Treat your mom to a very special breakfast this Mother’s Day with these Rhubarb & Cream Cheese Danishes. While this recipe looks impressive, the use of store-bought puff pastry makes this recipe incredibly fast, and is simple enough for chefs of any age or cooking level to make!
Rhubarb is a peculiar perennial vegetable that grows thick and fibrous pink stalks with large green leaves. While the pink stalks of the rhubarb plant are edible (and can even be eaten raw), the green leaves are poisonous to humans and are often discarded prior to being sold in farmers markets or grocery stores in the spring and early summer months.
When rhubarb is raw, the stalks are tart, fibrous, and have a stringy texture similar to celery, which may be off-putting to many people. But when it is cooked, it becomes extremely tender and almost disintegrates in your mouth. This texture makes rhubarb perfect for baking in pies, stewing into a savoury sauce, and of course using in these Rhubarb & Cheese Danishes!
These Rhubarb & Cream Cheese Danishes are extremely simple to make and pack a lot of fresh, springtime flavour. The rhubarb filling is nice and tart, while the cream cheese filling is sweet and fresh (due to lemon zest), and almost reminiscent of a cream cheese frosting.
Store-bought puff pastry is the real time-saver in this recipe, and I like to use this ingredient whenever I can to save myself time and effort as opposed to making my own pastry. Which has not worked out well for me….yet! I think that using a combination of store-bought and homemade ingredients is really practical and can be tailored to your taste and ingredients. Plus, you can add a personal touch with the homemade ingredients that you choose to add!
Due to the shortcut of using store-bought puff pastry, these Rhubarb & Cream Cheese Danishes come together in a flash. You can prepare the rhubarb filling and cream cheese filling the day before you want to make the danishes and have them ready for assembly on Mother’s Day. When you’re ready to make them, simply roll out the puff pastry and divide into squares before layering the cream cheese filling and rhubarb filling in the center of each danish. Adding the cream cheese filling and rhubarb filling is a task that is perfect for kids, along with drizzling the icing on top at the end.
You can also put a personal spin on the recipe by folding the pastry in whatever design you want– the possibilities are endless! Additionally, if you or your mom don’t like rhubarb, you can substitute it with any other fruit that you like! I really like the use of rhubarb here though since it’s in season during this time of year and because of it’s gorgeous pink colour that is perfect for mom!
I hope that you (and your mom) enjoy this recipe this Mother’s Day and throughout the springtime! I guarantee that you will definitely want to make this recipe again!
Servings: 8 Prep Time 20 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 40 minutes
Begin by cooking the rhubarb filling. Add the sliced rhubarb to a small pot along with the granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Let the rhubarb simmer until soft and it begins to fall apart and becomes thick, about 10 minutes. Once softened, place the rhubarb filling into a separate bowl and place in the fridge to let cool completely.
Next, make the cream cheese filling. Add the cream cheese, ½ cup powdered sugar, and lemon zest and mix together until combined. It is best to use room temperature cream cheese for this so that you can mix it into a smooth filling. Once fully combined, add the egg white to the cream cheese mixture, reserving the egg yolk in a separate small bowl for the egg wash. Mix the cream cheese mixture until the egg white is incorporated and set aside.
For the egg wash, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of water to the egg yolk and mix to combine. Set aside until your danishes have been assembled. To assemble the danishes, use a rolling pin to roll out one sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface into a large square that is approximately 25x25 cm. Use a sharp knife to cut the puff pastry into four even squares. Place the squares onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat for the other sheet of puff pastry. You should have 8 squares at the end.
Place a heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese filling in the center of one puff pastry square and top with another heaping tablespoon of the cooled rhubarb filling.
Fold the corners of the puff pastry square into the middle of the pastry to close up the danish. Repeat the process for the rest of the danishes. Ensure that the danishes are spaced at least 5cm apart on the baking sheet to allow room for expansion in the oven. If they are too close, use multiple baking sheets to space them out appropriately, or bake in batches.
Place the baking sheet(s) with the danishes in the freezer for 5 minutes to allow the puff pastry to cool down and firm up again. Don’t skip this step as this will make your puff pastry lighter and fluffier once it bakes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove the danishes from the freezer and quickly brush the top of each danish with the egg wash. Place in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through baking to ensure that they brown evenly. Once cooked, the danishes should be puffed up and golden brown on top and on the bottom. Let the danishes cool completely before adding the icing.
For the icing, combine the remaining ½ cup powdered sugar and milk and whisk to combine. The mixture should be thick and form an even ribbon of icing when drizzled. If it is too runny, add additional powdered sugar until the desired consistency is achieved.
Drizzle the icing over the cooled danishes and serve! Enjoy!