These puff pastry danishes are simple to make and you can flavor them with your favorite fillings. They’re the perfect tea-time and brunch pastry!
There are so many ways to make these pastries.
The filling options are endless:
- frangipane (recipe follows)
- cream cheese
- chocolate hazelnut spread like Merenda
- chocolate ganache
- cream cheese and jam
- chocolate chips
- pie filling
- apple, pear, apricot, or peach slices
Here are some of my favorite flavor combinations:
- frangipane with apricot jam
- chocolate hazelnut spread and fresh berries once the pastry is baked
- cream cheese and blueberry jam
- cream cheese with apricot or any jam for that matter
- frangipane with chocolate chips
- cream cheese with apricot or peach slices
For the Almond Frangipane Filling:
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure almond extract
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 and ½ cups finely ground almond flour/meal
- ½-1 teaspoon Lemon/orange zest
Make the almond frangipane by combining the butter with the sugar, vanilla extract, and mix together. Add the eggs and beat together until incorporated and fluffy. Add the almond flour with citrus zest and mix until combined. This mixture will keep fresh in an airtight container stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Shape the Danishes:
There are so many ways to shape these pastries and I like to keep things simple! Place a tablespoon of either cream cheese filling, chocolate, or frangipane in the center of the puff pastry. Top it with jam or chocolate chips and then bring all of the edges of the pastry towards the center to cover the filling and make a square or just 2 of the edges towards the center.
One of the best things about these pastries (there are so many good things!) is that you can make them way ahead and freeze them. Just shape and fill the danishes and then freeze them on a tray until they are solid. Transfer them to a freezer safe container or bag and they will keep fresh for up to 2 months. They will never last that long. Trust me! When you’re ready to bake them, preheat the oven to 400 °F, 200 °C and brush them with egg wash and bake until puffed and golden.
It is important to freeze these pastries for 20-30 minutes before they are baked, anyway. This will create a very puffy and flaky danish. So, please do not skip this step. If you do not have room in the freezer, the refrigerator will do the job 🙂
What if the pastries open up while baking?
Sometimes the pastries will open up during baking. These just means that the corners that were together towards the center puff up and leave an opened pastry with the filling exposed. That’s not a problem at all. Once they’re slightly cooled, fill the centers with your favorite berries and then dust powdered sugar on top or drizzle some glaze and serve!
These puff pastry danishes are perfect for brunch or for a tea party. I love to always have a few of them in my freezer for when friends and family stop by. They’re ready in under 30 minutes and everyone loves them.
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Here’s the Quick Version:
- 1 (17.3 oz) package (2 sheets) puff pastry, thawed
- 2 egg yolks plus 2-3 tablespoons of milk
- For the Filling:
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup granulated sugar, optional
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lemon or orange
- Jam or preserves
- Fresh berries
- For the glaze:
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 (or more) tablespoons of milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest or orange zest
Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Remove the puff pastry sheets from the packaging and roll each sheet out on a lightly floured surface to a 10-12-inch square. Cut each square into 4 equal portions.
Make the egg wash: In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with the milk and set aside.
Make the filling:
Combine the softened cream cheese, lemon zest, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Adding sugar is optional. Sweeten the cream cheese to suit your taste. Mix with a spatula until everything is incorporated and smooth.
Place 1 tablespoon of the cheese filling onto the center of each puff pastry square and then a teaspoon or more of your favorite jam/preserves. Apricot is my favorite, but strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry pair well with the cheese filling.
Fold the 2 opposite edges towards the center and brush the bottom corner with some egg wash (it will act like glue) and then pinch them together. Place the pastries on a tray.
Brush the top and exposed puff pastry with the egg wash.
Chill the pastries in the freezer for 20 minutes. This will help them stay flaky and puffy when they’re baked.
Preheat the oven to 400 °F, 200 °C.
Bake the pastries on the center rack of the oven for about 25 minutes or until golden and puffed.
Make the glaze: Combine all of the glaze ingredients and whisk together until smooth. For a thinner glaze, add some more milk and for a thicker glaze, add more confectioner’s sugar.
Once the pastries come out of the oven, allow them to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes and then drizzle the glaze on top. If the pastries open up in the oven, fill them with some fresh berries in the center.
Serve warm and enjoy with some tea or coffee.
Notes: Mediterranean specialty food stores and restaurant supply stores sell puff pastry squares that usually measure 5 inches all around. These are perfect for this recipe and if you can find them, purchase these instead to save time.
Also, instead of cream cheese, feel free to fill the pastries with frangipane or chocolate hazelnut spread.