Black Cherry Danish – Baking with Julia

Oh the shame! If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that we have just started some renovations on the house. While the work is on we have had to empty out rooms to allow the tradespeople in unhindered to do their jobs. This means, of course, we have filled the remaining rooms of the house with piles of boxes and furniture. If there was a clear surface to be had it has since been filled and now we have even encroached into the kitchen area. We are currently waiting for the plasterer to come so there has been no point moving our stuff back to their original rooms only to have to move it all back out again. At the same time we have had recurring problems with our internet connection and Telstra came today to fix the fault on the line and this is where the shame part comes in. In order for the technician to finish the job he had to come inside to look at the modem which, of course, meant I had to bring him through the side of the house that has stuff piled all the way through it. I did my usual spiel of “excuse the mess we are in the middle of renovations”, usually this gets you a look of commiseration and understanding this time however I got a look of “sure you are darling, personally I think you are in denial and are a candidate for tv’s ‘Secret Hoarders’ programme….” He seemed to fully expect an army of cats to appear at any moment.

Luckily, I did have just enough bench space to make this week’s “Baking with Julia” challenge: a Danish Braid. The first step is to make a rough Danish pastry, I chose to use this version by Dan Lepord rather than the recipe in the book, mainly because it was on my list of recipes to try and it looked relatively easy. Once the dough is made it is simply a matter of choosing your fillings. I went with a black cherry jam and topped it with crème patissiere. I’m a big fan of individual portions so I made smaller versions rather than one big one. I did have a couple of casualties with the first two attempts. The first one I put too much filling in the centre and the second I made too small so it was too hard to do the braid. Third time was a charm and I managed to get just the right amount of filling ratio to pastry. The end result was a delicious jammy and custard filling encased in a flaky pastry. These are definitely best eaten the day they are made.

The original recipe can be found on page 205 of Baking with Julia.

Check here to see how the others in our baking group fared.


29 thoughts on “Black Cherry Danish – Baking with Julia

  1. laurasmess

    Ah, reno’s are both a blessing and a curse aren’t they? Fantastic when the results come through but bloody inconvenient in the meantime. Fingers crossed that all will finish up relatively easily. Love the look of these perfect braids. I am a big fan of rough pastry. Always seems so deliciously rustic. Thanks for this, yummo! xxx

  2. Tiffany

    This looks so delicious and beautiful! While I love danishes, I’m too intimidated to try making them myself. And to think you did this in the midst of your remodel, that’s quite an accomplishment! Hope the remodel goes well!

    1. lemongrovecakediaries Post author

      I used to be intimidated by any type of pastry, and a Danish, forget about it no way would I try that. When I first enrolled at cooking school I had barely made any pastry products at all so you can imagine the first day of class I was pretty terrified 🙂

  3. Katie @ Counter Dog

    Glad you found space to make the pastry! That’d be one of my biggest fears about a renovation — how to cook?!

  4. Cher

    Your version sounds wonderful – everything is better in miniature. Good luck with the renovations. Dan’s recipes are always a hit (I just wish the publishers would stop Americanizing them when they release his books over here!)

  5. TheKitchenLioness

    Karen, funny I did look up Dan Lepard´s version of the dough as well before I got started on this week´s recipe. I love his recipes and it sounded wonderful – now that I have read your blog post, I will certainly give it a try – I believe he used “00” flour for that extra bit of crunchiness in the layers…anyways your version looks so very pretty and I am a huge fan of black cherries and in combination with a lovely crème pâtissière filling, this Danish Braid of yours does not only sound fabulous but also looks amazing! Ah, what a wonderful pastry!
    Hope your renovation is going well – if I lived a little closer, I would definitely come on over and help out with the clean-up! I so wish you the very best for your business!
    All the best for now and “see” you soon, dear friend!

    1. lemongrovecakediaries Post author

      Dan’s recipe is definitely worth trying, and yes it did use 00 flour – I would use this recipe again. Thanks for your kind offer Andrea, cleaning up is something I am not looking forward to. I decided I am going to use the “if I haven’t used it in the last 5 years then I am getting rid of it” philosophy to the clean up 🙂

  6. SandraM

    I love the look of your Danish braids! Great pics of them. And black cherry sounds awesome. Love reading everyone’s blogs for new ideas (for next time)! 🙂

  7. steph (whisk/spoon)

    hope your renos are going well. we are having work done on a couple of our rooms as well. I can’t stand when the guys show up before I’ve had a chance to blow dry my hair! these look good and I love the sound of a cherries and cream filling.

  8. David

    Looks wonderful – a dough i haven’t yet tried! Ah, renovations… I do commiserate. I think we are pretty much finished but, as I say that, I can think of two more projects. Good luck – how long will you be a hoarder?

    1. lemongrovecakediaries Post author

      Haha my hoarder days may last another week or two it all depends when the plasterer can come and do his part and he is pretty booked up at the moment – so alas I continue to live my hoarder like existence. The scary part for me was this was just the first part of the renovations planned and the easiest rooms to do… the worst is yet to come at some point in the future.

  9. Gather and Graze

    Your braids look beautiful Karen! Love the fact that they have fruit and creme patissiere within… and a little crunch from the pastry (and demerara sugar?) on the outside! Yum!
    Hope the reno is working out as you hoped – I’m sure it will be wonderful to have it all finished and to get back to normality. Margot


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