If there is anything I missed being gluten free, it was flakey pastry. For breakfast, for lunch or dinner, or as a treat; I day dreamt about the day I would have a butter pastry to eat again.
Thanks to the ever evolving gluten free community, I gained access to a puff pastry recipe, or two, and started trying them out! I was overjoyed to complete a recipe that turned out just as I had remembered it tasting before.
These danishes will take your palate to a whole new level, or a faint memory of times past. These are a slice of heaven and I hope you have a transcendental experience eating them, just like I did.
Happy Baking and Happy Holidays :)
410 grams or 3 C (minus 2 tbsp.) All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour
½ tsp. Salt
1 ½ C (345 grams) Cold unsalted butter
¾ C Ice water
1 tbsp. Milk
Add flour and salt together in a bowl and whisk together.
Cut ½ cup of the butter into small cubes and throw into the flour mixture. Work the butter into the flour mixture until it is crumbly; like sand.
Add the water to the butter-flour mixture and knead together with your hand until the dough forms together. The dough may be dry, you may add more water but wait to do so until you are kneading the dough.
Move the dough onto a clean, flour dusted surface. Knead the dough using the heel of your hands; it should start to combine better with the warmth of your skin. Add water one teaspoon at a time up to 6-9 teaspoons depending on the dryness of your dough. (Mine was particularly dry so I added quite a bit of water).
You should knead the dough for roughly 5 minutes and it should be smooth. The dough should not be ripping and cracking too much.
Shape the dough into a square, about 2 inches thick, and wrap in plastic wrap to allow a rest in the refrigerator.
Now, using the rest of the butter, you are going to create a square butter packet.
Place your butter on a piece of plastic wrap either as full sticks or cut into halves side by side. Sprinkle GF flour on top of your butter and place another sheet of plastic wrap on top. Using a rolling pin -- or your hand -- smack the butter into a rectangular shape.
Remove the top layer of plastic wrap, fold the butter over on itself, sprinkle with more flour, recover with plastic wrap, and repeat the smacking process. You will do this a total of 5-6 times, until you have a well formed butter square. It should measure 5 inches on each side and be roughly ½ inch thick. Cover your butter packet in the plastic wrap and allow it to rest in the freezer or fridge -- it should not be frozen solid but should not be soft enough to move when touched with your fingers.
Dust your work bench with more flour, lay the dough onto the surface and roll out with your rolling pin into a rectangle; about 11 inches long and 6 inches wide. Remove your butter packet from cooling and lay in the center of the dough. Fold the long flaps over to meet in the middle and pinch the seams closed on the top, bottom, and front (like an envelope). No butter should be showing at this point.
Take your rolling pin and roll the dough out into a rectangle; 15 inches by 6 inches. Fold the long way into thirds like a pamphlet and rotate the dough 90 degrees. You may consider refrigerating at this point and again between each roll out throughout the layering process. This will ensure that your butter stays cold enough not to sink into the dough and maintain those delicious, flakey layers. Refrigerate for 45-60 minutes between each roll out -- this part is tedious but SO worth it. Also, allow the dough to rest at room temp after each cooling session; if it is too cold it wont roll as well and is more likely to rip!! Each time you roll your dough out, roll to 15 X 6 inches and fold like a pamphlet; I rolled and folded mine at least 9 times. Once you have completed the number of folds you want (do at least 5), wrap your dough in plastic wrap and return to the fridge while we prep the Danish toppings.
CREAM CHEESE FILLING INGREDIENTS:
8 oz. Cream Cheese
4 Tbsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
¼ tsp. Almond extract
4 tsp Lemon juice
FRUIT FILLING INGRIEDIENTS:
½ C Favorite Fruit spread or homemade compote
2 C Fresh fruits (I did raspberries and strawberries)
2 Tbsp. Tapioca starch
1 Tbsp. Milk
¼ C powdered sugar (more or less depending on desired thickness)
Preheat your oven to 400F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
For the cream cheese filling, cream together VERY softened cream cheese and sugar until well combined. Add the extracts, and lemon juice until smooth.
In another bowl, spoon together the fruit spread/compote, berries/fruit of your choosing, and tapioca starch. Set aside.
Thaw the puff pastry for a few minutes. Roll it out into a large square that is roughly ¼-⅓ inch thick (It does not puff up as wildly as glutinous puff pastry but too thick and it won’t cook all the way through)
Slice your puff pastry into rectangles or squares around 3-4 inches in length on the sides.
Transfer your dough cutouts onto a baking tray and make sure they’re evenly spaced apart, about 1 inch. Using a knife, score each with a 1/4 in. border around the outside -- this allows them to rise while containing the filling. Make sure not to cut all the way through.
Whisk together the egg with 1 tbsp. of milk. Brush the ¼ in. boarders with egg/milk mixture.
Dollop 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese filling into the center of each Danish. Spread the filling around within the border.
Spoon the fruit filling into the center of the cream cheese.
Bake the Danishes in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until they have golden brown edges.