I picked some sweet cherries up from our local market right before our trip to Florida; however, in all of the hustle and bustle of trying to get everything ready, I completely forgot they were in the refrigerator. Imagine how happy I was upon our return to discover that they hadn’t withered away into brown mush!
So far over the last couple of months all of the cherries that I’ve bought have been unabashedly eaten out of hand. Since I’m the only person in my house who likes them, I very rarely bake cherry anything. This time, though, I was keen to create something, even if it did mean that I’d have to eat the results all by myself. It’s a rough life, I know.
Cherry Cream Cheese Danish
2 cups sweet cherries
¼ cup water
2 tsp corn starch
1 tbsp sugar
½ tsp bourbon (optional)
Cream Cheese Filling-
8 oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
½ tsp bourbon (optional)
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp sliced almonds
1 tbsp sugar
[Before I get started with the directions, I have to apologize. I only took pictures of me making the cherry filling. By the time I got around to making the cream cheese filling and assembling the danishes, it was far too dark in my kitchen to take any photographs. Whenever I make this again, I’ll make sure to add the pictures to this post.]
For the cherry filling, pit (I used a sterilized paper clip to do this)
and slice the cherries.
Be careful—cherry juice stains everything, and your counter may end up looking as though the great cherry massacre of 2011 has just taken place. Keep some paper towels handy.
Make a slurry of ½ cup water and 2 teaspoons corn starch. Then mix the cherries, corn starch slurry,
1 tablespoon sugar, and ½ teaspoon bourbon together in a medium saucepan. I also added the cherry juice that had collected in the bottom of the dish where I put all the cherry pits. Just be careful that none of the pits fall into the cherry filling– breaking teeth is not a deliciously decadent experience.
Cook the mixture on low until it is thick and reduced by half, then set aside to cool.
[This is where I stopped taking pictures. Sorry!]
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
For the cream cheese filling, mix together the cream cheese with ½ cup of sugar until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the egg, mixing on medium until mixture is thick, and then briefly mix in ½ tsp of bourbon and ½ tsp vanilla.
Set the mixture aside.
Line and grease a large cookie sheet.
On a lightly floured surface, lay one sheet of puff pastry. Mentally divide puff pastry into thirds, and gently spread ½ of the cream cheese filling down the center third, leaving about an inch of space on the top and bottom ends of the middle third where the filling is.
[Could really use those photos now, huh? Maybe some drawings from paint will help?]
Using ½ of the cherry mixture, drop spoonfuls on top of the cream cheese filling.
Carefully fold the part where you left the inch of space up about an inch up over the filling—this will keep the fillings from gushing out the ends while baking.
The fold one third of the pastry over the filling,
and repeat with the other third of the pastry.
Gently cut 3 slashes in the top of the pastry to allow stem to escape. Brush 1 tablespoon melted butter over the pastry. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 tablespoon of the sliced almonds over the top of the pastry roll.
Repeat this process with the remaining filling and pastry ingredients.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until pastry is puffed and golden brown.
Yield: 12 servings
I ate a slice hot, a slice room temperature, and a slice cold, and I have to say that I liked the danish better cold with a hot cup of coffee.
And yes, I did just admit to eating three slices of this stuff. I promise the first two were very small.