Looking for a dessert that is both flaky and creamy with a pop of tartness? Look no further than these blackberry cream cheese Danish pastries filled with a rich blackberry curd and vanilla cream cheese filling.
Blackberry Cream Cheese Danish
- 12 ounces blackberries, fresh or frozen
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons butter (28 grams)
Cream cheese filling
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water (egg wash)
- ⅓ cup turbinado sugar (73 grams)
- 6 ounces fresh blackberries, for garnish
- powdered sugar, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Puree blackberries until smooth. Strain seeds and discard. Heat blackberry puree in a medium saucepot over medium heat until simmering. Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer until reduced to ½ cup, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Combine ½ cup blackberry puree (130 grams) with sugar, egg, egg yolks, and lemon juice in a medium saucepot. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Continue to simmer until curd thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter, whisking until butter is melted and fully incorporated. Strain curd through a fine-mesh sieve. Set aside and let cool.
- Make cream cheese filling. Beat together cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla until well combined.
- Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour. Roll out puff pastry sheets until you can cut 3 rows of 3 ½-inch circles for a total of 9 portions per sheet. Arrange the puff pastry rounds on the prepared baking sheet.
- Use a fork to prick the center of each round. Fill the center with 1 tablespoon cream cheese filling, making sure to leave a border. Brush the edges with egg wash and sprinkle about 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar on the edges. Bake Danish pastries for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown, rotating the sheet pans halfway through. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- Fill the center of each pastry with 1 heaping tablespoon blackberry curd. Top with fresh blackberries and dust powdered sugar on top if desired.
I'm obsessed with fruit curd. It doesn't matter what type of curd, give me a lemon curd, rhubarb curd, or kiwi curd, and I'll take them all. Since the weather is getting warmer and we're inching closer to summer, I'm jumping the gun and making a blackberry curd. They've been especially delicious right now so it only seemed appropriate. Now what vessel can I pair the blackberry curd with? A flaky pastry of course!
To make this dessert as easy to prepare as possible, I decide to use store-bought puff pastry and fill it with vanilla cream cheese filling. Bake the Danish until golden brown, top it with a dollop of blackberry curd, and garnish with fresh berries. No one would guess that these pastries came together in a cinch! And yes, they taste just as good as they look.
- Blackberries: Blackberries are typically in season from late spring to early fall with the peak during July and August. If fresh blackberries aren't available, you can use frozen ones. You can also substitute them with another berry such as strawberries or raspberries.
- Puff pastry: A type of laminated dough that is incredibly light, flaky, and buttery when baked. Since puff pastry is a labor of love, I always opt for the storebought version.
- Lemon juice: Use lemon juice for the blackberry curd to balance the sweetness and enhance the berry flavors.
- Eggs: You need both egg yolks and a whole egg for the blackberry curd. The egg yolks add richness while the egg white helps stabilize the mixture. The combination of both yolks and whole eggs created a curd with a smooth, velvety texture and a stable consistency.
- Cream cheese: The tangy creamy cream cheese compliments the buttery puff pastry and bright lemon curd. You can substitute cream cheese with mascarpone if desired.
- Turbinado sugar: A type of raw sugar that is slightly coarser than granulated sugar. It has a subtle molasses flavor and adds a crunchy texture to the pastries. If you can't find turbinado sugar, use demerara sugar or muscovado sugar instead.
How to Make Blackberry Cream Cheese Danish
Step 1: Make the Blackberry Curd
Let's start making the Danish pastries by first making the star ingredient, the blackberry curd. If you ever made lemon curd, the process is similar except for an extra step. Before we can make the actual curd, we first have to make the blackberry concentrate.
Puree fresh or frozen blackberries until and strain the juice, discarding the seeds. Then, heat the blackberry puree, simmering the juices until it reduces to about ½ cup. Stir the puree occasionally to prevent it from popping. As it reduces, the puree will thicken. Remove from heat and let it cool. You can also prepare the concentrate up to 3 days in advance.
Next, combine the blackberry puree with the remaining curd ingredients including sugar, egg, egg yolks, and lemon juice. Heat the mixture in a medium saucepot over medium-low heat and simmer until the curd thickens, stirring constantly. Make sure to stir constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. You can also cook the curd in a double boiler to prevent any risk of scrambling the eggs, but it will take longer for it to thicken.
Once thickened, remove from heat and whisk in the butter. Strain the blackberry curd to make it extra smooth and let it cool.
Step 2: Prepare the Pastries
Now that the hard part is over, we can concentrate on the remaining components including the cream cheese filling. To make the cream cheese filling, beat together softened cream cheese with sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. It's easier to combine if the cream cheese is softened so let it sit at room temperature before mixing.
Lightly dust a clean work counter and roll out the puff pastry sheets until you can cut 3 rows of 3 ½-inch circles using a biscuit cutter. You can also cut the sheet into 3 ½-inch squares if you prefer.
Use a fork to prick the center of each round to prevent it from puffing up too much. I also used a 3-inch biscuit cutter to lightly mark a border. This way, I knew exactly where to prick the fork.
Step 3: Bake
Fill the center of each puff pastry round with a tablespoon of cream cheese filling. As tempting as it is to fill it with more filling, I don't recommend it. When the pastry bakes, the filling will spill over too much if overfilled.
Brush the edges of each pastry with egg wash and sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of turbinado sugar on top. Pop the blackberry cream cheese Danishes in the oven at 400 degrees F for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Since the pastries are relatively small, they won't take long to bake. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely. The Danishes will puff up in the oven but will deflate and create a "crater" once cooled.
Step 4: The Finishing Touches
I'm not going to lie, the cream cheese Danishes just by themselves are pretty tasty. But we want to make them extra special so we're going to top each pastry with a heaping tablespoon of blackberry curd. Top each pastry with fresh blackberries if desired and finish with a light dusting of powdered sugar.
These blackberry cream cheese danishes not only look fabulous, but they also taste it. The cream cheese filling bakes on the puff pastry, making it taste almost like a cheesecake. Then top that goodness with a sweet but bright blackberry curd and it's summer in every bite.
Can I make the blackberry curd ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the blackberry curd ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week.
What do I do with the leftover puff pastry scraps?
You can bake them and toss them with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar as a snack!
How do I store the danishes?
Store the danishes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. They can also be frozen for up to one month.
For more blackberry desserts, check out this blackberry apricot buckle cake!
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