This amazing savoury sweet treat is a must try!
For the fruit, toss the raisins, cranberries, prunes and candied citrus peel with the zest, juice, cinnamon, ginger and sugar. Set aside, stirring occasionally.
For the cheese filling, beat the cream cheese with the sugar until smooth and then beat in the egg yolk and vanilla. Set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the Danish pastry dough into a 10-x-15-inch (25-x-36-cm) rectangle. Mark 2 parallel lines (without cutting through the pastry) about 3 1/2-inches (9 cm) from each of the long sides of the rectangle. Use a pastry wheel to cut in strips about 1 ½-inches (33 mm) wide at an angle from the outside, stopping at the 3 ½-inch (9 cm) mark. Spread the cheese filling down the middle of the pastry and top this with the fruits – drizzle any excess juices from the fruit bowl over the fruit. Trim away any excess pastry and fold over a bit of pastry at the top and bottom on the rectangle. Alternating strips from each side, fold the strips over the filling so that they reach the opposite side and create a braided look. Once you reach the end of the pastry, tuck the last 2 strips underneath. Lift the braid carefully to a parchment-lined baking tray, cover with a tea towel and let rise for 90 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 ?F (190 ?C). Brush the Danish braid with the egg wash and bake for about 30 minutes, until a rich golden brown. Cool the pastry completely on the baking tray before glazing and topping with sugared almonds.
For the sugared almonds, whisk the egg white by hand until foamy and whisk in the sugar until dissolved and the whites are still foamy. Stir in the almonds to coat well and spread these on a parchment lined baking tray. Bake the almonds, still at 375 ?F (190 ?C), until browned, 12-15 minutes, then cool before using (this will make more than you need for this recipe, but they also make a lovely topping for ice cream or other desserts.)
To decorate the Danish braid, whisk the icing sugar and milk together and drizzle this over the Danish braid. Lightly crumble the almonds over the glaze and let this set 30 minutes before serving.
The Danish braid is best enjoyed the day it is baked. The braid can be assembled, unbaked, a day ahead to help with timing.
Danish Pastry Dough::
For the sponge, mix the water, yeast and flour together by hand in a large mixing bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer (fit it with the dough hook for the next step). Let this stand for 5 minutes.
For the dough, add the all-purpose and cake & pastry flours to the sponge, along with the sugar, salt and ¼ cup (60 g) of the butter. Mix this using electric beaters (with the hook attachments) or in the stand mixer on low speed until the flour is blended in, then increase the speed by one level and mix, adding the remaining 1 cup of butter pieces, a little at a time, until the dough feels elastic but most of the butter pieces are still visible, about 2 minutes. Cover the bowl and allow this dough to rise for 30 minutes, then chill for at least 2 hours.
On a lightly floured surface, turn the dough out and dust with a little flour. Roll the dough out to a rectangle about 18-inches (45 cm) long and 10-inches (25 cm) wide. Bring the two short ends of the dough to meet in the centre, then fold the dough in half at the point where they meet (this is called the book fold). Chill the dough, covered, for just an hour.
After the first hour, bring the dough out and roll it again into a rectangle 18-x-10-inches (45-x-25-cm), turn the dough over and fold it into thirds. Cover and chill for an hour. Repeat this step again one more time, then cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
Nutritional analysis per serving (12 servings)
Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.
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