Hello dear reader,
I have an unhealthy admission to make. A few years ago when I worked in Edinburgh and commuted in from Fife, I had to be out of the house before 7am and never gave myself enough time for breakfast. I got into the habit of popping into a little bakery on my way to work to grab a coffee and a Danish pastry which I would eat on the way to work. Occasionally I would branch out to try various other Danish pastries but invariably I always came back to my favourite – the swirled ones with fruit and a spicy-buttery slightly gooey filling. Not very healthy to be eating daily!
Nowadays I tend to eat healthier but, as you know, I still believe in treats too – just not every day! When I saw that the Breakfast Club blog challenge this month is Fruit, my mind immediately jumped to the Apple & Cinnamon Danish pastries that I love. However, with a bowl full of pears in the house, it was time to tweak the recipe to swap in pears and I think it works very well. It is a little sweeter, so stick with apples if you prefer.
Proper Danish pastry dough is quite unique and can be worth making. However it is an overnight process, as the dough needs to be chilled thoroughly after being made. I usually cheat and use ready-made Puff pastry – it probably wouldn’t fool a Dane but it’s good enough for me! For an even easier option, buy pre-rolled pastry! One tip though – do always read the list of ingredients if you buy ready-made pastry, as some of them are chock full of unnecessary additives!
So, on to the how-to!
1) Firstly, line and grease a baking sheet and pre-heat your oven to moderate hot (200°C, 400°F, Gas Mark 6). In addition to about 320g puff pastry, you will need 2 pears, 50g sultanas, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 50g butter and 100g brown sugar.
2) Chop the butter into small cubes and mix with the sugar, squashing the butter in with a fork…
3) Peel and core the pear and chop into small pieces. Then mix with the sultanas and ground cinnamon…
4) Roll out the pastry to form a rectangle about 25cm x 30cm and spread with the sugar-butter mix…
5) Sprinkle the spiced pear mix on top…
6) Starting at a long edge, roll as tightly as possible into a long log-shape, pushing in any mixture which falls out. Cut off the ends if they have no filling in them. Then, using a sharp knife, cut widthways into slices about 2.5cm wide…
7) Carefully lift each slice and place it onto the pre-prepared baking tray. If any filling falls out, squish it back in…
8) Bake in the pre-heated oven until golden and crispy. This will take 15-25 minutes, depending on how juicy the pears are. If they are very juicy, you may need to pour off excess juice after about 10 minutes. Don’t worry about the burnt juice on the tray – the pastries will easily peel away from this.
9) Leave in the tray to cool slightly whilst you make the icing. Place 100g icing sugar in a bowl and gradually add about 6 teaspoons of milk until you get a thin paste…
10) Drizze the icing over the Danish pastries and leave to cool completely. You can use a spoon to do the drizzling but I tend to get big blobs of icing, instead of nicely drizzled lines when I do that! To get nice thin drizzles, pour the icing into a plastic food bag; squish it down to one corner; fold over the excess bag so you can squeeze the icing; snip a tiny corner off; and start drizzling!
Try to eat only one at a time!
As I said at the start, I am entering my Pear & Cinnamon Danish pastries into the Breakfast Club bloggers challenge run by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours. It is hosted this month by Michelle at Utterly Scrummy, who has chosen “fruit” as her theme.
The Alphabakes bloggers challenge run by Ros at The More Than Occasional Baker and Caroline of Caroline Makes has a letter as its monthly theme. Ros is hosting this month and the letter is C for cinnamon! Also, since these Danish pastries are made from scratch (buying puff pastry is allowed – phew), I’m sending them to the Made with Love Mondays challenge run by Mark at Javelin Warrior’s Cookin w/ Luv.
So, tell me dear reader, what is your favourite Danish pastry?
P.S. My apologies for the poor lighting in most of my pictures. I haven’t worked out how to take good photographs now we have lost the summer light. Any tips would be gratefully received!