Our buttery Cranberry Danish pastry gets layered with a rich cream cheese spread and a deep red berry jam and drizzled with a sweet orange glaze, creating a delectable fruit-filled treat. These are best served the day they’re made, but we doubt you’ll have leftovers anyway!
Makes 2 (15-inch) Danish
- Yeasted Rough Puff Pastry (recipe follows)
- 1 (8-ounce) package (226 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk, (19 grams)
- ½ teaspoon (2 grams) vanilla extract
- Cranberry Compote (recipe follows)
- 1 large egg (50 grams)
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water
- 1 cup (120 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- 5 teaspoons (25 grams) fresh orange juice
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll Yeasted Rough Puff Pastry into a 15x10½-inch rectangle (about ¼ inch thick). Cut pastry in half lengthwise, creating 2 (15x5¼-inch) rectangles. Place 1 rectangle on each prepared pan.
Using the back of a sharp knife or bench scraper, carefully score a border 1 inch from edges of 1 rectangle. Repeat with remaining rectangle. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until ready to use.
In a medium bowl, fold together cream cheese and granulated sugar until smooth. Fold in egg yolk and vanilla until combined.
Spread half of cream cheese mixture (¾ cup or 171 grams) within scored area on each rectangle. Cover pastries with greased plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until puffed, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
Gently spread half of Cranberry Compote (¾ cup or 257 grams) onto cream cheese mixture on each pastry.
In a small bowl, whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush egg wash onto pastry border.
Bake, one pan at a time, until golden brown and puffed, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool on pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and orange juice; drizzle onto Danish. Let stand for 10 minutes; serve warm.
Yeasted Rough Puff Pastry
Makes 2 (15-inch) Danish or 2 (14-inch) loaves
- 3 tablespoons (45 grams) water
- 3 tablespoons (36 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- 1¼ teaspoons (3.5 grams) active dry yeast*
- 2¼ cups (286 grams) bread flour
- 1¾ teaspoons (5.25 grams) kosher salt
- ½ cup (113 grams) plus 3 tablespoons (42 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- ½ cup (120 grams) cold whole milk
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
In a small microwave-safe bowl, stir together 3 tablespoons (45 grams) water and ½ teaspoon (2 grams) sugar; heat on high in 10-second intervals until an instant-read thermometer registers 110°F (43°C) to 115°F (46°C). Whisk in yeast until well combined. Let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat bread flour, salt, and remaining 2 tablespoons plus 2½ teaspoons (34 grams) sugar at low speed until combined. Add 3 tablespoons (42 grams) cold butter; beat until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs, about 3 minutes. Add remaining ½ cup (113 grams) cold butter; beat just until butter is coated with flour.
Add cold milk to yeast mixture. With mixer on low speed, add yeast mixture to flour mixture in a slow, steady stream, beating just until a shaggy dough comes together. (There will still be large pieces of butter.)
Lightly dust work surface with all-purpose flour. Turn out dough onto prepared surface, and shape into a rough 5-inch square. (Dough will be soft and slightly sticky.) Wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze for 30 minutes.
Lightly dust work surface with all-purpose flour. Turn out dough onto prepared surface, and roll into a 10x5-inch rectangle, lightly dusting surface and top of dough with all-purpose flour as needed. (See Note.) Fold dough in half so short sides meet. Pat fold to mark center. Unfold dough, and pull one short side to center. Pull opposite side to center so short sides are touching. Pinch seams together; fold along center seam, like closing a book. (This is called a book-fold.) Rotate dough 90 degrees; repeat rolling and folding procedure once to complete second book-fold. (Dough will start out soft, rough, and somewhat sticky but will come together; turn dough over as needed so edges are rolled out as evenly as possible.) Wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze for 15 minutes.
Repeat rolling, folding, and rotating procedure twice (a total of 4 book-folds). Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1½ hours or up to overnight.
*We used Red Star® All-Natural Active Dry Yeast.
If at any point the dough is resisting or feels too soft, wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze for 10 to 15 minutes before continuing.
Makes about 1¾ cups
- 3 cups (330 grams) fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1¼ cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) water
- 1 tablespoon (3 grams) orange zest
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
In a medium saucepan, bring cranberries, sugar, 2 tablespoons (30 grams) water, orange zest, and salt to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have burst, begin to break down, and mixture has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and transfer to a heatproof bowl. Let cool completely before using. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
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