Easy Cheesy Fruit Danish


I always have ready-made puff pastry sheets in the freezer. They can be cut into quarters to quickly make impressive hors d’oeuvres or left whole for elegant sweet or savory tarts. I purchase these squares at a local Middle-Eastern market, but you can use the more commonly found larger sheets - just roll them out on a floured board and cut into squares. Any fruit can be used, but adjustments must be made. For instance, apples take longer to bake, so slice apples very thinly. If using frozen berries, do not thaw before baking. ~Joanna
8 frozen puff pastry squares, approximately 5 x 5 inches
1 cup mascarpone cheese (can substitute cream cheese)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 egg, separated, divided use
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large peaches, ripe yet firm
1 teaspoon water
2 tablespoons sugar, preferably raw (optional)
1 Preheat oven to 425°F.

2 Lightly oil baking sheets and lay the pastry on sheets to thaw.

3 Mix mascarpone, 1/4 cup sugar, flour, egg yolk, and vanilla until well blended.

4 Using a sharp paring knife, score a half-inch border around each pastry square, taking care to not cut all the way through. Using a fork, prick all over the center of each square. Do not prick the border, as you want this part to rise around the filling.

5 Place approximately 2 heaping tablespoons of the mascarpone mixture in the center of each pastry, spreading lightly, keeping it within the borders.

6 Cut peach in half, by cutting through the 'seam', all around. Gently twist the halves from the pit. Cut each half lengthwise into 3/16 inch slices.

7 Place one peach half, skin-side up, on top of cheese mixture on pastry, then repeat, distributing peaches evenly on pastries. Gently push mound of slices to side, slightly separating slices to look like picture. (They will fall some when cooking.)

8 With a fork, whisk egg white with 1 teaspoon water. Brush this egg wash on borders of pastries with a pastry brush. Sprinkle fruit with raw sugar, if desired.

9 Place in oven and lower temperature to 375°F. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until puffed and deep golden. It can be served warm or at room temperature.

servings  use metric
original recipe yield: 8 Servings

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