I liken opening a jar of peach preserves to opening a jar of sunshine on a cloudy day. It’s like a breath of fresh air, a ray of light, a smell from heaven.
And there you have it.. an ode to peaches.
But seriously, the combination of peaches and cream has remained a popular flavor for a reason. It’s really a very simple reason… it just tastes GOOD.
This recipe is extremely simple, looks impressive, and doesn’t take long. Thats the beauty of puff pastry, it looks like work, it just so happens to be work you don’t have to do!
I started by laying out a sheet of puff pastry to thaw for about 30 minutes, and after it was mostly pliable, I cut it into mostly even (don’t judge) squares.
Then, while the puff pastry was finishing up its last few minutes of thaw, I whipped together a block of cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/4 sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla. I made the mistake of not letting my cream cheese get all the way to room temperature because I’m basically as impatient as they come. I ended up having to wait longer to mix it, and was driven even more crazy by the extra waiting. So… don’t do that. Wait for the cream cheese to get soft, smooth, and silky.
When that mixture was thoroughly combined into a fluffy cloud of sweet creamy cheese I could probably dive head first into, I begrudgingly set it aside and tried not to dip my fingers into it while it stared lovingly at me. I mean really, how rude.
Now, back to the puff pastry. It wasn’t neglected for too long. Once its mostly soft but still has a slight chill to it, it’s ready for the next step. I took a paring knife and sliced about halfway into the middle of each corner, keeping the middle still intact, so that I was left with a slightly smaller looking square on the inside. I did NOT slice all the way through – so note that the pastry square is still completely connected.
Then it was time for that delicious mixture that could almost pass for a cheesecake filling. I put a nice big dollop of it in the middle and spread it around, carefully avoiding the edges I just cut.
Next came those magical peach preserves. I spread a slightly smaller scoop onto to top of the cream cheese mixture, making sure not to mix the two. you want the glistening preserves to be like a beacon of light calling everyone to stop what they’re doing and eat these danishes, like now.
Then it was time to get a little fancy. Take the far edges and fold them in towards the middle. It seems like origami, but I promise, it is extremely simple and makes it look like you suddenly earned a degree in pastry making. Could you skip this whole step and just spread the cream cheese mixture with the peach preserves onto a plain square of puff pastry? Yes, and I have many times, especially when I’ve got little ones pulling on my legs asking when these danishes are going to be done. So, definitely don’t be afraid to change up the design and as always, make what works for you.
Once they were all folded up nice and pretty, I coated the pastry in an egg wash. At this step, you want to be careful to avoid the cream and preserves with the egg wash or it all can become a little soggy. I ended up just using my fingers to spread the egg wash into the crevices of the pastry to make sure everything would brown evenly, without messing with the goodies on the inside.
And thats it! Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the danishes look beautiful golden brown and flaky.
These danishes are truly one of my favorite things to make when I want a treat that isn’t too sweet. They keep well in the refrigerator, although, they never make it that long in my house anyway. They also can be changed up in so many ways, whether it be whatever fresh fruit you throw on top, or if you decided to go with a different jam, jelly, or preserve. I’ve had my eye on fig for a while, so I think that might be next for me!
As always, hope you enjoy!
Peaches and Cream Danish
Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 25 minutes
Thaw time: 45 minutes Yield: 8 Danishes
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed and cut into squares
1 8oz block cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup peach preserves
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 400F.
Cut the thawed puff pastry into even squares, and set aside. Next, with a hand mixer, combine the cream cheese, vanilla, sugar, and 1 egg until light and silky. Next, cut the puff pastry in all four corners, making a smaller square on the inside, but leaving each corner still connected. Then, scoop on about 2 tbsp. of cream cheese mixture onto the center of each pastry square, then cover with 1 tbsp. of peach preserves. Fold each sliced corner towards the center. Whisk the remaining egg, and brush the top and edges of the puff pastry, making sure to coat the corners and crevices. Bake for 25 minutes, or until pastry is browned and flaky. Top with berries, or fresh fruit of your choice. Enjoy!