May 11 2011
I’ve been determined to get Ina’s recipe for Easy Cheese Danish to work for awhile now. Oh, it always tasted good, but the cheese “filling” would always run all over the pan! Was I the only one to have this problem?
So I turned to the comments section, an invaluable resource. People loved the recipe, but I was far from the only person to have problems with the filling. I picked a few tips from the reviews, such as adding an extra egg yolk (yolks help to puff things up while baking – I should have figured to add an extra yolk on my own) and chilling the filling for a longer period of time. I also substituted sour cream for the ricotta, mostly because I always have sour cream on hand, but I never have ricotta hanging out in the fridge.
I also wanted to make these treats a little more interesting.
Though I adore lemon, I’m just not a fan of lemon zest added to cheesecake. But a cherry cheesecake pastry, on the other hand, now that sounded great. After making a cherry cheesecake galette a couple of years back, and pitting all of those cherries by hand…I just wanted the pie filling. And anyway, when it comes to cherry desserts, I prefer the canned pie filling with tons of high fructose corn syrup. There, I said it.
I love, love, LOVE how these turned out. The extended chilling time plus the extra yolk really made a difference – these pastries kept their filling! And the cherries and almond extract made them more fun, well, for me anyway. I’ve had a love affair with cherries as far back as I can remember.
Cherry Cheesecake Danish
adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
1 can cherry pie filling
Almond Glaze (recipe below)
Beat cream cheese and sugar on low speed with paddle attachment until smooth. Add the egg yolks, sour cream, vanilla, and salt until just combined. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 400*F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured board, roll puff pastry with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 10×10 inch square. Cut into 4 squares with a sharp knife or bench scraper and transfer squares to baking sheet. Place a spoonful of cheese filling (I use a soup spoon) in the center of the square, then top with a spoonful (I use a dining teaspoon) of pie filling.
Brush the border of each square with the egg wash and fold opposite corners of pastry to the center, pinching between your thumb and index finger so they stick together. Brush the top with egg wash.
Refrigerate pastries for 15 minutes, then bake one pan at a time for 18-20 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve warm, topped with additional pie filling, if desired.
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Milk or Half and Half
Whisk confectioners’ sugar and almond extract in a small bowl. Add milk or half and half, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until reaching a consistency suitable for drizzling. (If drizzling on warm pastries, use a thicker glaze.)