Rhubarb Almond Danishes

Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4½ teaspoons granulated yeast
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup butter, softened slightly
  • For frangipane filling:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1//4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • One recipe rhubarb syrup with strained pulp reserved
  • one large egg, beaten
  • sliced almonds for garnish
Directions
  1. Scald the milk over medium heat, removing it from the heat just before boiling. Allow to cool to 110ºF. Add in the sugar and yeast and let sit for 5 minutes to proof.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together 3 cups of flour, cardamom, and salt. Make a well in the center and add in the milk and yeast mixture and the eggs. Stir together until a dough forms and pulls away from the bowl. Add in ¼ cup or so of the remaining flour as needed. The dough should be soft and pliable.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead 2-3 turns. Roll into a small square and chill, covered, for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Prepare the butter by pressing it into about an 8"-square between a piece of plastic wrap or parchment. Refrigerate until firm.
  5. Place the dough on a floured surface and roll into an 8"x15" rectangle. Place the butter on one side and fold the other side of the dough over the butter, closing it like a book and sealing the edges. Roll into a rectangle ¼-1/2" thick. Fold one third of the dough over to the center. Fold the following third on top. Place the dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for one hour.
  6. Place the refrigerated dough on a floured surface and roll into a rectangle ¼-1/2" thick. Fold the two shorter ends towards the center, and then fold the dough in half like a book where the ends meet.Turn the dough 90º and roll into a rectangle again. Fold into thirds. Refrigerate the dough for one hour. At this point you may keep your dough in a covered container or wrapped until you're ready to bake your pastries.
  7. Before baking, prepare your pastry filling. For the frangipane, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the egg, almond flour, vanilla, and salt. Set aside.
  8. For the rhubarb syrup, add the reserved rhubarb pulp bake into a pan and continue to cook until the consistency starts to resemble a fruit butter. Remove from heat and cool.
  9. At this point you can roll your dough out and shape into pastries. You could also roll, spread with filling, and shape into cinnamon-roll-like shapes. Below I explain how to make the twisted pastries pictured.
  10. Cut the dough into two pieces. Roll the first piece out on a lightly floured surface into a 12"x15" rectangle. Spread the dough with half the frangipane and about ⅓ cup of the rhubarb butter over the top of the frangipane, Fold the dough into thirds the long way, leaving a 15" strip. Cut into 1.5" strips using a pizza wheel or pastry cutter. Leaving about ½-3/4" on each end of the strip, slice through the center of the strip, creating an opening. Take one end of the strip and pull it up and over the strip and through the opening, pressing it flat on the opposite side. Take the other end of the strip and pull it under and through the opening to create a twist. Place the pastry on a parchment-line baking sheet and repeat until all the strips are folded.
  11. Alternatively, you can pull out each strip and twist at the ends, then twist together to form a bun shape, placing in large baking cups on a baking sheet to proof.
  12. Proof the pastries for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 400ºF. Brush lightly with a beaten egg and sprinkle with almonds. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brow.
  13. While the pastries are baking, heat the rhubarb syrup over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pan until it boils. Brush the syrup over warm pastries. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Author: Shaina Olmanson
Prep time: 4 hours
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 4 hours 20 mins
Recipe by Food for My Family at http://foodformyfamily.com/recipes/rhubarb-almond-danishes