cherry pinwheel pastries.Posted on Jan 10, 2011 in baking, fruit, fruit desserts, pastry, recipes, sweet, yeast breads | 16 comments
Danishes are one of those ultra impressive pastries that will have your guests rushing the brunch buffet table, and licking their fingers for more. So, when I was set with the task of bringing the starring (sweet) attraction to a family brunch over the holidays, I though I’d try my hand at a simplified version of this elaborate treat.
The Danish is traditionally a laminated (layered) pastry, with multiple airy and tender layers created by sandwiching butter between layers of pastry dough, which are then rolled out and folded several times to create dozens of alternating layers of butter and dough. These lavish strata of butter and dough ultimately result in a baked product that is light, flaky, and (of course) buttery; this technique is also employed in the creation of croissants and puff pastry. I’m planning on making authentic laminated pastry in a future post, but I thought I’d ease my way into the role of amateur pâtissière with easy cherry-filled pinwheel pastries.
Since it is not actually laminated, this pinwheel “Danish-wannabe” pastry incorporates the butter directly into the dough, unlike a standard laminated pastry. It’s a quicker, easier process which omits “turning,” the repeated folding and turning of dough and butter during the lamination process; but of course, without all those layers of butter and dough to puff up and expand, these pinwheels are a little more dense (and less airy) than the real thing, but they’re still a delectable, extravagant-looking cheat treat.
I made my pastries for a family event and so actually made two batches of this recipe — feeding a band of brunching relatives — but if you don’t have a crowd on-hand to gobble up these pastries, you’ll be happy to know that they freeze well (stored in an air-tight container) to be enjoyed another morning.
Cherry Pinwheel Pastries
4½ tsp instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
½ cup warm water (110 degrees F)
4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
½ cup whipping cream
1¼ cups cherry jam
Egg Glaze Ingredients
1 tbsp water
Icing Glaze Ingredients
½ cup icing sugar
2 tbsp cream
- Not a cherry fan? Use your favorite jam, canned pie filling, such as lemon, blueberry, apricot, apple or raspberry, or a half square of chocolate as a filling instead!
- In medium bowl, combine yeast, 1 tsp sugar and warm water; let stand until foamy & frothy, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together flour, 1/3 cup sugar and salt; cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives used in a scissor-like fashion until mixture resembles cornmeal.
- Whisk 3 eggs and ½ cup cream into (now frothy) yeast mixture; pour into flour mixture and stir to incorporate, until moistened.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; butter two large baking sheets; set wire racks over waxed paper.
- Remove dough from refrigerator, divide dough in two (return one half of dough to the fridge), and use a rolling pin to roll out one half of the dough into a 12-inch square on a lightly floured board; cut into nine 4-inch squares.
- Dollop 1 tbsp filling into the center of each square of rolled dough.
- On each square, slice a 2-inch cut from each corner in toward the center; fold every other tip in toward the center (pressing firmly), forming the pinwheel shape (easy peasy!) Transfer pinwheels to baking sheets using a spatula.
- Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
- Beat 1 egg with 1 tbsp water in a small cup; brush lightly over pastries using a pastry brush.
- Bake in preheated (350 degree F) oven for 25-30 minutes — switching baking sheets on oven racks halfway through baking time — until beautifully golden.
- Transfer pastries to prepared wire racks to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, to prepare the icing glaze: in a small bowl, mix icing sugar with 2 tbsp cream. Using a fork, drizzle icing over pastries in zig-zag pattern.
- Get the coffee or tea brewing and get ready to nosh!
Adapted From Good Housekeeping Step-by-Step Cookbook
The danish is traditionally a laminated (layered) pastry, accomplished by sandwiching butter between layers of dough, which are then rolled out and folded several times to create dozens of alternating layers of butter and dough. These lavish strata of butter and dough ultimately result in a baked product that is light, flaky, and (of course) buttery. I’m planning on making authentic laminated pastry in a future post, but I thought I’d ease my way into amateur pâtissière with this easy cherry-filled sweet pastry.
Since it is not laminated, this pinwheel sweet pastry contains much less butter than a standard laminated pastry sweet pastry such as a danish, croissant or puff pastry, and is a quicker, easier process which omits “turning,” the repeated folding and turning of dough and butter during the lamination process. This recipe can be formed into pinwheels (as folows) or more simply into fold-overs.
I made my pastries for a family event and so actually made two batches of this recipe – feeding a band brunching relatives – but if you don’t have a crowd on-hand to gobble up these pastries, you’ll be happy to know that they freeze well (stored in an air-tight container) to be enjoyed another morning.