Puff Pastry and I are not friends. We’ve worked together before and it hasn’t been pretty. For some reason, I don’t have the magic touch with this particular pastry item. It hasn’t been for lack of effort either! The gorgeous, golden brown, layered, flaky, stunning pastry just seems to elude me.
This morning however, I was determined to change that! I decided to try a Braided Apple Cream Cheese Danish using my nemesis, Puff Pasty! It came out so much better than I anticipated. I’m excited about how easy this was to put together. I love having a simple, yet stunning breakfast item in my repertoire. Even better, Puff Pastry and I might become friends after all!
I gathered all my ingredients and set to work…
A sheet of thawed Puff Pastry, Cream cheese mixed with sugar, apple pie filling, and egg wash. Yep, that’s it. Told you it was easy!
I opened up the sheet of puff pastry and cut it into four squares. Using a sharp knife, I cut strips on each side of every square. You want to leave the center uncut so you’ll have a place to put your filling! Eight stripes on each side seemed to be a good number.
Then, I put some of the cream cheese mixture down the center of each pastry square.
Add a layer of apples on top of the cream cheese. Then wrap your filling with the pastry. With the square facing you, pick up the top right strip of pastry and cross it over to the other side, at a slight downward angle. Pick up the top left strip, cross it over the filling and the first strip you just laid down. Continue alternating down the square until you reach the last two strips of pastry. Those two strips you will want to cross slightly upward on the pastry to hold the filling in. When you’re done, it will look like this…
Because I’ve never done this before, my first attempts at braiding were pretty sad…
I told you Puff Pastry and I don’t get along!
It’s not entirely Puff Pastry’s fault. It’s a new skill for me to wrap things in pastry. If I were wrapping something in bacon, I could totally do this!! Eventually, I figured out how to make better looking danishes… The secret is to not pull so much on the pastry strip and try to get them as even as possible. Side Note: Next time… bacon wrapped puff pastry?
Lightly brush the pastry with an egg wash to get that golden brown color as it bakes!
Bake at 400 degrees for approx 20 minutes and you’ll have yourself a Braided Apple and Cream Cheese Danish for breakfast. Some of the filling oozed out while it was baking. That’s ok! While it isn’t very pretty, they still tasted fantastic. That’s what matters right? Especially when you’re learning!
Frozen Puff Pastry comes in two sheets. I used one sheet for the first four danish. The second sheet, I decided to split down the middle and make longer Danish style treats. One with just cream cheese and the other with the rest of the apple mixture. This is what they looked like…
The cream cheese held together better than the apple (and I like the flavor better) but the apple had more juices and therefore more spillage during baking.
Puff Pastry and I are still a work in progress, but I think it will improve the more we get together! Do you want to try this yourself? Here is the recipe! Enjoy my foodie friends!
Braided Apple and Cream Cheese Danish
1 8 oz package Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
4 TBLS sugar
1 can apple pie filling
1 box (2 sheets) Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry, thawed
1 tsp water
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Line a cookie sheet with a silpat or parchment paper and set aside.
In a small bowl, use a fork and mix together the cream cheese and sugar until well blended.
In another bowl, put the pie filling so it’s easier to spread on the pastry sheet.
On a lightly floured surface, open one puff pastry sheet and cut into four squares.
Cut eight strips on each side of the squares, leaving a space in the middle for the filling to rest.
Spoon approx. three TBLS of cream cheese mix down the center of each square.
Place slices of apple filling over the cream cheese, being careful not to use too much of the sauce.
Carefully wrap one strip of pastry over the other, forming a nice cocoon of appley-cheesey goodness.
Transfer each finished danish to the prepared cookie sheet.
Brush each danish with egg wash.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and a golden brown.
Serve warm or at room temperature.