly floured board and roll it slightly with a floured rolling pin until it's a 10 by 10-inch square. Cut the sheet into quarters with a sharp knife. Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese filling into the middle of each of the 4 squares. Brush the border of each pastry with egg wash and fold 2 opposite corners to the center, brushing and overlapping the corners of each pastry so they firmly stick together. Brush the top of the pastries with egg wash. Place the pastries on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and refrigerate the filled Danish for 15 minutes.
   Bake the pastries for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown. Serve warm.

Some reviewers of the recipe on the Food Network said that making the cream cheese mixture the night before and chilling overnight worked really well and I agree! This was also what made breakfast in under 20 minutes possible! I served the danish with sauteed cinnamon apples.

Later that evening we celebrated Patrick's birthday with some of his friends from Duke at Acme in Carrboro. What a wonderful day to spend with my husband!

1 comment:

  1. Danish and apples sound really good. Love seeing the pic of the 2 of you!