This apple danish skips the yeast dough and instead uses ready-to-bake puff pastry from the freezer.
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 to 4 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
1 egg, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
2 apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
Coarse sugar, for sprinkling
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, cinnamon (if using), egg yolk, vanilla and lemon zest until smooth.
Arrange pastry on the parchment-lined baking sheet so the seams/fold lines are running vertically. Cut ¾-inch wide strips from the edge of the pastry to the seam/fold line down both sides of the pastry.
Spread the cream cheese mixture in the center (uncut) portion of the pastry. Sprinkle evenly with apples. Fold the strips over the apples, alternating sides as you go so the strips crisscross to look like a braid. Pinch the top and bottom edges to seal in filling.
Whisk the egg white with a tablespoon of water. Brush egg wash over top of pastry and sprinkle generously and evenly with sugar.
Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Recipe adapted from "Apples: 50 Tried and True Recipes" by Julia Rutland