It seems like months ago now that I put a poll up on my side bar to see who your favourite Food Network star was. Finally after all this time I am posting a recipe from your choice Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa herself, who won by a landslide. And yes there will be a new poll up in the near future if you're interested in that kind of thing. The name Barefoot Contessa comes from a specialty food store Ina had in the late '70's in Westhampton Beach.
This recipe comes from her cookbook "Barefoot Contessa at Home". She says, "Home is wherever Jeffrey is." You can prepare these Danish the night before and bake them in the morning to be eaten warm with a cup of special coffee or herbal tea. For an extra special treat you can drizzle them with some nutella mixed with a tablespoon of cream and heated in the microwave.
I am presenting this dish for a quick and easy breakfast meal for this months Waiter There's Something in My..." event. This innovative event is hosted alternately by Jeanne of Cook Sister!, Andrew of SpittoonExtra and Johanna of Passionate Cook . This month Johanna's choice is to find that perfect breakfast food.
Perfect breakfast food to me needs to be quick and easy so that you can carry on with the rest of the day without being under a mountain of preparation or dishes... but... the comfort stays with you for the rest of the day. These Danish make a memorable breakfast. Serve with a fruit salad and you have a breakfast special enough for company and yet quick enough to wolf down on a harried week day. To me this is perfection!!
**Easy Cheese Danish**
8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 extra large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 T ricotta cheese (I used mascarpone)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 - 1 T grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Place the cream cheese & sugar in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment and cream together on low speed until smooth. With the mixer still on low, add the egg yolks, ricotta, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest and mix until just combined. Don't whip!
Unfold one sheet of pastry onto a lightly floured board and roll it slightly with a floured rolling pin until it's a 10x10 inch square. Cut the sheet into quarters. Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese filling into the middle of each of the 4 squares. Brush the border of each pastry with egg wash and fold two opposite corners to the center, brushing and overlapping the corners of each pastry so they firmly stick together. Brush the top of the pastries with egg wash. Place the pastries on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and refrigerate the filled Danish for 15 minutes.
Bake the puff pastries for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown. Serve warm.
Makes 8 Danish