Pecan and Maple Syrup Danish Pastries

I think it’s fair to say that these are a bit of a classic and I have hopefully done them justice. The pastry recipe is based on Mr. Hollywood’s and the design just follows the usual products that you see on bakery shelves so I can’t take much credit for this one. My next recipe also doesn’t belong to me, but Mary Berry; I wonder what I could possibly be preparing an application for…
This recipe makes 14 pastries.

Ingredients: (Ounce to Gram Conversion Chart)

18oz Strong White Bread Flour
1 ½ tsps Salt
3oz Caster Sugar
2 ½ tsps Fast-Action Dried Yeast
100ml Water
125ml Milk (I used Semi-Skimmed)
2 Eggs
11oz Butter
6oz Dark Brown Sugar
6oz Pecans
Roughly 9tbsps Maple Syrup

Recipe:

Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and caster sugar to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other.

In a measuring jug, measure out the water and milk (don’t worry about the temperature but somewhere between cold and room temperature is best). Add the two eggs and whisk with a fork to combine.

Pour the liquid onto the flour mixture and then stick your hand in. Keep your fingers spread (a bit like a whisk) and bring the ingredients together until a ball of dough is formed.

The dough before it is kneaded

The dough before it is kneaded

Lightly oil a work surface and tip the dough out onto it. Knead for 10-15 minutes. The dough is quite wet and will stick to the surface; just be patient and keep kneading regardless. Bring the dough back up into a ball, add some more oil to the surface and then knead again briefly to form a smooth ball.

The dough before it goes into the fridge

The dough before it goes into the fridge

Place the dough between two sheets of Clingfilm and place in the fridge for 1 hour.

Take the dough out of the fridge and on a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a rectangle until it is about 1cm thick. Place 9oz of butter (should be one block) on a chopping board and take your anger out on it with a rolling pin. Beat it into a rough rectangle that is about two-thirds the length of the pastry. Place the butter onto the pastry, covering two-thirds of it.

The rolled out pastry with a sheet of butter two-thirds its length placed on top

The rolled out pastry with a sheet of butter two-thirds its length placed on top

Fold over the top third of the pastry onto the butter. Carefully cut the exposed third of butter off and place on top of the folded pasty. Fold the empty third of pastry over the butter. You should now have a rectangle one third of the size of the original, composed of pastry, butter, pastry, butter, pastry.

The pastry before the final third is folded over. The pastry is layered - pastry, butter, pastry, butter, pastry

The pastry before the final third is folded over. The pastry is layered – pastry, butter, pastry, butter, pastry

Place in Clingfilm in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll out into a rectangle about 1cm thick on a lightly floured work surface. Fold the top and bottom thirds into the middle to make a three-layer rectangle again. Put back in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

Repeat twice more.

Leave the pastry in the fridge overnight. It will expand due to the yeast so make sure the Clingfilm isn’t wrapped too tightly around the pastry.
All this nonsense is worth it; it builds up the layers of butter and pastry which results in the traditional laminated, soft Danish pastry in the oven.

The dough after it has been left in the fridge over-night. It has expanded quite a bit

The dough after it has been left in the fridge over-night. It has expanded quite a bit

In a mixing bowl, place the dark brown sugar and remaining 2oz of the butter (make sure the butter is soft first; microwave for 10-15 seconds on full power if necessary). Cream the two together with a wooden spoon by pressing the mixture into the base of the bowl repeatedly until fully combined into a paste.

Place the pecans in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin to produce small pieces of pecan. Pour the pecans into the sugar mixture. Add 5tbsps of maple syrup and mix together.

The pecan filling

The pecan filling

Take the pastry and cut it in half. Roll out one half at a time on a lightly floured work surface until the pastry is about 1cm thick. Cut out rectangles 10cm by 12cm. With the 12cm sides top and bottom, make three cuts on each side with a knife coming in from the left and right up the 10cm sides. Cut one third of the way in (see the photo below). Spoon 1 dessertspoon of filling into the middle of the pastry and then fold the strips over the top.

A rectangle of pastry with the cuts described above and a spoonful of filling in the middle

A rectangle of pastry with the cuts described above and a spoonful of filling in the middle

Grease and line two baking sheets with grease-proof paper. Place the pastries onto the baking sheets and cover with Clingfilm. Leave in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes.

The pastries before they are left to rest for 30 minutes

The pastries before they are left to rest for 30 minutes

Pre-heat the oven to 160oC (325oF, Gas Mark 3).

Brush the pastries with maple syrup and bake for 13 minutes until golden-brown. Serve with extra maple syrup drizzled over the top.

Pecan and Maple Syrup Danish Pastries

The pastry does get a bit unruly and the pastries lost their shape in the oven as a result; so yet again I have made something that looks a bit of a mess but the flavour and the texture of these pastries is perfect with very light and buttery pastry. They really are amazing and well worth trying.

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