I’m a sucker for buttery, flaky treats, especially enjoyed with close friends and family first thing in the morning. With the weather getting a little warmer and the smell of spring in the air, all I am dreaming about is long days at the cottage, sitting by the lake with perhaps a cocktail, good conversation and of course enjoying the abundance of home cooking and baking on the bbq and the oven.
Mornings at the cottage are my favourite. The mist dissipating off the lake, the peacefulness that surrounds nature; only the birds and the wildlife that stirs vibrantly but gracefully. I love waking up in those moments, making a hot cup of tea and rolling out my yoga mat on the dock. I feel alive, greatful and present and then the rest of my day can start – normally back to the kitchen to make a big breakfast, always filled with lovely treats, farm fresh eggs and bacon from our local butcher.
I’m excited to share this recipe with you and I will definitely will be making this the next time I’m up at the lake. It’s simple to make and doesn’t involve a lot of prep work. Puff pastry is great for that, and you’d be surprised how versatile it is. You can even make the filling the night before so all you have to do is assemble the cheese danish and bake. You’ll have the warm lemon buttery smell filling the air for everyone in the house to wake up to, what a treat for your guests!
This cheese danish will definitely be a staple at the lake this year. Not only because it’s simple to make but the danish itself is the right amount of sweet for a morning treat. The filling is so light and refreshing and it pairs lovely with the flaky, soft yet crisp pastry. I think the next time I might add some fresh raspberries to the filling! That’s the thing, you can add any fruit you’d like or homemade jam to sweeten things up.
For fun, I used the braided technique for the cheese danish. It seems difficult or complicated when you see the end result and if you’ve never tried it before, but in reality it’s very easy to do. I made sure to add some pictures with just how simple it is. It’s basic 1 inch cuts that are folded into the middle and then crossed over each other. I think this technique looks beautiful and is a simple way to fancy up your baking.
- 1 package of puff pastry (make sure it's defrosted and ready to use)
- ½ cup cream cheese, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- ¼ cup ricotta cheese
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- zest of 1 large lemon
- 2 Tablespoons of milk, for brushing the tops of the danishes
- ½ cup sifted icing sugar
- 1 Tablespoon milk
- ⅛ teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 400˚F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl beat cream cheese and sugar together until well combined. Add egg yolks, ricotta, vanilla extract, salt and lemon rind. Beat on medium high for approx. 2-3 minutes until mixture starts to thicken and
is pale yellow. Set aside. colour
- On a floured work surface roll out one piece of the puff pastry, approx. 10 x 10 inches (it doesn't need to be exact).
- To make the braid - lightly mark your pastry into 3 sections (vertically); 3 inches, 4 inches and 3 inches. Now cut
1 inchstrips horizontally on the 3 inchsides. See images above for reference.
- Fill the center of the pastry with half of the lemon cheese filling, leaving ½ inch from the edges.
- Starting from the top on the left side, fold one strip into the center of the lemon pastry (slightly angled down). Now on the right side hold the top strip in and overlap the other strip. Repeat until you don't have any strips left. If you have an extra strip that doesn't fit just cut it off.
- Slide the danish onto your prepared baking sheet, leaving room for another danish.
- Repeat the process to make another danish.
- Brush the tops of the danishes with milk. Place in the middle
ofthe oven and bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown and the bottom is browning.
- Remove from baking pan and place on a cooling rack to cool.
Meanwhilemake your icing. Mix icing sugar, milkand vanilla together. Drizzle over danishes once cooled.
Best eaten the day of, will last for 2-3 days in an airtight container.