Saturday, August 8, 2009

Ina Garten's Easy Cheese Danish


Hello everyone!

I've been so busy at work, that I've had no time to cook-- let alone to blog about anything at all. I work at a public high school, and it's registration time, and that means that I am racing non-stop. I have so many of my favorite blogs to visit, so I'll catch up within a week. I doubt my work pace will slow down until mid-August, so I might be a little scarce. I miss all of you, and I miss having the time and energy to be in my kitchen.

I did want to share with you an easy recipe I made last weekend. I'm not kidding about this being easy and versatile! It's not a low-fat recipe but once in a while, I crave a fresh cheese Danish pastry. I watched Ina Garten make this on Food Network a couple of weeks ago, and I decided this would make a nice breakfast treat with a cup of dark roast coffee. Wow! This is delicious!

Fortunately, I have recently overcome my fear of working with puff pastry. There's no mystery to it at all, folks. There are two ways I defrost puff pastry-- I either remove it from the freezer and cover it with a damp paper towel and wait about 30 minutes. Or, I put the box of puff pastry in the fridge (overnight) and I'm ready to go in the morning.

With this recipe, there's no rolling pin required. Just cut each sheet into four squares (be sure to flour your surface) and parchment paper makes life a lot easier.

The week before I made the Cheese Danish, I decided to use some of my homemade jams to make a simple puff pastry turnover. I decided to play around with different ways of folding puff pastry. I wanted to play with the sparkling white sugar I had recently ordered from King Arthur Flour...
I had recently made peach jam, so I decided to use this as a filling.

These were delicious-- hot out of the oven.


The following week, I decided to make the cheese filling for Ina's Easy Cheese Danish Recipe. I decided to follow the advice from many comments about this recipe. The suggestion was to make the cheese filling the night before, because other comments said that the filling was too runny if not allowed to chill properly. The filling consists of cream cheese, ricotta cheese, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest. I also used one lemon, instead of two because reviewers said the lemon was a little overpowering. Before bed, I removed a box of puff pastry from the freezer and put it into the fridge to thaw.


The next morning, I was glad that I chilled the filling. It was delicious and not too lemony.

I filled the puff pastry with the cream cheese filling, and used an egg wash to seal the pastry. I had almost made raspberry jam, so I decided to see what would happen if I added some jam on top of the cream cheese filling...

It sure looks pretty!

Here's a Raspberry Cheese and Peach Cheese Pastry...

Each pastry got a sprinkling of sparkling white sugar and was baked at 400F for about 20 minutes.
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

The plain cheese danish looked beautiful...

The raspberry jam kind of oozed over the edges and didn't look very photogenic. I think I didn't seal some of the flaps well, so they came apart. In retrospect, I should have folded it differently, since the jam is much thinner. Still, these tasted great! Overall, my personal favorite is the plain cheese-- but take your pick... just jam, just cheese or both!


Once again, Ina has given a simple recipe that I will use again and again. I think it would be easy to make these the night before and then when you wake up, just pop them into the oven.

These are a special treat, and they really are very easy to make. Your guests will think you are a genius. Your secret is safe with me.






Easy Cheese Danish on Foodista

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19 comments:

Sylwia said...

I love Ina! It seems that all her recipes are easy and tasty. This one is a must try!

Proud Italian Cook said...

I think these look great with everything oozing out. What a treat these would be in the morning with some dark roast coffee. I could be there in a few hours!!
Hope your work ease's up soon for you Deb.

Kate said...

I could be there in four hours! I will join you for coffee mid-morning! These look delicious!

Monica H said...

Why have I never thought to make a cheese danish?

It looks so simple and darn delicious! I'm about to run in the kitchen and make the filling so i can have these in the morning. but I don't have puff pastry :-(

BTW, I've missed you this week!

Donna-FFW said...

You have convinced me to try these. Totally convinced. I will buy puff pastry this week and serve these to my houseguests. Thanks for the inspiration. Like Monica, Ive missed you too.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

That's it, huh? Beautiful! I always end up with a spare sheet of puff pastry that sits around for too long. Next time I will use this recipe, and it will be gone (in a good way)!

Kristen said...

They all look gorgeous!

Valerina said...

Beautiful! May I please have a raspberry? I don't care how it looks. :)

Talita said...

Dessy, these look really yummy!! I have no doubt if I'll try I'll love them!

Phoo-D said...

This looks delicious and so easy! I love it.

Danielle said...

I stumbled onto your blog through another blog, from another blog...(you probably know how that goes) and boy am I glad I did! After looking at several of your recipes, I think you're a keeper! lol. I look forward to seeing more :)

Muneeba said...

I've always loved cheese danishes! Even though the fruit ones don't look as pretty, I'm pretty sure they still rocked :)
Oh & one more thing .. I've got a few awards for you on me blog!

Cheryl said...

I cannot wait to make this, oh yum!

Anonymous said...

This recipe is amazing and so delicious. Now I want to make them for an up and coming baby shower brunch but I was wondering if I can make them ahead and freeze before cooking? And cook them only when needed?
OH! and BTW I love your blog....thanks.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Dear Anonymous,
I wish you had left me an email, so I hope you check back. I would make the cream cheese filling no more than three days ahead. To me, I haven't had the best results when freezing cream cheese, so I would simply thaw the puff pastry overnight, and make these the day of the shower. You could refrigerate them a bit, before baking them. They take minutes to put together, one you practice folding the puff pastry. They are awesome!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you....I should have known that.
This BLOG thing is new to me so let me figure it out and I'll give you my email.

Patti said...

Oh these look yummy! They remind me of my Grandma. Whenever she would come and visit for the summer she would always have to go to the local bakery to buy their cream cheese pastries. She would buy one for herself and one for me. :) Great memories. I'll definitely have to try these!

Joan said...

These look delicious. I think I'll have to try some soon as my family loves cheese danish occasionally. Thanks for including the link in your review over at Cookbooker.com I'm southerncooker over there
Glad I discovered your blog from there love it.

Patty said...

i started making cheese danish with puff pastry recently and they are delicious, and super easy. I do have a tip, if you don't mind. One I learned from an awesome local baker: add your jam/jelly after baking and after they have cooled down. And you can also add fresh fruit on top of the jam. love your blog, btw. Patty