Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Idea of Heaven

Danish Pastry

Can I just take a second to say: mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

My mom used to make this pastry for Sunday breakfast when I was growing up. It’s divine. It’s like one part cream puff and one part pie crust, slathered in a yummy vanilla glaze. Only better. I used to make it all the time and bring it to work or to a friend’s house and people would think I was amazing :) But it’s really not hard to make, and I’ve made it even easier here.

I’ve been thinking of these pastries since I made chouquettes the other day. After making the pate a choux in the mixer and having it turn out so well, I wanted to try the same thing with this recipe. Then I decided to make it even easier by making the base in the food processor. (Since it left the same amount of dirty dishes anyway!)

This recipe is so amazingly yummy, and now amazingly easy, you should make it today! Your family will think you’re a rock star! I timed myself the last few times I made it and I had it in the oven and the kitchen cleaned up in under 15 minutes. Awesome!!!


Carol’s Danish Pastry

Adapted from Songberries

For the crust:

1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces

1 cup flour

a pinch of kosher salt

2-5 tablespoons cold water


For the pate a choux:

1/2 cup butter

1 cup water

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon almond extract

3 eggs


For the glaze:

1  1/2 cups powdered sugar

1  1/2 teaspoons vanilla (or the seeds scraped from one vanilla bean)

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1-2 tablespoons cream/milk


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Set out a baking sheet.

In the food processor: (or you could do this by hand with a pastry cutter or knife) Pulse the flour and salt a few times to combine.

Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add the water a few tablespoons at a time and pulse until the dough comes together and forms a ball.

Divide dough in half. Form each ball into a long ‘snake’. Lay each ‘snake’ on the pan and pat it out into a long wide rectangular shape.

pastry crust

Keep in mind that this is like a pie crust and it’s not going to bake up any bigger, this will be the size of your finished product. And it doesn’t have a ton of flavor, so you’re not going to want it very thick. Just thick enough to handle the weight of the pastry on top of it. So spread that dough out!

Okay, enough with the crust, onto the choux! Put a cup of flour and the almond extract into the bowl of your mixer, attach the paddle to the mixer. Crack the eggs into a bowl.

In a medium saucepan, bring the water and butter to a boil. As soon as it boils, take it off the heat and pour it into the mixer. Mix on low until the flour gets incorporated.

Add the eggs all at once and turn the mixer up to medium. Beat until the batter looks shiny and smooth.

Scoop the batter out onto the crust, use a spoon to spread it out. I spread it just  shy of the outer edge of the crust.

Bake for 60 minutes, or until golden brown and delicious.

While you’re waiting . . . add the sugar, butter, vanilla and milk/cream to a bowl and whisk to combine.

Oh, and take a minute to, at the very least, rinse your dishes. That stuff will turn to concrete if you leave it!!!

When the pastry is ready, remove it from the oven and drizzle the glaze over it. Let it cool a few minutes before cutting into 1” wide pieces and serving. You can serve this hot, warm, cold, room temperature, etc. It always tastes awesome!


oneordinaryday said...

Okay, I'm sold. This sounds awesome - cream puff and pie crust? Yum.

Carol said...

Yummers! I like your way of just boiling the butter and water, clever girl! Do you like it better without the almond flavoring? I just love the almond, but vanilla sounds good.

Jenna said...

Oh my goodness that sounds AMAZING! Thanks for the recipe!

Jennie said...

Mom, I followed your recipe and used the almond in the puff and vanilla in the glaze :) I used one of my vanilla beans because I was too lazy to run down to the basement to get more vanilla extract! lol!