Cheddar & Caramelized Pear Danish
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 cup Les Petites Fermieres shredded cheddar cheese
2 pears (any kind), chopped
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz. ricotta
2 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 egg + 1 tsp water
Les Petites Fermieres shredded cheddar cheese
coarse sugar (such as cane or sanding sugar)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat then add the chopped pears. Cook the pears for 5 minutes, until soft, then add the brown sugar and salt and cook another 5 minutes. The pears should be a golden brown color and the sauce should be sticky and almost evaporated. Set the pears aside to cool.
Unfold the defrosted puff pastry on a piece of parchment paper sprinkled with all-purpose flour.
Roll out the pastry until it is smooth and thin then add the cheddar cheese on half of the pastry.
Fold the other half of the pastry over the cheddar and flatten with your hands. Seal the edges of the pastry so no cheddar falls out then roll out the pastry again into a large rectangle.
Along one long side of the pastry make parallel, 5-inch-long cuts with a knife, each about 1 inch apart. Repeat on the opposite side, making sure to line up the cuts with those you’ve already made. Set the pastry aside while you mix the batter.
Mix together the ricotta, egg, honey and nutmeg then add the caramelized pears. The mixture might be a bit runny but it will fluff up while it bakes.
Spoon the filling down the center of the rectangle. Starting with the top and bottom “flaps”, fold the top flap down over the filling to cover. Next, fold the bottom “flap” up to cover the filling. This helps keep the braid neat and helps to hold in the filling. Now begin folding the cut side strips of dough over the filling, alternating first left, then right, left, right, until finished then tuck in the ends. Don’t worry if any filling spills out because it will make the danish look beautiful and rustic.
Whisk the egg together with the water to create an egg wash and brush on top of the danish. Sprinkle with more cheddar cheese and coarse sugar.
Slide the prepared danish on the parchment paper to the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, until the top of the danish is golden brown.
Serve the danish warm, room temperature or cold. No wrong way to eat this dessert! The cooled braid can be wrapped airtight and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for 3 months.