Peach Danish Braid

On with the saga of the peaches.

You see, when I made the Poached Peach Tarts, I only used two of the peaches, leaving a good 6-8 left for more yummies. Mikal ended up eating a few, leaving me with four by the time I set down for my next project. You see, I had originally wanted to make Mason Jar Lid Pies – individually sized, relatively easy to eat, and all around pretty awesome looking.

How could you say no to that? I won’t be for very long, that’s for sure.

But I had a good amount of Danish pastry dough left, so my vote for the moment was on continuing with that dough so as not to waste it. Lucky for me, Sally’s Baking Addiction came to the rescue with her Danish Pastry Dough recipe, and handily had the how-to for a braided pastry. I did take the Spiced Peach filling from the above recipe, though, because it sounded just delicious. This being a Danish, though, I still added cream cheese with just a bit of a twist.

Peach Danish Braid

adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction and Dessert for Two

2 peaches, peeled and pitted
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp flour
1 tbsp sugar
4 oz cream cheese at room temperature
remaining syrup from poached peaches
Danish Pastry Dough (see previous post)

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Thinly slice peaches and combine with ground ginger, cinnamon, lemon juice, flour and sugar. Set aside.

Combine cream cheese with an appropriate amount of peach syrup. What is an appropriate amount? That is up to you. Just make sure it integrates well.

Remove chilled pastry dough from fridge, and roll out into a 9×15-inch rectangle (or however large you would like it). Mentally divide the dough into thirds lengthwise, and spread cream cheese mixture over central section in an even swath.

Take peach slices and distribute them evenly over the cream cheese swath, in whatever pattern or layout you deem necessary. Just be sure to keep the overlap height consistent so you don’t have a lumpy pastry.

In the remaining pastry areas, slice dough into strips at a 45° angle from the center swath, and mirror this on the other side. Starting at the top (where top means the point of the arrow the angular slits are pointing to), fold one strip at a time across the filling, alternating sides to create a braided visual effect. As you get closer to the bottom, you may have excess dough leading off the filling; fold this into the dough at the end of the pastry to create something of a pocket to keep the juices in. Fold in any excess dough at the top of the pastry in a similar fashion.

Coat outside of pastry dough with egg wash, then bake the pastry for 16-19 minutes, rotating pan as needed to ensure even cooking. (I just found out in baking this that my oven has hot zones. Hadn’t really noticed it before, but then I don’t usually bake this large of items. Will have to observe in the future.) Cool pastry and consume.

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Top of pastry

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