These pumpkin danishes include a buttery pastry dough and a pumpkin spice filling. There’s an optional brown butter glaze if you’re feeling super fancy.
Total Time:4 hours 45 minutes
For the dough (Adapted from Samantha Seneviratne:
1 ½ cups bread flour, plus more for rolling dough
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
14 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1 large egg
¼ cup cold whole milk
For the filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened but still cold
½ cup canned pumpkin puree
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 egg, divided
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of salt
For the brown butter glaze (optional):
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
To prepare the dough:
Combine the flour, granulated sugar, yeast and salt in a food processor. Add butter and pulse to combine until butter is distributed in pea-sized pieces throughout the flour. Put the flour mixture in a medium bowl.
In a separate, small bowl, whisk the egg and milk with 2 tablespoons of water. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Fold the mixture until the liquid is evenly distributed, being careful to not overwork the dough. Dump the contents of the bowl out on to a lightly floured surface and pat into a rectangle. Chill for at least 3 hours, and up to 2 days.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to an 8-by-15-inch rectangle. Fold the dough in thirds like a letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat the rolling and folding process. Dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking, rotate, roll, and fold a final time, ending with a small, rectangular piece of dough. Wrap the dough in Saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Repeat the entire rolling and folding process one more time. You will have rolled and folded the dough six times. If the dough becomes loose or tacky, place in the fridge to rest for a bit. Wrap the dough and place in the fridge for 2 hours or up to overnight.
To prepare the danishes:
In a large bowl, cream the cream cheese, pumpkin, brown sugar, and sugar on medium speed just until smooth. Break the egg yolk and spoon most of it into the mixture, leaving some behind in a small bowl. Add the pumpkin pie spice and salt to the mixture and stir to combine. Pour the filling into a piping bag or a plastic bag with the corner snipped off. If your filling is loose, place it in the fridge while you prep your pastry.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a roughly 10”x13” rectangle. Trim ¼” off of each side to straighten edges and cut the dough into 12 equal sized squares (I usually make 3 rows of 4 squares.) Beat the remainder of the egg and brush a dab of it on the four corners of each square of dough. Fold each corner in to the center and press down firmly (but without pushing your finger through the dough!) Transfer each one to a parchment lined sheet pan and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap to rise and puff for about an hour or so. The dough should barely start to spring back when you touch it when it’s ready.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. If the centers of your pastries have risen a ton you can push down on the centers again. Brush the pastries with the thin layer of the reserved egg. Pipe ½ tablespoon of filling in the center of each one, reserving the additional filling. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes and then decrease the temp to 375. You’ll notice that the pastries will have risen quite a bit and likely displaced a lot of the filling- don’t worry. We anticipated this. Quickly and carefully remove the pan from the oven and pipe an additional ½ tablespoon of filling on top. You can use the back of a spoon to move it around to cover the old filing a bit if you’d like. Continue baking at 375 for an additional 8-10 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Remove from oven to cool.
To prepare the glaze (optional):
Cook the butter over medium heat on the stove until melted. Continue cooking, stirring all the while, until the butter has begun to brown and smells nutty. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in the powdered sugar and milk. Allow it to cool to drizzle consistency before glazing the pastries.