I’m not a morning person. Nor am I a night person. I’m more of a 2pm to 5pm person. I have an inner, feeble 77 year old woman inside of me and relish a good afternoon. But I digress. Not being a morning person, I have to have a few tricks up my sleeve for when entertaining requires me to provide sustenance for loved ones at a time before 12 noon. Enter stage, my Cheats Danish Pastries.
This is hardly a recipe and a true Dane would lament these I’m sure. No the puff pastry isn’t hand made, and no, it doesn’t quite bloom and puff the same. And yes, the custard comes from a container, store bought and all. But let me tell you, these golden beauties, once puffed from the heat of the oven and slightly burnished on the edges, are a dream for breakfast or brunch time.
I’ve added fresh fruit to mine (cherries, blueberries and strawberries) but I have made these with jam from a jar and they’re just as delicious. I have also on one occasion added Nutella, forgoing the custard and replacing the flaked almonds with crushed hazelnuts. No one would turn their nose up at this offering I can assure you.
Cheats Danish Pastries
3 thawed ready rolled puff pastry sheets
3/4 cup bought custard (of course you can use home-made but err on the side of thicker than usual, you do not want runny custard)
Mixed berries of your choice (I opted for some frozen pitted cherries I had hanging about in the freezer, fresh blueberries and strawberries)
Flaked almonds (I haven’t given amount as I’ll leave it up to you home much you desire to sprinkle over the top)
1 egg beaten to glaze
Preheat your oven to 200 degree. Cut the puff pastry in half and then each half into thirds. My puff pastry sheets come ready rolled in squares, so each little piece of pastry often tends to turn out more as a rectangle than a perfect square. This really doesn’t matter because whatever way you pinch the sides together, it always comes out looking impressive.
In the centre of each pastry “rectangle” (a mathematician may argue at my use of the word), place a blob of the custard along with a fruit topping of your choice. Don’t go overboard here, you don’t want to over fill with either the fruit or custard.
Pinch each corner of the pastry towards the custardy filling and fold over the two remaining sides (see images below for better understanding). Using a pastry brush, coat the pastry sides of the “danish” and sprinkle with flaked almonds.
Bake in a hot oven for 15 minutes but keep an eye, may need more, may need less. Allow to cool slightly before transferring to the serving dish of your choice. These are delicious when the heat of the oven has left them and the custard as stopped being the temperature of molten lava.
Along side these beauties, I had a brunch bar consisting of a stupidly easy bircher muesli (I’ve linked the recipe down below) as well as my favourite pancake recipe (again I’ll link that recipe below too). To serve with each I provide double cream (no need to worry about whipping cream first thing in the morning), plain greek yoghurt, drizzled with honey, some toasted almonds, pepitas and coconut, homemade strawberry jam (literally just bubble strawberries and sugar in a small fry pan on a low heat for 20 minutes), maple syrup, some tinned stewed pears and some good quality flavoured yoghurt.
I like to provide a relaxed, informal environment, thus I pile everything on the small table I have, bung a container full of cutlery and napkins on the side and let everyone go at it. I feel the morning is a time when most of us are at our most vulnerable, therefore a stiff, seating arrangement and formal affair just doesn’t seem to suit.
As a savoury option, I opted to make something that I could easily cook in advance the night before, stowed away in the fridge and reheated in a warm oven just before everyone arrived. This fabulous Curried Sausage and Bean casserole is vintage gold. It comes from an old Australian Women’s Weekly cookbook and it’s incredibly easy.
Take a finely chopped onion, fry in olive oil until softened and add a teaspoon of curry powder.
Next simply take 12 sausages (I’ve used chicken), de-skin them, squeeze out small meatball sizes of the mixture and fry in the curry and onion mixture.
Add two tins of chopped tomatoes, two tins of baked beans, salt and pepper to taste and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. Bake in the over at 180 degrees for 30 minutes. I serve mine with either hash browns or fresh bread rolls to mop up the delicious sauce.
What are some of your favourite brunch ideas? If you have any please let me know! I’m always hungry to find new recipes. Well I’m just always hungry really.