Danish pastries combine a flaky laminated yeast dough with a sweet filling (and if you're lucky, a glaze, too). Similar to a croissant, the dough is laminated with a butter insert to make layers of flaky goodness.
We go tropical with our Danish, filling them with a lime cream cheese before slathering them with mango preserves. Right before serving, we drizzle a sticky lime glaze on the edges for the perfect sweet-tart tang.
As with any laminated dough, temperature is key. Make sure your butter is cool, but still pliable to allow the dough to be folded smoothly with even layers of butter. If you feel your dough get too soft, pop it in the fridge until firm again. Though making so many folds may seem tedious, the work will be worth it once you have a bite and see flake after flake.
To learn more, read "Great Danish."
Cheese Danish with Mango and Lime
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 9 Danish
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus proofing and chilling time
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes, plus proofing and chilling time
For the Dough:
5½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
⅓ cup sugar
4 teaspoons instant yeast
2½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup whole milk
⅓ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
2 sticks butter
For the Filling:
1 cup (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 eggs, divided
6 tablespoons mango preserves
For the Glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1. Make the dough: In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, salt and cardamom. Mix until incorporated. With the motor running, add the milk, water, vanilla and eggs. Mix until a smooth dough comes together, 4 to 5 minutes. Cover the bowl loosely in plastic and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 hour. On a heavily floured work surface, beat the butter with a rolling pin into a 6-by-8-inch rectangle. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill until ready to use.
2. Meanwhile, make the filling: In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese, sugar, salt, lime zest and 1 of the eggs until smooth, then set aside.
3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 14-by-18-inch rectangle, ⅓ inch thick. Place the chilled butter block on one half of the dough and fold the other half to enclose the butter completely. Roll the dough into a 12-by-10-inch rectangle, then fold it into thirds, like a letter. Continue this process 3 more times for a total of 4 folds. After the final fold, transfer the dough to the fridge and chill for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 400° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 15-inch square, ⅓ inch thick, then cut into 9 squares. Dollop 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture in the center of each square, then top each with 2 teaspoons of the mango preserves. Fold the edges of the dough of each Danish in toward the filling to make a rounded pastry. Divide the pastries between the two prepared baking sheets. Beat the remaining egg and brush over the dough of each Danish. Bake until golden brown and flaky, 20 minutes. Let cool completely.
5. Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a medium bowl, mix the confectioners' sugar and lime juice until smooth. Once the Danish are cooled, drizzle the glaze over the edges and serve.