Sour Cherry and Pistachio Danish
Layers of buttery, flaky laminated pastry are swirled around a lightly spiced, pleasantly gooey cherry compote, then brushed with orange liqueur and sprinkled with pulverized pistachios after baking. For an alcohol-free alternative, swap out the liqueur for a mixture of honey and fresh orange juice.
Keep moisture content of fillings and toppings to a minimum. For example, squeeze any moisture out of cooked vegetables and cook fresh fruit down to a jammy consistency. Too much liquid can cause uneven proofing and baking. Make your fillings ahead of time so they're ready to use when the dough is prepared.
Yield: makes 30
Time: 13 hours 50 minutes
- 1 <sup>3</sup>⁄<sub>4</sub> cups (225 g) dried sour cherries
- 1 <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> cups (350 ml) orange liqueur such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier
- 5 star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 dried chile de árbol, stemmed
- Juice and finely grated zest of 1½ oranges (about ⅓ cup juice)
- Kosher salt
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. heavy cream
- 1 batch Tartine’s Croissants dough (pg. 28), prepared through Step 7
- Bread flour, for dusting
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>4</sub> cup lightly toasted pistachios, cooled and crushed to a coarse powder in a food processor
- Make the cherry compote: In a small pot, combine the cherries, orange liqueur, star anise, cinnamon, chile, orange juice and zest, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then immediately remove. Set aside to cool completely.
- Drain the cherries, reserving soaking liquid. Discard the star anise and cinnamon, and transfer the cherries and chile to a food processor. Pulse to make a coarse paste, then transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
- In a separate small bowl, beat the egg yolks and heavy cream; set aside. Three hours before you are ready to serve, remove the thawed dough from the refrigerator. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and use a rolling pin to flatten it to a 13x34-inch rectangle about 1⁄8 inch thick. Use a straight edge and a paring knife or pizza cutter to trim about ½ inch from all 4 sides so that you have an even, 12x33-inch piece of dough. With one of the long sides facing you, lightly brush a 1-inch strip along the long side farthest from you with the egg wash. Then use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the compote evenly over the rest of the dough. Roll the dough up away from you like a jelly roll to make a log about 4 inches in diameter. Press gently on the seam to seal. Cut the log in half, wrap in plastic, and transfer to the freezer to chill before slicing, 15–20 minutes. (Or, you can freeze one or both logs for up to a week. Thaw in the refrigerator before using.)
- Line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Place 2 racks at least 3 inches apart in the center of the oven, then preheat to 400°. Set a large, wide baking dish filled with water on the floor of the oven. Remove the rolls of dough from the freezer and slice into twenty-eight to thirty 1¼-inch-thick disks. Space the disks evenly apart on the prepared baking sheets, then place in a warm, preferably humid spot. Let rise until they are puffed, very gassy, and the layers of dough are beginning to separate, 35–45 minutes.
- Once risen, brush the pastries evenly with the egg wash. Bake until evenly golden brown, 24–28 minutes. Remove and brush each with some of the reserved cherry soaking liquid, then sprinkle with crushed pistachios. Serve immediately.
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