Guys, I went skiing for the first time this weekend. How was it? A complete and utter disaster. Well... okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. Because the problem was, I was too good on the bunny slopes. So good that I managed to convince myself that it was a good idea to try skiing down from the top of the mountain after a couple runs down the bunny slope. I'll spare you the gory details, but let's just say it took me equal parts of crying and crashing to get down from the top.
And on to the pastry:
Sometimes, when life is really busy and filled with things like weekend ski trips, friends visiting from out of town, major projects at work, graphic design classes, and duathlon "training", I'm exhausted and want to throw something quick and easy in the oven. No, wait — I need to throw something quick and easy in the oven.
Something like these orange sugar danish pastries:
All you need are a few sheets of frozen puff pastry, one orange, and a half cup of sugar. Boom! One of the most buttery and delicious breakfasts in a heartbeat, especially since the orange and sugar caramelize during the baking process to create a wonderful, sugary coat. When fresh out the oven, these danishes are simply irresistible, with its orange-sugar interior in that glorious in-between state of slightly molten, but slightly crystallized texture.
I don't know how other food bloggers do it. Balancing this blog and, well, life, is starting to catch up to me. So allow me a reprieve for not making the puff pastry from scratch. Besides, this recipe is just as good with the frozen puff pastry. I promise.
Orange Sugar Danish Pastries
For the Danish Pastries:
(makes around 14 pastries the size of your palm)
- 1 large orange
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 box frozen puff pastry, thawed
For the Danish Pastries:
- Preheat the oven to 400 (F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat. Set aside.
- Using a cheese grater or a zester, zest the orange into a small bowl.
- Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to the small bowl with the orange zest, rubbing the sugar and orange zest together until fragrant and a pale orange-yellow.
- In case the puff pastry comes in a block, roll it with a rolling pin on a floured surface, until it’s about 2-3mm thick in a long rectangular shape. If it’s already that thin, just roll it out on the table and arrange it in a long rectangular shape.
- Spread the orange sugar (from the third step) in a thin layer over the pastry, using the back of your hand to spread the sugar out as evenly as you can.
- Use a sharp knife to divide the rolled out puff pastry into vertical strips, each about an inch wide. In the middle of each strip, make an additional cut starting half an inch from the top and finishing about an inch from the bottom of the strip. Fold the rectangle over this inner-cut. Don't worry if you lose some sugar! You can always sprinkle what falls out on top of the danishes.
- Hold a strip of puff pastry from both ends and start twisting it, turning each hand in opposite directions until you have a tall spiral shape. Hold one end of the strip in place with a finger, and roll the rest of the spiral around it until you get a small spiral. Tuck in the last end underneath the pastry, making sure you do so tightly so it won't uncurl during the baking process.
- Repeat for the remaining pastry strips until you fill your baking sheet with pastry-spirals, setting each spiral about 3 inches apart from one another. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes before baking in the preheated oven for 14-18 minutes, or, until the orange sugar has caramelized and the puff pastry has turned into a golden brown.