Get ready for the best brunch ever. Using just one pastry recipe, we're fashioning pastry dough into a half-dozen shapes, adding any of four delicious fillings. To create our pastries, we're using Cindy's Danish Pastry Recipe and plus four tasty pastry fillings. Let's look at the fillings first:
Four 5-Star Fillings for Your Pastries
This creamy filling blends cream cheese and sugar with vanilla and an egg yolk. "This is the cheese filling I use for several different sweet breads," says POKEY-TURTLE, "and it tastes like cheesecake. Everyone loves it. Can be used to fill kolachkes, braids or even dropped in the center of chocolate cupcakes -- yummy but loaded with calories."
Make your own cherry filling using fresh or frozen sour cherries. It's easy and requires just three ingredients -- pitted tart cherries, sugar, and cornstarch. "Wonderful!" raves anise. "I made little tarts with this recipe. So delicious."
"This is a ground poppy-seed filling often used for Middle European kolacs (also called kolacky or kolachke) -- filled, rolled, baked yeast dough -- and sweet rolls" says Hepzibah.
This custard filling holds its shape during baking and is delicious on its own, but really shines when topped with fruit. Try pastry cream crowned with a canned apricot half for a “fried egg” Danish.
6 Pastry Shapes
With the fillings figured out, it's time to make some shapes! Prepare the dough for Cindy's Danish Pastry as the recipe suggest, rolling out the dough to a thickness of a quarter inch.
1. The Coil
Wrap twisted strips of pastry dough into a coil shapes.
2. The Foldover
Fold thin sheets of pasta into envelopes.
3. The Kite
Start with a square pastry base. Shape strips of pastry dough along the edges with delicious filling in the center.
4. The Square
Fill the center of a pastry sheet with deliciousness and fold in the corners.
5. The Pinwheel
At each corner of a square sheet of pastry, make nice sharp diagonal slices through the pastry with a pairing knife. Fold each corner piece inward and press the center with your thumb to create an indention. Add a dollop of filling to the center.
6. The Braid
To create this shape, we're following the advice in Colleen Royal's Danish Kringle Recipe.
Form the dough into a rectangle, and flour lightly. On a heavily floured surface, roll out to approximately 12x17 inches. Position lengthwise on the work surface. Along the long edges of the dough rectangle, use a sharp knife to cut 4-inch long angled lines about 1/2 inch apart. Spoon filling along the length of the rectangle's uncut center.
Alternating from one side of the dough to the other, fold each 1/2 inch wide strip towards the center, crisscrossing the filling in a braid-like fashion. Lightly press together the ends of the strips to seal.