Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Thursday, 31st March 2011

Breakfast pastries never last very long in our home especially fruit-filled pastries with a creamy cheese layer.  Out of pure necessity I decided on Strawberry-Cream Cheese Pastries.  Why?  I’ve never been able to walk by a stand of beautifully displayed strawberries without purchasing a basket or two.  And I made the mistake of visiting the market not once but twice this week!  Can anyone say strawberry overload?

A photo taken of Strawberry-Cream Cheese Pastries on a baking sheet lined with a siltpat.

We may love pastries, but I have a love/hate relationship with Puff Pastry.  And with this latest baking adventure I have tipped the balance toward the one side of the scale.  I am officially going on record by stating, “I hate store-bought Puff Pastry!”  Why you ask?  Well, when baked the layers of Puff Pastry should “puff” up, but it doesn’t seem to work for me!  Where’s my puff?

A photo of three Strawberry-Cream Cheese Danish Pastries on a small glass cake stand lined with non-stick baking paper.

Don’t get me wrong; store-bought puff pastry definitely has its benefits.  For one, I love the convenience of store-bought puff pastry, especially when you can make Strawberry Cream Cheese Pastries like these in no time at all.  Two, the buttery taste is there and three, the pastry is crisp.  But I’m a tough customer.  Those three are just not enough.  I want the “puff”!

A photo of mini Strawberry-Cream Cheese Danishes on a blue plate lined with parchment paper.

Am I asking for too much?  I don’t think so.  When I search for Puff Pastry recipes, I see page after page of beautiful pastries and most of the recipes use the store-bought variety.  I found a great little recipe for making my own Puff Pastry and surprisingly enough, the list of ingredients was fairly small.  But after making my own (a labour of love) I can certainly understand why most people choose the store-bought variety.

A photo of Danish Pastries with a cream cheese and fresh strawberry filling in puff pastry.

I have tried all the wonderful tips (for store-bought and homemade):

A photo of a bowl of fresh strawberries.

  • Keep the dough cold – puff pastry works because of the layers of butter and dough.  You need to keep the dough cold to keep those layers separate.  Get out your sweaters and turn on the AC!
  • When rolling out the pastry avoid rolling out the edges, this can press down on the sides and create a seal.
  • When using a knife (make sure it is sharp) do not drag it through the dough to cut.
  • Position your oven rack to the upper third of the oven and always preheat your oven to get it nice and hot.  When the heat infiltrates the layers of dough it causes steam to form between the layers.  If it’s not hot enough, the butter will simply melt and won’t create that flaky, puffy crust we all want (I want!).
  • And most importantly, avoid dripping egg wash down the sides of the pastry.  This will create a seal and you can say good-bye to that sought after “puff”.
  • Spritz the pastry with cold water (helps to create steam) immediately before placing in the hot oven to bake.

A photo of a tray of Danish pastries with strawberry-cream cheese filling.

What’s a girl to do?  When nothing seems to work?  Relax, pour myself a cup of coffee, and enjoy my flat yet tasty blend of creamy cheese filling, sweet strawberries and buttery crispy pastry.  Who cares if it’s flat, it’s the taste that counts.  Right?  Wrong! – oops that’s the perfectionist in me coming out.

A photo of 3 Cheese Danishes with strawberries on a plate lined with parchment paper.

I’m sure my rocky relationship with store-bought Puff Pastry will continue.  But for now here’s to hot ovens, cold kitchens and Strawberry-Cream Cheese Pastries.

A photo taken looking down on Cheese Danishes with fresh strawberries displayed on parchment paper.

A photo of Strawberry-Cream Cheese Danish Pastries, one on a small white dessert plate and the others in the background on a small glass cake stand lined with non-stick baking paper.

A photo of Strawberry-Cream Cheese Pastries on a white plate along side 2 cups and saucers.

A photo of unbaked Danish Pastries with cream cheese filling and fresh strawberries on a baking sheet lined with a siltpat.

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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Custards, Creams & Mousses, Dolci alla Frutta, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Fruit Desserts, Pasticcini, Pastries, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Recipes, Ricette di Base, Yeast Breads & Yeast Dough

Comments (22)

22 Responses to “Strawberry-Cream Cheese Pastries”

  1. Miss @Miss in the Kitchen Says:

    Amazing, I would love to have that big plate all to my self!

  2. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel Says:

    These look delicious whether they puffed up or not! I’ve had hit or miss results with puff pastry but think it’s mostly been the seal. A bad seal (in my experience) means it won’t puff up.

  3. Julie Says:

    I’m making these for breakfast tomorrow! I have puff pastry thawed in the fridge that needs using. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Dee Says:

    These look so yummy! Great pictures too.

  5. Grace Says:

    Julie I hope you fair better with puff pastry, I have a terrible time. Does yours puff up?

  6. sara826 Says:

    Are those available to ship? I want them right now! Delicious!

  7. Grace Says:

    I usually stay away from egg wash because I’m never careful enough but it gives the pastry such a beautiful golden crust. I remember picking up that tip from David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert cookbook.

  8. Grace Says:

    Oh Sara I just about spit out my coffee, too funny!

  9. Lauren at Keep It Sweet Says:

    Those look terrific! My husband loves cream cheese and jelly so he would be all over these.

  10. Sara Says:

    I haven’t yet tackle puff pastry. I feel intimidated and it seems such a long hard work. but store bought puff pastry does not make me happy either. If I will ever find the time to experiment with it and will find a great recipe I will let you know. In the meantime, whether they puff or stay flat, your pastries look amazing and now I’m craving for strawberry pastries.

  11. Melissa@EyesBigger Says:

    I have a soft spot in my heart for cream cheese and fruit pastries after having my first one years ago in a tiny bakery along the Oregon coast with a bottle of Peach Snapple. Now every time I eat one I can practically smell the salty air and imagine summer! Yours look beautiful and I want one right now!

  12. Joy Says:

    Those look amazing

  13. Grace Says:

    Thank you Sara, I felt the same before trying it for the first time. I decided I am going to set aside a day each month to make pastry and freeze it. If you have a minute take a look at the Pate Croissant recipe link in the post, I found it very easy, it doesn’t have as many turns and it was delicious.

  14. The Farmers Wife Says:

    Those look incredible!! Who doesn’t adore fresh pastry!

  15. Grace Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing Melissa. You have me longing for the beach and the warm weather.

  16. fooddreamer Says:

    Can I come to your house for breakfast???

  17. Sandra Says:

    Gracie these are gorgeous puff or no puff! Love the strawberry and cream cheese filling.

  18. Grace Says:

    Of course, all are welcome!

  19. Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen Says:

    Sad puffy pastry or not, these look amazing. I love your filling! These kind of treats are my favorite coffee house pastry!

  20. Apple Tart-Apple Tart Recipes-Fruit Tart-Puff Pastry Recipes-Pastry Tart | La Mia Vita Dolce Says:

    […] on Friday, 10th February 2012 by Grace I know I went on record a few months ago saying, “I hate store-bought Puff Pastry!” but I’m happy to say I’ve finally made my peace with it.  I’ve made a […]

  21. Brittany Says:

    This looks delicious!! I bought the ingredients yesterday.. My boyfriend and I are trying these today. Wish us luck!

  22. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi Brittany, please come back and let us know how it goes, wishing you much luck – breakfast pastries are one of my weaknesses.

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