Friday 18 January 2019

Recipe: How to make Danish Dreams


Danish Dreams
The Great British Bake Off: Get Baking for Friends and Family is out now, published by Sphere price £20.00 The picture credit is Susanna Blåvarg (note special Scandi accent on the A!)

Making rich, buttery Danish pastry dough takes time, but it's worth the effort. The sharpness of the lemon filling in these Danish Dreams beautifully cuts through the richness.

Makes 18


450g strong white bread flour

4 tbsp caster sugar

1½ tsp salt

½ tsp fast-action dried yeast

1 large egg

80ml chilled water

100ml whole milk

225g unsalted butter, chilled

1 egg, beaten

2 tbsp apricot jam, loosened with a splash of water and warmed

100g icing sugar, sifted, mixed with 3-4 tsp lemon juice

For the lemon crème pâtissière: 125ml whole milk

1 large egg yolk

2 tbsp caster sugar

½ tsp vanilla paste

1½ tbsp cornflour

2 tbsp lemon curd

You will need: 2 baking sheets lined with baking paper


1. Place the flour, sugar, salt and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the egg, water and milk. Mix on a slow speed until combined, then increase the speed and mix for 5 minutes to form a dough.

2. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured worktop and shape into a disc. Wrap in cling film and chill for 1 hour, then unwrap and roll it out into a 1cm-thick rectangle, measuring 45 x 20cm.

3. Flatten the butter into a 30 x 18cm rectangle, then lay it on the dough so it covers the bottom ⅔.

4. Fold down the dough to cover ⅓ of the butter. Cut off the exposed butter, without cutting into the dough. Place this butter on top of the folded dough and fold the bottom ½ of the dough up. Squeeze the dough edges to seal. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 1 hour to firm up.

5. Place the dough, short side facing you, on a lightly floured worktop. Roll into a 45 x 20cm rectangle. Fold ⅓ of the dough up and the top ⅓ down. Chill for 1 hour. Repeat twice more, chilling between folds. After the final fold, chill overnight.

6. Make the crème pâtissière. Heat the milk until it just boils. In a bowl, beat the yolks with the sugar, vanilla paste and cornflour, then pour in the hot milk, and whisk. Transfer to the milk pan and place over a low heat. Whisk until the mixture just begins to boil and thicken. Transfer to a bowl, fold in the lemon curd, then cover the surface with cling film.

7. Roll out the pastry to 7mm thick and cut it into 18 squares of 8cm. Make diagonal cuts 2.5cm from the corners of each square. Place the squares onto the baking sheets. Gather every second point of dough to the centre of each square, and press down to make a hollow. Cover the sheets loosely with cling film and leave to prove for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

8. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/Gas 6. Put 1 teaspoon of lemon crème pât into the hollow of each pastry. Brush the dough with beaten egg, then bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden.

9. While still warm, brush the pastries with the warmed apricot jam. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Drizzle the cooled pastries with lemony icing sugar to finish.

Recipe extracted from The Great British Bake Off: Get Baking for Friends and Family, out now, published by Sphere, £20. Photography by Susanna Blåvarg


The cooking apples give this pie a sharpness and softness, while the eating apples give sweetness and bite. As the pie crust is not baked blind, dusting the pastry base with semolina prevents a soggy bottom.

Serves 6


275g plain flour

2 tbsp icing sugar

140g unsalted butter, chilled and diced

3-4 tbsp chilled water

1 egg, beaten

2 tsp caster sugar, for sprinkling

For the filling: 2 large cooking apples (about 700g), peeled, cored and sliced

4 tbsp caster sugar

1 cinnamon stick

3 tbsp water

2 tbsp semolina

2 eating apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

You will need: 24cm pie plate


1. First, make the pastry. Put the flour and icing sugar in a large bowl and mix to combine. Add the butter and use your fingertips to rub it in until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the water, a couple of teaspoons at a time, mixing between each addition, until you've added just enough to bring the pastry together. Gently knead the pastry into a ball, then wrap it in cling film and chill for 30 minutes to rest.

2. Make the filling. Place the cooking apple slices in a pan along with the caster sugar, cinnamon stick and water. Cook, stirring occasionally, over a medium heat, until the apples begin to fall apart, but still hold their shape. Transfer to a clean bowl, discarding cinnamon stick; allow to cool.

3. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/Gas 6. Remove the pastry from the fridge and divide into 2 pieces, roughly ⅔ and ⅓. Place the larger piece on a lightly floured worktop and roll out to 2-3mm thick. Use this pastry sheet to line the base of the pie plate, then roll out the smaller pastry to 2-3mm thick to form the pie lid.

4. Sprinkle the semolina over the pastry base. Mix the sliced eating apples with the cooled apple filling and tip the apple mixture onto the pie base, spreading it out evenly but leaving a ring of pastry around the edge.

5. Brush the edges of the pie with beaten egg, then cover with the lid. Crimp the edges with the tines of a fork to press down on the pastry rim, then trim away any excess. Use any pastry trimmings to make decorations for the top, if you wish.

6. Brush the top of the pie with more beaten egg, then sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons of caster sugar. Make 3 small slits in the top of the pie to let the steam out.

7. Bake the pie for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy with ice-cream, cream or custard.


Serves 12


200g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

3 large eggs

200g unsalted butter, softened

200g golden caster sugar

2 tbsp whole milk

Grated zest of 1 large unwaxed orange

2 tsp Sicilian orange extract

12 mini orange jelly slices, to decorate

For the filling: 280g full-fat cream cheese

50g unsalted butter

500g icing sugar, sifted

Grated zest of 1 large unwaxed orange

You will need: 2 x 20cm round cake tins, greased, then base-lined with baking paper; piping bag fitted with a 1cm round nozzle


1. Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4. Sift the flour and baking powder together into a large bowl. Add the eggs, butter, sugar, milk, orange zest and orange extract and beat everything together until the mixture is smooth.

2. Spoon half the sponge mixture into each prepared tin and level the surface with a palette knife. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes are firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

3. Remove from the oven and leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and peel off the paper. Leave to cool completely.

4. Meanwhile, make the filling. Beat the cream cheese and butter together in a bowl until just incorporated, then beat in the icing sugar and orange zest until thick and smooth.

5. Use ½ the filling mixture to sandwich the sponges together, then spread ¼ of the remaining filling over the top. Spoon the remaining ¼ into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm round nozzle and pipe 12 evenly spaced blobs around the edge of the cake. Top each blob with an orange jelly slice.

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