Friday, 26 October 2012

Never Ending Pieday

We are still making danish pastries.

This was going to be a two-day Pieday anyway: the pastry needs to be left in the fridge overnight.
However it turns out that we don't have any icing sugar in the house*, so they'll have to wait a little longer before we can ice them.
We also did not have any baking parchment or, apparently, a spatula.
This was unfortunate.
Also somewhat awkward was the fact that the only recipe I have for danish pastry is Nigella Lawson's Processor Danish Pastry**.
We do not have a food processor.
Luckily I managed to extrapolate a working recipe from the ruins of her creation.
It only later occurred to me that I could have just looked on the internet.

Danish Pastries


60ml warm water
125ml milk (not too cold)
One egg
350g flour (bread flour is best)
15g yeast or one sachet of that instant yeast stuff
A pinch of salt
25g caster sugar
250g butter, straight from the fridge

Everything Else

Another egg
A little milk
100g icing sugar
Another 100g caster sugar
Fruit or something, to fill the pastries

Mix the water, milk and egg (break it first) in a jug and leave it to one side

Mix all the other pastry ingredients except the butter in a bowl.

Cut the butter into small chunks and stir them thoroughly but quickly (so they don't melt) into the dry ingredients.

Pour in the liquid ingredients and quickly stir it all up with a wooden spoon or spatula.

It should look like Swamp Thing's butter-based cousin.

Cover the bowl and put it in the fridge overnight.

Go to bed.

Get up.

Get breakfast.

Get dressed.

Maybe do a little housework.

Get the bowl out of the fridge and roll the gunk out on a floured surface till you have a pastryesque sheet of buttery stuff.

Fold it into thirds (like a letter) and roll it out again.

Turn it round and do that again.

And again.

And once more with feeling.

Now put it in the fridge again for half an hour****

Take it out and cut it into squares, twelve if you're using all of it, six if you've saved half.

Put whatever you're using for the filling in the middle of each square, pretty much any fruit works for this.
We used blackcurrants, because we had some in the freezer, with a little blackcurrant jam to sweeten the sour fruits of our garden's less than magnificent harvest.

Fold them up in some appropriately attractive danish-pastry-looking fashion, pinching opposite corners together works well.

Put them on a baking tray, use baking parchment, please.

Beat the egg in the splash of milk, brush it over the pastries and leave them to rise for an hour and a half.

Now turn the oven on to your usual low setting (180 for us) and, if you're lucky enough to have somewhere other than an oven to leave your bread-like pastry substances,  get them out and put them in the oven.

After fifteen minutes get them out and put them on a rack or something to cool.
If you didn't use baking parchment at least try to use a proper spatula to pry them off with.
Don't try to do it with a potato masher.
Trust me on this.

While they're cooling mix the other hundred grammes of sugar with sixty millilitres of water, then brush this over the pastries.

Let them cool completely, then mix the icing sugar with a spoonful or so of water and drizzle squiggly lines over the pastries.


*I now remember throwing it away because it was the wrong colour: icing sugar is supposed to be white, this wasn't.

** At least she mentioned the processor in the title: I hate it when recipes just potter merrily along then suddenly unleash words like whizz on the unsuspecting technophobe.***

***Yes, this is a blog.
 Yes, it's written on a computer.
Were you expecting consistency?

**** This will make about a dozen danish pastries, unless you need a dozen danish pastries you might want to cut half of the pastry off and put it in the freezer.
Next time you want danish pastries you get to be all smug and domesticated-looking without actually working.

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