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  • Writer's picturefrench creek kitchen

Rhubarb and Lemon Cream Cheese Danish

makes 12 pastries

6-8 stalks rhubarb, preferably skinny, or sliced in half lengthwise if wide

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

1 sheet puff pastry

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1 egg yolk

1/4 cup sugar

1 lemon

6-8 stalks rhubarb, preferably skinny, or sliced in half lengthwise if wide

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

1 egg, for egg wash

demerara sugar, for finishing

flour for rolling

Preheat the oven to bake at 350 F.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar to a simmer. Cut the rhubarb into 3 inch pieces. Place the rhubarb in the simmering sugar water and poach for 2 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl place the cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar, zest of the lemon and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, whisk together until smooth.

Place the puff pastry on a lightly floured board or counter top. Roll out into a roughly 16 inch by 12 inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle in to 12 rectangles that are 4x3 inches each. Move the squares onto 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper, so that each sheet pan has 6 rectangles. Using a fork prick the puff pastry three times near the center.

Move the cream cheese mixture to a pastry bag, if you have one, and pipe about 1 tablespoon on top of the fork pricks in the center of each of the puff pastry squares. If you have leftover cream cheese evenly distribute it among the squares. If you don't have a pastry bag use a plastic baggie with a tip snipped off or a spoon. Place two or three pieces (deepening on size) of rhubarb on top of the cream cheese, pushing down slightly.

In a small bowl place the other egg and 1 teaspoon of cold water. Whisk together until well combined. Using your finger or a pastry brush, brush the egg wash on the top of the puff pastry, around the cream cheese and rhubarb. Try not to get egg wash on the sides of the puff pastry or it may stop the pastry from rising. Repeat with remaining squares. Sprinkle each with demerara sugar.

Move the sheet pans to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating the pans after 15 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature.

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