Braided Danish with Cream and Fruit Fillings
To make Pastry Cream/Confectioner’s Cream:
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp vanilla
4 egg yolks at room temperature
¼ cup sugar
2¼ tsp corn starch
- Have all your ingredients measured and handy for a thorough job.
- In a small sauce-pan, on a medium heat, bring milk to near-boil (avoid coagulation), add vanilla and turn off heat.
- In a medium-size bowl, with electric-mixer, beat egg yolks with sugar until creamy and thick (2 minutes), add cornstarch and beat well.
- To temper egg mixture, while beating add one-third of hot milk into egg mixture, (to keep eggs from cooking into lumps). Turn on heat to medium and add entire egg mixture into remaining milk/pan and with wooden spoon, vigorously mix until it thickens (don’t want any lumps). Cream is ready.
- Turn off heat and pour cream in a small, heat-resistant dish and refrigerate to cool.
- This cream volume is good for four sheets of puff pastry. Any extra amount can be stored in freezer for later. (To use frozen leftover, defrost in refrigerator for a few hours, use what you need and put the rest back into freezer. Don’t worry about consistency change of cream. Once baked, it is just as good.)
Any filling of preference may be used.
Use canned peaches, pears, apples… but make sure you drain them very well. It may help to put in microwave for over a minute to remove more moisture. It helps for crispier baking.
To braid the puff pastry:
1 box of puff pastry (usually has 2 sheets)
2 16 oz cans of fruit (1 can per sheet)
1 egg, beaten well, with 1 Tbsp water (for egg-wash)
2 Tbsp raisins (optional)
- Trader Joe’s frozen puff-pastry is my favorite brand and is only available during the holiday season, Nov~Dec (best time to stock for future use). If this brand is not available in your city, any frozen puff-pastry will work.
- If puff pastry comes frozen in rolls, defrost in refrigerator, per box’s instructions. Flatten the rolled pastry sheet. If needed to repair any tears, push your fingers across tears and return to freezer, flat for it to harden again.
- Have all fillings ready before preheating oven and remove pastry sheet from freezer.
- Place rack on middle oven shelf and preheat to 400F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (not wax paper).
- Also, line a cutting board with parchment paper in the size of frozen puff pastry.
- Now you need to work quickly to keep pastry sheets from getting soft and difficult to handle. Once it is too thawed, not only is it difficult to cut or braid, but also does not bake pretty.
- Place semi-frozen puff pastry on parchment paper on cutting board. In 10 minutes or so, it is ready for cuts.
- Make cuts (will be shown on video below), line up fruit filling, (sprinkle raisins, if preferred) top with pastry cream and braid. This process should not take more than 2~3 minutes.
- Lift pastry and place on lined baking sheet.
If making two Danishes:
- Put previously braided Danish in freezer. Then take out 2nd frozen pastry sheet.
- When one or both pastries are ready, brush it/them with egg-wash all over (for it to brown with shine).
- Put egg-washed pastry(s) on baking sheet into preheated oven as soon as possible.
- Bake for 35~40 minutes or until golden medium-brown on top (see photo).
- Take baking sheet out of oven, slide Danish onto baking cooling rack for it/them to cool completely.
Velbekomme! / Bon Appétit!
How to braid puff pastry:
Check out Fae’s > Recipe Index