Cherry Almond Danish

Cherry Almond Danish

It’s all about mom! Surprise her in bed with a warm, flaky danish and a cup of coffee. I know I would be thrilled at such a gesture. This lovely Cherry Almond Danish is made with ready-made puff pastry and can be assembled ahead of time, making it easy to have ready for the oven. With its flaky pastry, fruity filling and cream cheese layer this danish makes for a perfect brunch item for Easter, Mother’s Day or any entertaining occasion.

Using pre-made puff pastry gives you peace of mind that it will be flaky and golden with very little effort. The cherry sauce has a hint of almond flavouring as does the sticky sweet glaze and it’s topped with toasted almonds. It’s a combination I love and it’s so easy to make, giving you no excuse not to treat that special lady or welcomed quests.

A slice of Cherry Almond Danish sits on a white plate with a fork to the side. The plate sits on a flowered cloth that is draped over a wooden tray with a cup of black coffee in the upper right corner.
Cherry Almond Danish
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    8 1 1/2" slices 40 minutes
    Cook Time
    25-28 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    8 1 1/2" slices 40 minutes
    Cook Time
    25-28 minutes
    A slice of Cherry Almond Danish sits on a white plate with a fork to the side. The plate sits on a flowered cloth that is draped over a wooden tray with a cup of black coffee in the upper right corner.
    Cherry Almond Danish
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      8 1 1/2" slices 40 minutes
      Cook Time
      25-28 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      8 1 1/2" slices 40 minutes
      Cook Time
      25-28 minutes
      Ingredients
      Danish
      Glaze
      Servings: 1 1/2" slices
      Instructions
      Danish
      1. Combine cherries and sugar in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until cherries are soft and syrupy about 10 minutes.
      2. In a small bowl whisk together 1 tbsp of cornstarch and 1 tbsp cold water. Stir into cherries and whisk constantly over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a full boil.
      3. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract. Allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes.
      4. Preheat oven to 425℉ and line a heavy baking sheet with parchment.
      5. In a small bowl cream together cream cheese, 1 tbsp of powdered sugar and vanilla.
      6. Lay puff pastry sheet on parchment and stretch slightly in width and length to 11-12".
      7. Using a pastry scraper or knife cut 1" wide fingers on the top and bottom third of pastry (length of fingers will be 3-4") and the centre 4" portion will be uncut (see photo).
      8. Spread cream cheese evenly along the centre uncut 4" portion of pastry.
      9. Spread cherry filling evenly on top of the cream cheese filling, leaving the fingers uncovered.
      10. Pull fingers across filling, alternating sides as you go (it's ok to have some small spaces in the pastry). Tuck any excess pastry underneath.
      11. In a small bowl whisk together egg and 1 tbsp milk or cream. Brush generously onto pastry.
      12. Bake in preheated oven for 25-28 minutes until golden and puffed. Remove from oven to a cooling rack for 5 minutes.
      Glaze
      1. In a small bowl whisk together 1/2cup powdered sugar and 1 tbsp milk or cream. Drizzle over pastry while warm and sprinkle with toasted almonds.
      2. Serve warm, cutting into 1 1/2" slices.
      Recipe Notes

      -Toast almonds in a preheated 350℉ oven for 10-12 minutes, stirring once.

      -Using a pastry cutter to cut fingers allows a clean cut without cutting through the parchment.

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      Baked Apricot Mustard Ham

      Baked Apricot Mustard Ham

      Looking to feed a crowd of hungry relatives and friends this Easter? Baked Apricot Mustard Ham will not only feed the small army you call family, it will also slice out enough ham for leftovers along with a ham bone for soup. The meal that keeps on giving, in an oooh so tasty and simple way. The herby mustard rub is my standard go to paste to rub on most everything but this time with the addition of apricot jam. The jam helps to glaze the ham and cut the salt with a touch of sweetness. You’ll also love, love, love the fresh herbs, especially the rosemary, which is such a wonderful pairing with ham.

      Aside from the ham, which I could chatter on about, this post also warms my heart for another reason. It’s the kind gesture and thoughtfulness from a wonderful friend who gave me the opportunity to use a family treasure in my post. The silver and stainless steel carving set used in the pictures belonged to my friend’s Grandmother on his father’s side.

      There are actually 3 pieces to the set although I only used two in my pictures. The set includes a fork, knife and sharpening steel, which looks much different from what we see today. All pieces are stamped with WM Rogers and Son, who was a well know silversmith and pioneer in the silver plate industry. They’re tarnished like heck and the knife is uneven from use or sharpening, but this vintage set is prop gold and absolutely beautiful in my photos. Thank you Mike for thinking of me, Happy Easter.

      Recipe source for Baked Apricot Mustard Ham:  Compelled To Cook

      You may also like Braised Lamb Shoulder for your Easter gathering.

      Baked Apricot Mustard Ham
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        12-15 people 20 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        3 hours 15 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        12-15 people 20 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        3 hours 15 minutes
        Baked Apricot Mustard Ham
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          12-15 people 20 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          3 hours 15 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          12-15 people 20 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          3 hours 15 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: people
          Instructions
          1. Preheat oven to 325℉. Remove ham from packaging and dab dry with a paper towel. Score ham by cutting just through the skin in diagonal lines about 1" apart. Repeat diagonal line in the opposite direction to create a diamond pattern.
          2. In a small bowl whisk together mustard, half the apricot jam, chopped fresh herbs, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
          3. Lay ham face down in roasting pan and scatter a handful of fresh herbs around the ham. Smear half of the mustard rub evenly over ham. Add 3/4 cup water to the pan and cover tightly with foil.
          4. Bake for approximately 2-2 1/2 hours until warmed through and an internal temperature of 135℉ is reached. Increase oven temperature to 400℉ and strain liquid from pan. Rub ham with remaining mustard rub and continue to bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes until golden and browned and the internal temperature is 145℉. Remove from oven and recover with foil and allow to rest 15 minutes. Slice and serve.
          5. While ham is resting, reduce liquid from pan by 1/3. Whisk in 1/4-1/3 cup apricot jam to taste and serve along side the ham.
          Lemon on Lemon Cupcakes

          Lemon on Lemon Cupcakes

          Do you love bright lemon desserts? Lemon on Lemon Cupcakes are just that in the world of cupcakes. Tender lemon cupcakes splashed with lemon glaze and crowned with light as air lemon buttercream. They are a lovely addition to your Easter weekend.

          I admit, I think I’m addicted to buttercream, especially the smooth cloud like French buttercream. Kissed with lemon, luscious and light while being perfectly sweet, you’ll be addicted too. No doubt your finger will swipe into the bowl more than once my friends. But don’t worry, there’s plenty, so go ahead and sneak a little!

          As much as I love French buttercream for it’s luscious airy texture and pale yellow colour, it is not the best for piping. Although you can see by my photographs that I did indeed pipe this buttercream, it’s not recommended.  It’s doable for sure, but fussy as it tends to soften further as you pipe it and I found myself cooling the piping bag as I went. I fought through it for the pictures but you don’t have to. Simply spread on a good dollop and garnish with sprinkles if desired. Believe me, it’s still a buttercream worth the fuss. Enjoy!

          Recipe source for Lemon on Lemon Cupcakes:  Compelled To Cook

           

          Lemon on Lemon Cupcakes
          Print Recipe
            Servings
            22-24 cupcakes
            Servings
            22-24 cupcakes
            Lemon on Lemon Cupcakes
            Print Recipe
              Servings
              22-24 cupcakes
              Servings
              22-24 cupcakes
              Ingredients
              Cupcakes
              Glaze
              Buttercream
              Servings: cupcakes
              Instructions
              Cupcakes
              1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Line muffin tins with desired paper liners and set aside. In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
              2. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk together sugar, oil and lemon zest until combined. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each. Whisk in buttermilk, lemon juice, and lemon extract. Add flour mixture all at once and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Carefully add boiling water with mixer on low and whisk until incorporated and batter is smooth, increasing speed when water has been incorporated, about 1 minute.
              3. Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop batter into prepared cupcake tins and bake in preheated oven for 15-16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing cupcakes to a wire rack. Once removed from tins, glaze cupcakes as per directions below.
              Lemon Glaze
              1. Combine sugar and lemon juice in a small sauce pan over medium heat and whisk until sugar has dissolved and mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and use while still warm.
              2. Brush cupcakes with glaze once they have been removed from the tins to a wire rack. You will have enough glaze to make two passes with the glaze.
              Buttercream
              1. In a small pot combine sugar, water and lemon juice. Over medium high heat bring mixture to a boil whisking often until sugar has dissolved. Brush any sugar crystals away from the side of the pot with a pastry brushed dunked in cool water. Once sugar has dissolved, stop stirring and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and continue to boil until mixture reaches 240℉.
              2. Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg yolks until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. When sugar syrup reaches 240℉, slowly pour syrup into egg yolks with mixer running on medium high. Try to hit the side of the bowl with the syrup as you pour. Once all the syrup has been incorporated, continue to whisk until the temperature has dropped to room temperature, about 65-68℉.
              3. Add butter by the tablespoon, making sure each piece is incorporated before adding the next. Once all the butter is added, the buttercream should be light and fluffy. Whisk in lemon extract and food colouring.
              4. French buttercream is a little softer than others and therefore recommended here to dollop each cupcake with approximately 2tbsp and smooth over cupcake.
              Recipe Notes

              -Start whisking egg yolks once sugar syrup hits about 210℉, that way they will be ready when syrup hits 240℉.

              -Use a sealable bag or two filled with ice and a small amount of water to place around the mixer bowl to help it cool to room temperature faster.

              Braised Lamb Shoulder

              Braised Lamb Shoulder

              Are you planning on serving lamb for Easter? Braised Lamb Shoulder is tender and smothered with a creamy mushroom thyme sauce. A wonderful main dish to share with your family and friends this Easter.

              Not sure if you’re a lamb lover or not? It’s definitely a stronger meat and most people either really like it or can do without it. I rather like it, and grilled lamb chops are my personal favourite. Braised lamb is my second favourite because the long braising time helps to mellow the stronger lamb taste. To make it even better, this fork tender Braised Lamb Shoulder is generously hugged by a flavourful sauce made with sherry, mushrooms, thyme and cream.

              My thoughts for this dish came from having brunch at the Banff Springs Hotel. There, they just happened to serve three separate braised lamb dishes. The one that took me back for seconds was a braised lamb in a creamy mushroom sauce. While this Braised Lamb Shoulder is not exactly what I had, it is similar in many ways and just as delicious. I always love it when dining out generates motivation and inspiration for creating great food.

              Don’t be a slave to the kitchen either, with a little prep you don’t need to worry much about this roast for 4 hours. So you can spend most of the afternoon with your guests. The final dish can also be left to sit in a low oven, giving you time to enjoy an appetizer or mingle over a glass of wine, or both. Enjoy!

              Recipe Source for Braised Lamb Shoulder:  Compelled To Cook

               

              Braised Lamb Shoulder
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                6-8 people 15 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                4 1/2 hours 4 hours
                Servings Prep Time
                6-8 people 15 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                4 1/2 hours 4 hours
                Braised Lamb Shoulder
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  6-8 people 15 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  4 1/2 hours 4 hours
                  Servings Prep Time
                  6-8 people 15 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  4 1/2 hours 4 hours
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: people
                  Instructions
                  1. Preheat oven to 325℉. Season lamb shoulder generously with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large braiser or dutch oven over medium high heat. Sear roast until browned on all sides. Remove roast to a plate and add mushrooms, sautéing until browned and starting to give off their liquid. Add garlic and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
                  2. Add sherry and reduce over medium high heat for 2 minutes. Stir in chicken stock and heat to a simmer. Add roast back into pan, along with a bay leaf and about 5 sprigs of fresh thyme. Cover and cook in oven for 2 hours. Turn roast over and replace lid, continue to cook for an additional 2 hours.
                  3. Remove from oven and carefully lift roast out of pan onto a plate. Cover with foil and allow to rest while completing sauce. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs and discard. Skim any excess fat from liquid and simmer over high heat to reduce liquid to about 2 cups, approximately 15 minutes. Whisk together heavy cream and cornstarch. Whisk into sauce along with the chopped thyme and bring back to a simmer. If sauce is not thick enough, continue to reduce for 2-3 minutes until a desired consistency is reached. The sauce will thicken slightly as it cools so be careful not to reduce too much. If you do, simply add a splash of heavy cream to adjust. Adjust final sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
                  4. Remove butcher string from roast and slice against the grain into 1/4" slices. Arrange slices in desired serving dish and ladle with sauce. Serve immediately or cover with foil and keep warm in a low oven for up to 1 hour.
                  Recipe Notes

                  If your boneless lamb shoulder comes with a netting, cut it off and retie with butcher string so the roast can be seared prior to braising.