I dream of food (truly!) and it is not unusual for me to wake up in the middle of the night and scribble on my trusty cellphone the food ideas that I had dreamed of. This peach danish was one such instance.
We had planned to serve cake for the kid’s piano teacher’s snack. But having dreamed of a lovely peach danish, the cake idea had been shelved and I set about making the peach danish. Up front, I have to say that we in a tropical country where peaches do not grow. This is not to say that fresh peaches were not available, but when they were available, their prices were sky-high and so I simply got a can of peach halves from the supermarket and drained them.
For the recipes, I turned to Michel Roux’s 1994 book “Desserts: A Lifelong Passion” –
Of course the first thing to do is to make the puff pastry, which is the base of the danish. I am not an expert by any means and this was my first attempt. It was not quite what I had envisioned. In short, I needed more practice.
BUT Teacher F was scheduled to arrive in about 4 hours so I abandoned the homemade puff pastry idea and rushed to the baking supply store and bought puff pastry. And to make things even easier for me, I got the one that was already cut into 4-inch squares!
Problem? Lunch with hubby extended 30 minutes past my schedule and Teacher F arrived thirty minutes early! This meant I had about 45 minutes to finish my peach danish otherwise Teacher F would have no snack at all!!!!!
The first thing I did was make the pastry cream. I halved the recipe since I was planning to make just 4 pieces of peach danish. And I used vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean, as well as vanilla sugar.
3 egg yolks
60 grams vanilla sugar
20 grams flour
250 ml full fat milk
Mix a third of the sugar with the egg yolks until “light ribbon consistency” as specified in Roux’s recipe. Stir in the flour and mix well; set aside. Heat the milk and remaining sugar in a heavy saucepan until almost boiling. Pour about one third of the heated milk into the egg yolk mixture, mix well and add the egg yolk mixture back to the milk mixture. Continue heating over low heat and stir constantly for about 2 minutes.
Roux’s recipe had instructions how to cool the pastry cream faster but I did not have a marble work surface so I just poured the pastry cream into a glass baking pan (13×9-in) and stirred it lightly with a spatula.
Meanwhile, I cut the puff pastry into rounds and folded the edge to form a “wall”. I pricked the inner circle and placed about 2 tablespoons of pastry cream in the middle. I topped the whole thing with a peach half with the dome facing out. It went into a (preheated) 400*F oven for about 12 to 15 minutes. Midway through, I brushed the top with peach glaze and back into the oven it went. After the edges are slightly browned, I took the danish out of the oven and brushed it again with peach glaze.
I made it just in the nick of time! The kid was running down the stairs (and yelling “I’m done, I’m done!) as I snapped a picture of the danish in its serving plate! I hurriedly brought the peach danish up!
(Somehow, the peach danish in my dream looked waaayyy better than what came out from my oven. In my dream the puff pastry “hugged” the peach half and no pastry cream was visible. My finished product was not bad, neither was it ugly, but I think next time I will put a bit less of pastry cream and I would fold the puff pastry right up of the edge of the peach!)