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The Great South African Bake Off

Almond and apple, custard and peach, and pecan nut Danish pastries

Showstopper recipe by Michaela from The Great South African Bake Off

GSABO

The Great South African Bake Off - Past series

BBC Lifestyle

Ingredients

Danish pastry:

  • 230g unsalted butter, softened
  • 3½ cups flour
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1tsp salt
  • 15g active dry yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 3ml almond extract
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

Danish fillings

Apple, cinnamon and toasted almonds:

  • 4 apples
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup toasted almonds
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1tbsp butter

Custard and preserved peaches:

  • 1 cup dried peaches
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 250g sugar
  • 100g flour
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 litre milk

Pecan pie:

  • 85g pecan nuts, chopped
  • 50g muscovado sugar
  • 1tbsp maple syrup
  • 25g butter

Extras:

  • Brown sugar, for garnish

Preparation method

Danish pastry:

  1. Place the butter between wax paper, and roll into a thin rectangle.
  2. Place the sheet of butter in the fridge.
  3. Combine 1½ cups of the flour and the yeast.
  4. Add the milk, salt and sugar together in a saucepan, and gently heat until warm. Add the mixture to the flour, and then add the egg and the extracts.
  5. Beat at high a speed with the paddle attachment for 3 minutes.
  6. Change to the dough hook and add the remaining flour. Mix until the dough comes together on the hook (it should be sticky, but not impossible to handle).
  7. Tip the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface, and then knead for 5 minutes.
  8. Return the dough to a bowl, and cover with a clean dishcloth. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
  9. Divide the dough in half.
  10. Roll the dough out to a 30cm square.
  11. Place the sheet of cooled butter on top of the dough.
  12. Fold the dough over the butter (so the butter is enclosed by the dough).
  13. Seal the edges of the dough around the butter.
  14. Roll the dough out into a 40cm x 25cm rectangle.
  15. Fold the dough into thirds by folding the long ends over into the centre of the dough.
  16. Repeat the process of rolling the dough out, then folding into thirds.
  17. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and place in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes.
  18. Remove the dough from the fridge and repeat the above rolling method another four times.
  19. Return the dough to the fridge to cool down before shaping.

Danish fillings

Apple, cinnamon and toasted almonds:

  1. Cut the apples into very thin slivers.
  2. Place the apples in a pan with the butter and brown sugar.
  3. Cook the apples until they have caramelised with the sugar and butter.
  4. Just before you remove the apples from the heat, add the cinnamon.
  5. Roll the Danish pastry into squares.
  6. Place the apple mixture in the centre of the dough.
  7. Sprinkle half a portion of almond flakes over the apples.
  8. Fold the corners of the dough towards the centre.
  9. Brush the top with egg wash.
  10. Sprinkle a few more almonds over the pastry.
  11. Bake at 220°C for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked.

Custard and preserved peaches:

  1. Cut the vanilla pod lengthways and add to a saucepan with the milk. Bring to the boil.
  2. Place all the eggs (both yolks and whole eggs) into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, and then combine until the mixture goes light and fluffy.
  3. Add the flour. Combine well.
  4. Once the milk begins to boil, add the mixture to the egg mixture.
  5. Transfer mixture to a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Make sure the cream doesn't stick to the bottom of the saucepan. The custard will be done when it is thick in consistency.
  6. In a frying pan, ‘rehydrate’ the peaches with the butter and sugar.
  7. Place 1tbsp of custard into the centre of a square of Danish pastry.
  8. Fold two ends towards the centre of the pastry.
  9. Place small spoonfuls of the peaches on either end of the pastry.
  10. Brush the top with egg wash.
  11. Bake at 220°C for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked.

Pecan pie:

  1. Blitz the pecans until semi-fine.
  2. Add the sugar, maple syrup and butter into the pecan nuts. Mix with a wooden spoon.
  3. Cut pastry into a square, and then into four smaller squares (keeping the middle intact).
  4. Place spoonfuls of the pecan filling onto each corner of the dough.
  5. Fold one corner of the smaller circle towards the centre.
  6. Sprinkle with a bit of brown sugar.
  7. Brush the top with egg wash.
  8. Bake at 220°C for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked.

The following recipe was created and written by the accredited contestant of The Great South African Bake Off. BBC Worldwide accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of ingredients, method or content.