Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Red Currant Cream Cheese Danish

In a forgotten corner of our yard four currant bushes are tucked between a windowless corner of our house, the dog house and the neighbors fence.  A few days ago,  I checked the status of the berries, and they were not quite ripe.  Yesterday, they suddenly were more than ready to pick.  While Sylvan napped and Ivory played in water buckets in the shade under our big tree, I walked around the house and teased hundreds of tinny tart red berries off of the branches.

Ivory stood by me at the edge of our porch, sneaking the largest, juciest berries into her mouth, while helping me sort the good from the bad, and in the end we had a solid cup of currents.  What do you do with fresh currents?  Jam?  Of course.  But, the thought of standing over a pot in a hot steaming kitchen for a few small jars of jam...   no, not jam.  

I scrolled through recipe ideas on the internet, and none of them seemed quite right to me..  until I found a recipe and tutorial for Cream Cheese Danish on Little House on the Prairie Living.  Perfect.  This is something I can work with. A Currant Cream Cheese Danish sounds like a perfect treat for breakfast. 
I made a simple adjustment to the filling to compensate for the tartness of the currents:

Red Current Cream Cheese Danish Filling

8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup of sugar
1 cup of red currents

  • soften cream cheese and mix with sugar and red currents, follow all other directions for the Cream Cheese Danish 

I pulled it out of the oven and set it on the counter to cool and crawled into bed with my husband.

Too few hours later, Adam came back up the stairs saying:  "I looked everywhere, but I just can't find any powered sugar to make the glaze."
He was right - no powered sugar anywhere.  So here is the alternative I came up with:

Red Current Danish Glaze

4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

  • combine butter, sugar and sour cream in sauce pan and heat until they are melted together
  • turn off the burner and add the vanilla
  • pour over pastry

The result was rich and creamy and tart.  Adam deemed it delicious and I still have to see if it passes the scrutiny of the children.

I might just spend my morning in the forgotten corner of our yard, picking what currents I can, and make a few more personal size Red Currant Cream Cheese Danish that I can freeze and pull out later to taste a bit of summer.

Update 07.24.2012
The Red Currant Cream Cheese Danishes are a hit with my family, so I have made and additional double batch of Danishes. I added some whole wheat flour to the pastry recipe  and also  decided to make these personal size.  The two pastries in the back are made from 8 inch squares.  A little too large for a single person.  Adam and I split these...  the pastries in the front were folded from 6 inch squares.  This size is perfect.

Double batch of Whole Wheat Danish Pastry Dough

1/2 c. warm water
2 tablespoons yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 egg
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups white flour

  • Follow directions from the Little House on the Prairie Living Blog 
  • Be sure to chill the dough a minimum of 2 hours.  
  • The dough will make approximately 14  - 16 6 inch squares.  
  • Distribute the filling evenly between the squares. 

Double Batch - Red Current Cream Cheese Danish Filling

2 8oz pk cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups currants

Double Batch - Red Current Danish Glaze

8 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Looks delicious! On a scale of 1 to 10, how tart were your red currants?


    1. I would give them an 8. I was a little surprised by how tart they were. I have no idea what kind they are, but we have quite a few bushes, and it seems like a waste to let them all just dry out. They pare will with the cream cheese and sugar and I have already made a second and third batch of these danishes with hopes of saving a few for later.

  2. looks delicious and easy.
    btw, did you know that if you put 1cup sugar with 1T cornstarch (optional) into a high speed blender or processor, you can make powdered sugar.