Thursday, 16 October 2008

Barefoot Bonus - Easy Cheese Danish

For Barefoot Bonus Day, Val of More Than Burnt Toast has chosen Ina’s Easy Cheese Danish from Barefoot Contessa at Home, page 218

These danish came together fairly easily. Put your ingredients out about 2 hours before you want to start baking, make the filling and then fill the puff pastry.

The wonderful thing about puff pastry is that is grows and forgives all fumblings. They looked like a bit of a mess going into the oven but turned out looking fine. These are a keeper, and nobody would know how easy they are to make.

As a bonus, I have most of a container of ricotta left over...... are you thinking lasagna?

Hubby couldn't resist bringing this gooseneck squash home when he got a pumpkin. I thought it was so funny that I would use it as a background. I wonder how he is going to carve it?

Easy Cheese Danish
8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 extra large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 T ricotta cheese
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 - 1 T grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Place the cream cheese & sugar in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment and cream together on low speed until smooth. With the mixer still on low, add the egg yolks, ricotta, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest and mix until just combined. Don’t whip!
Unfold one sheet of pastry onto a lightly floured board and roll it slightly with a floured rolling pin until it’s a 10×10 inch square. Cut the sheet into quarters. Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese filling into the middle of each of the 4 squares. Brush the border of each pastry with egg wash and fold two opposite corners to the center, brushing and overlapping the corners of each pastry so they firmly stick together. Brush the top of the pastries with egg wash. Place the pastries on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and refrigerate the filled Danish for 15 minutes.
Bake the puff pastries for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown. Serve warm.

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