A tender, flaky pastry crust braided and baked around a sweet and tart blend of winter fruits.
Total Time:2 hours 15 minutes
For the danish dough (Recipe by 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 winter fruit filling
13 dried apricots, diced
1/2 cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons good quality bourbon
3 tablespoons butter
2 granny smith apples, peeled and diced
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Juice of 1/2 of a lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
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 filling
Combine the apricots, cherries, and bourbon in a 4 quart saucepan over low heat with just enough water to almost cover the fruit. Allow to simmer over low heat until fruit has plumped and some of the liquid has been absorbed. This should take about 15 minutes total. Set aside the fruit and its liquid in a separate bowl.
In the same pan over medium heat, combine butter, apples, brown sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, dried fruit, and lemon juice. Bring to a bubble and reduce heat to low, cooking for 5-7 minutes or until apples have softened slightly but are not mushy. During this time, slowly add liquid reserved from the dried fruit so that the filling remains a moist a syrupy consistency but never watery. You may not use all of the reserved liquid. Add vanilla and stir to combine. Allow to cool in the refrigerator.
To assemble the pastry
Roll the pastry dough out in a 11×14″ rectangle on a lightly floured piece of parchment.
Using the back of a knife, mark off a 3″ section of dough running the length of the pastry. Be careful not to break all the way through the pastry. This will serve as your guideline of where the fruit filling will go.
Starting at one end and working your way the entire length of both sides of dough, make 1″cuts perpendicular to the lines you first created, dragging your knife from the barrier line to the end of the dough.These will be the pieces of dough you braid over the top of your fruit filling. Cut off the top and bottom 1″ strips, leaving just a center “flap” on either end.
Beat an egg in a bowl with 2 teaspoons of water and apply a thin coat of this egg wash over the braiding strips and end flap.
Spoon your filling in to the 3″ partitioned section of dough, discarding any extra watery liquid that may have gathered in the bowl.
Fold the center end flaps up and over the fruit. Starting at one end of the pastry, braid your strips, in a slightly downward angle. When you get to the end of the pastry, fold your strips over and lightly press to ensure that the pastry has adhered and sealed.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Move the parchment to a cookie sheet and cover with saran wrap, allowing the pastry to rise. It will puff up slightly and bounce back at your touch.
Brush the remaining egg wash all over the top of pastry. Bake in oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees. Continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, gently turning the pan halfway through. Remove from oven when the pastry is flaky and golden. Cool on a cooling rack until just warm. Serve warm with a simple powdered sugar or brown butter glaze.