This Mincemeat Cream Cheese Danish combines the best of several countries. This easily made braid is extraordinarily beautiful and tastes every bit as good as it looks.
Mock Puff Pastry
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1 ¾ cup all purpose flour (245 grams or 8 ⅔ ounces)
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup frozen unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (225 grams or 8 ounces)
½ cup cold sour cream (114 grams or 4 ounces)
Place the flour, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a processor or a mixer. Place the butter over the flour and process with pulses or beat with a mixer until the butter is cut in but leaving pea size pieces of butter.
Add the sour cream and pulse until the dough is equally moistened. In the processor it will look rather like sand. In the mixer it will come together in clumps. Either case is fine.
Pour out onto a work surface and push together to form a cohesive mass. Shape into a rectangle and roll into a 16x8 rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Brush off any loose flour. Bring the bottom to the middle of the dough. Bring the top down to the middle and fold in half. This is a book fold. Turn one quarter to the right. Repeat.
Wrap in film and refrigerate up to 2 days or place in a freezer bag and freeze for several months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.
Fillings for the Mincemeat Cream Cheese Danish
½ cup mincemeat filling, processed briefly to reduce the size of the fruit. It does not have to be pureed but should be more cohesive.
6 ounces cream cheese, softened (170 grams)
¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams or 1 ¾ ounces)
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg yolk
Place all in the bowl of a processor and process until smooth, scraping down once or twice.
Assembly of Mincemeat Cream Cheese Danish
Mock Puff Pastry
1 egg, well beaten
Sanding sugar, optional
If at any time the dough starts to soften, place it on a baking sheet and refrigerate or freeze until it is cold.
Roll the dough for the Mincemeat Cream Cheese Danish into a 10x14 inch rectangle.
With the back of a knife, lightly mark the top and bottom 3” in from the14" side. Draw a line connecting the two. Do not cut through the dough. Repeat on the opposite side. Place the dough on a piece of parchment the size of the baking sheet.
There will be a 4” section marked off in the middle. Spread the mincemeat filling over this section. Top with the cheese filling. Place in refrigerator or freezer to firm up if necessary before continuing.
Cut the sides of the dough into 1” horizontal strips, just up to the line on both sides of the filling.
Starting at the top, fold the left strip of dough over the filling and slightly downward. Brush the tip with water and cross the right strip over it. Continue in this manner until you reach the bottom. Fold the last two strips of dough straight across to seal the braid.
Brush the braid with the beaten egg and
sprinkle generously with sanding sugar if using.
Freeze the pastry while preheating the oven for about 10 minutes but do not let it freeze throughout.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Double Pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes,until deeply browned covering the top lightly if it browns too much.
Note: This Mincemeat Cream Cheese Danish can be assembled and frozen before or after baking. If frozen before baking thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Bake from the refrigerator.
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