Cinnamon, Apple & Raisin Danish Pastries with Orange Icing


Inspired by the Great British Bake Off, I felt the urge to roll up my sleeves & get the flour out.  Thinking back, I was quite surprised at how little baking I actually do, and felt that it was about time to put this right.  An outright push to up my baking skills, starting with one of my favourites – the Danish Pastry.

Definitely a first for me – effectively a yeast based rough-puff pastry.  Wow – talk about jumping in at the deep end…

These are terrific – really impressed for my first attempt.  Nice and sticky in the centre with a great flake.  The orange icing makes a nice change.  Perhaps consider egg-washing before the back for a nice shine, and maybe giving a first prove before rolling and a longer second proving…

Makes 12

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 1 sachet (7g) Fast Acting Yeast
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 125ml Milk, warmed
  • 225g Plain White Flour
  • a pinch of Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 100g Butter, diced

For the filling:

  • 1 Eating Apple, peeled & diced
  • 100g Raisins
  • 2 tsp ground Cinnamon
  • 50g Butter, softened, extra
  • 100g Soft Brown Sugar

For the topping:

  • Icing Sugar
  • zest & juice of 1 Orange

Method

  • Warm the milk slightly in a microwave, then add the yeast and sugar.  Stir well and leave for 10 minutes or so until the mixture starts to froth well
  • In a bowl, add the flour and salt.  Make a well in the centre then add the frothy yeast mixture.  Mix well with a knife to bring the dough into a ball – it will be quite sticky, then turn out onto a floured surface
  • Knead well for 5 minutes until the dough comes together.  As far as possible resist the urge to add lots more flour and limit yourself to what’s on the surface
  • Roll out the dough into a rectangle, about 20cm * 30cm
  • Imaging the dough split into 3 equal sections. Scatter half of the cubed butter into the centre third of the dough, then fold the top third of the dough over the butter cubes
  • Scatter the remaining butter cubes on top, then fold the final third of dough over the top
  • Now roll the dough out again into a 20cm * 30cm rectangle, fold back into thirds, roll again and fold again, then wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for 15 minutes
  • Repeat the last step, rolling and folding twice and return to the fridge for another 15 minutes
  • Repeat again, this time returning for about 30 minutes to chill fully.  Now the pastry is ready to use
  • Whilst the pastry is chilling, prep the filling. Mix together the cinnamon, apple and raisins and add a couple of tablespoons of orange juice
  • In a bowl, cream together the brown sugar and butter until smooth
  • Roll out the pastry into a thin rectangle, about 25cm * 40cm, and carefully spread with the creamed butter/sugar mix before sprinkling evenly with the fruit
  • Starting with the long edge, roll up tightly to form a swiss-roll like spiral.Try and get the long outside edge to seal by pushing in – this will be more difficult if the dough is covered in loose flour
  • Cut into 12 rings – these will look a lot better if you trim the 2 ends first
  • Place on a baking sheet and leave to prove in a warm place – 15-20 minutes should do – you’ll see the dough grow in size
  • Bake in a preheated oven, 190*C fan, for about 15 minutes until golden then transfer to a wire rack to cool
  • Mix up the orange icing by adding the zest and a little juice to some icing sugar.  Mix to get a thick paste.  Add more juice, a little at a time until you have the right consistency
  • Drizzle the orange icing over the danish pastries and leave to set for a few minutes before eating
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