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Cherry Pie Filling - makes 2 cups, about as much as you'll find in a can of commercial cherry filling
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
pinch (1/8 tsp) of salt
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups stemmed and pitted cherries, with any juice
In a medium sized sauce pan combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir together to combine.
Add the water, lemon juice and any juice that drained from cherries. Stir well until the cornstarch has dissolved.
Add the cherries and cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. (The liquid will not cover the cherries but don't be concerned.) Cook for an additional two minutes once the mixture starts to boil or until the mixture has thickened. The cherries will soften and be submerged at this point.
Easy Danish Pastry - about 1 pound of pastry
1 package (2 1/4 tsp) of dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm milk
3 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp and 2 tsp white sugar, divided
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3/4 cup lukewarm half and half cream
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
In a small bowl, combine the milk and 1 tsp of the sugar. Reserve the rest of the sugar. Sprinkle the dry yeast over the top of the milk.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, the rest of the sugar and the salt. Mix together then cut in the butter until you have very small pieces.
Make a well in the middle of the flour/butter mixture and add the warm milk yeast mixture, beaten egg yolks and warm cream. Stir together with a fork or spatula until you have a very sticky dough. (Don't be concerned that you won't be able to roll it out.)
Cover the bowl with a sheet of cling film (Saran Wrap) and refrigerate until the next day.
Cream Cheese Filling for Danish
1 8 ounce package of Philadelphia cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2 tbsp white sugar
2 tsp vanilla sugar or extract
In a large bowl, whip the cream cheese with a hand blender until smooth. Add the sugar and continue blending until the sugar has dissolved. Add the vanilla and beat for another minute.
Butter/Icing Sugar Glaze - enough to glaze one 12-3 inch long and 3 inch wide cherry cheese danish braid
1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar or extract
3-4 tbsp half and half cream
Whip the butter in a small bowl with a hand blender. Add icing sugar and vanilla and continue whipping. Add, half and half cream, one tbsp at a time, until it's the thickness you want for drizzling over the danish. Or, if desired, transfer to a small plastic bag, cut off the corner of the bag on a diagonal to make a small opening. Squeeze the glaze over the danish.
Making the Danish
Half Danish Pastry Recipe
Cream Cheese Filling
1 cup Cherry Pie Filling
1 egg yolk lightly beaten with 1 tsp cold water
Preheat the oven to 375 deg Fahrenheit.
Roll out the pastry into a 9 inch by 13 inch rectangle (1/4 inch thick) on a sheet of parchment paper. Make sure to flour generously under the pastry before rolling it out. Square off the pastry as needed to the desired size.
Divide the pastry into 3 strips along the long edge by scoring very lightly with a butter knife as a guide.
Along the two long sides make cuts, 1 inch apart, from the edge to the central third of the pastry.
Transfer the danish pastry rectangle to a baking sheet, using the parchment paper as a sling.
Cover the central third of the pastry with the cream cheese filling.
Spoon the pie filling evenly over the cream cheese filling.
Starting from the left side, fold one of the pastry strips over the filling on a diagonal. Do the same with the first strip on the right side. Continue with a strip from the left side and repeat.
Brush the pastry with the beaten egg yolk.
Bake the braid in the preheated oven for 23-25 minutes, or until the top is a golden brown colour. Rotate the baking sheet after about 10 or 12 minutes so it will bake evenly.
Transfer the braid, again using the parchment paper as a sling to a wire cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.
Glaze as desired.