Prep time: 2½ hours Cook time: 10 minutes Makes 16 pastries
Majbritt Jacobs of Yuba City was looking for places that sell true Danish pastries.
Kirsten Jacobsen of Stockton is a Dane who has enjoyed Danish pastries in Denmark. She hasn't been able to find anything locally that compares. She shares this recipe, which she says is close to the real deal.
¼ cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 package active dry yeast
½ cup milk, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 sticks cold unsalted butter
1 cup (packed) dried apricots
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
1 cup toasted chopped almonds
2 beaten egg whites, divided use
Pearl sugar or sliced almonds
Powdered sugar glaze (optional)
½ cup powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons water
For the pastry: In a large bowl, combine the water and yeast, stir to dissolve and let stand five minutes until yeast begins to foam. Add the milk, egg, sugar and salt.
Measure flour into work bowl of a food processor with steel blade in place. Slice the butter into the flour. Using on/off bursts with the food processor, cut the butter into the flour until it is in pea-sized pieces (about eight bursts). Turn into a large bowl. Pour yeast mixture over and fold the two mixtures together just until the flour is moistened. Cover and refrigerate eight hours or overnight.
For filling: Stir the apricots, water and sugar together in a large microwave-safe bowl. Put bowl in microwave and cook at full power for 10 minutes, stirring a few times, until apricots are soft and puffed and have absorbed almost all the liquid. Turn the mixture into the work bowl of food processor with steel blade and process until smooth. Stir in lemon juice, almond extract and almonds. Cool.
Lightly flour work surface and turn dough out onto it. Dust the dough lightly with flour and shape dough into a rough square. Roll out to make a square about 16 inches on each side. Fold dough into thirds like a business letter. Roll lightly to flatten the dough and fold it again into thirds, closing the ends. Dough will now be in a square. Wrap dough and chill for 30 minutes. Roll again into a 16-inch square. Fold into thirds again. Roll out a second time to make a long, narrow rectangle and fold up again in thirds to make a square. Roll out to make a square 20-inches on a side. Cut into 16 five-inch squares.
Place a pastry square on the work surface. Spoon a tablespoon of filling into center. Brush uncovered edges with egg white and lift the four corners of the pastry off the counter and seal in the center of the square. Squeeze corners together, give a little pinch and a twist to create a small topknot. Place on parchment-covered baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pastry squares. Let pastries rise, covered with kitchen towel, for ½ hour until they look puffy. Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with pearl sugar or sliced almonds. Bake at 400 degrees for eight to 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Transfer to cooling rack and drizzle with powdered sugar icing, if desired.
Note: The prep time does not include the eight-hour to overnight chill time for the dough.
Per serving: 302 calories; 5 grams protein; 37 grams carbohydrates; 15 grams fat (8 saturated, 6 monounsaturated, 1 polyunsaturated); 45 milligrams cholesterol; 159 milligrams sodium; 2 grams fiber; 20 grams sugar; 45 percent calories from fat.