One of my (many) favorite things about June is all the delicious, colorful fruits and berries she produces. I plan on using a lot of them in the coming weeks! This week it’s peach and apricot jam wrapped up in a pretty, braided danish, then drizzled with not-so-sweet cream cheese glaze.
Like many other delicious things, this recipe takes up a lot of your time. It’s best to do it all the night before, so when morning comes you can just assemble it all and have it ready to eat for brunch(or lunch if you’re anything like me). The jam you can make the day of if you’re up to it. I prefer to do it a day before so it can sit and collect all it’s flavors.
Speaking of jams, I absolutely love how this jam I concocted turned out for me! Every time I make strawberry jam or anything else, it never turns out. It’s usually more like a strawberry sauce with chunks in it.. yeah. This peach-apricot jam, though.. it’s SO good. Like, eat it off the spoon by itself, kinda good. I put more lemon juice than a small amount of jam like this would usually use, but it gave it some tang(and I love tang)!
Now about this danish. It’s equally amazing as the jam is. The crust is flaky and the insides oh so buttery! Not to mention it’s rather pretty to look at, I almost didn’t want to cut it up. It’s only been a couple three hours since I pulled it out of the oven and there’s practically nothing left. Needless to say, it was a big hit with the siblings.
- 3 1/2 - 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 tablespoons instant yeast
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons water, lukewarm
- 1 cup milk, lukewarm
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cold
- 4 medium sized peaches, ripe
- 4 apricots, ripe
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- milk, for thinness
- In an electric standing mixer with dough hook attached, add 3 cups of flour, the yeast, sugar, and salt. Mix on low till combined.
- In a separate bowl, heat the milk and 2 tablespoons of water till lukewarm. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir with a fork till eggs are slightly beaten.
- Add liquids to the flour. Mix on medium speed till the dough comes together. If the dough is still very liquid-y after adding the liquids, add the 1/2 cup flour. Add more flour in 1/4 cup increments, if necessary, till the dough comes together. It should be elastic, soft, and somewhat sticky when touched.
- Remove dough from mixer and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a rectangle using your fingers and let it rest there for 15 minutes.
- While waiting for the dough to rest, take the two sticks of butter and with a knife, slit them down the center(long ways) till you have a total of 4 strips of butter. Place them side-by-side on a large piece of parchment paper and then sprinkle with some flour. Cover them with another piece of parchment then gently beat the butter with a rolling pin till flat and about 4" wide and 8" long. Place them in the fridge till ready to use.
- Once the dough is done resting, roll it into a large rectangle till it's (roughly) 12" wide and 20" long. It's OK if it's not a perfect rectangle. Dust with flour.
- Take 2 of the butter strips and place them next to each other in the center of the rectangle. Fold one side of the dough till it is on top of the butter; then place the other 2 strips of butter on top of the first fold and fold the other half of the dough over the butter. Pinch the ends shut. You should have a rectangular looking pack. Now, gently roll the packet of dough into a 12" x 20" inch rectangle, again. Fold in both ends so they meet in the center, then fold over one last time(like you're closing a book). Lightly rub the dough with some flour, then wrap loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- DAY 2: Lightly flour a large piece of parchment paper and turn the dough out(keep the dough on this paper for easy transport to and from the pan). Roll dough into a large rectangle that is 15" long and 8" wide. Try to make it as close to the rectangle shape as possible. Using a pizza cutter, cut the four corners off the rectangle and cut 1-inch wide strips down both sides of the rectangle(you should have a total of 15 strips each side); the strips should be 2 inches long. There should be 4 inches left between both sides of the slits for the jam to go onto. Spread all but 1/8 cup of the jam onto the center.
- TO BRAID: Take the strip on your top left and fold it till it's on top the jam, then take the strip on the right and lay it on the other strip. Repeat this process; alternating from one side to the other all the way down to the bottom. Pinch the ends together. Carefully lift the parchment, with the braid on top, onto a large, rimmed baking sheet. Cover with a thin towel and let it rise 30 minutes to an hour till slightly puffy.
- In the meantime, preheat oven to 375°F. Once the dough is somewhat puffy, brush with egg wash(1 egg beaten). Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
- Once done, remove from oven and brush with left-over jam. Drizzle with cream cheese glaze and let it cool before eating.
- Remove peel and pits from fruit and dice into small chunks. Put fruit into a medium sized pot and add the lemon juice, then stir. Add the sugar and bring it all to a simmer over medium heat. Stir occasionally to make sure it doesn't burn. Do this till the mixture has thickened(about 20-25 minutes). To be sure it is thick enough, take a cold knife and dip it in the jam if it drips off very slowly( or sticks ), it's done. Pour jam into a clean 32-ounce glass jar and cover with a lid. Place in fridge overnight.
- Using a hand mixer(or a standing mixer)with beaters attached, cream the cream cheese till smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla, and 1/4 cup milk. The glaze should be thin enough to drizzle over the danish. If it's not thin enough after adding the 1/4 cup milk, keep adding more milk 1 tablespoon at a time till it reaches the right consistency.