Monday, August 4, 2008

Danish Pastries with Ricotta Cheese

These easy and sweet yeast pastries are filled with a light and creamy ricotta mixture. Enjoy with an afternoon cup of tea or as a dessert. Recipe makes 10 pastries.


4 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
Pinch of salt
1 ounce (30 g) unsalted butter, diced
1/4 cup caster sugar
Sachet rapid rise yeast
2 large eggs, beaten
8 ounces (250 g) unsalted butter, softened
Beaten egg, to glaze
4 ounces (125 g) ricotta cheese
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind


1. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the diced butter and rub in with fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, yeast, eggs and about 3/4 - 1 cup cold water, until a soft dough forms.
2. Put the dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth. Roll out to a 15 x 10 inch (38 x 25 cm) rectangle. Spread the butter over the middle third of the dough. Fold the other two-thirds over the buttered third, to give 3 layers. Seal the edges with a rolling pin. Cover with oiled clear plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
3. Roll the layered dough out to the same size as the original rectangle; fold into 3. Repeat the rolling and folding process 3 more times. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a further 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the cheese, sugar, lemon juice and orange rind into a bowl. Stir well to combine.
5. Roll out the dough to the same size as before. Cut into ten 15 x 1 inch (38 x 2.5 cm) strips. Roll each strip into a rope and coil into a 'cup' shape, moulding together to seal. Place shaped pastries on 2 baking trays. Brush bases with beaten egg. Put the filling into the center of each, dividing evenly.
6. Preheat oven to 440 degrees F (220 degrees C). Cover the pastries with oiled plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
7. Brush the pastries with the beaten egg to glaze. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm.

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