Light, flaky Danish pastry topped with pecans, maple syrup and a vanilla icing. For this recipe you will need a food processor and a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.
For the pastry dough
- 500g/1lb 2oz strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
- 10g/¼ oz fine sea salt
- 50g/1¾oz caster sugar
- 9g/⅓oz fast-action yeast
- 1 large free-range egg, plus one yolk, lightly beaten
- 150ml/5fl oz full milk, heated to 43C
- vegetable oil, for greasing
- 250g/9oz unsalted butter, chilled
For the pecan and maple filling
- 150g/5½oz pecans
- 85g/3oz light muscovado sugar,
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 30g/1oz unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large free-range egg beaten with 2 tbsp milk
- 50g/1¾oz apricot jam
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 150g/5½oz icing sugar, sifted
- 2 tbsp boiling water
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- For the pastry dough, put the flour, salt and sugar on one side of a mixing bowl and the yeast on the opposite side. Add the eggs, egg yolk, warm milk and 80ml/2½fl oz water and mix for one minute using a fork until combined. Add a little more water if needed to form a firm dough.
- Dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust with a little flour and knead for 5 minutes, then shape into a ball.
- Lightly oil a mixing bowl and a large piece of cling film. Put the dough in the bowl and cover with the cling film. Set aside in a warm place to prove for an hour, or until almost doubled in size.
- For the filling, in a food processor, pulse 100g/3½oz of the pecans until fine. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the sugar, maple syrup and butter. Cover and leave at room temperature. Roughly chop the remaining pecans to use as a garnish.
- To make the pastry, sandwich the chilled butter between the open wrapper and a piece of cling film. Using a rolling pin, beat the butter until it is flattened to roughly 1.5cm/⅝in. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface until 1cm/½in thick and roughly double the size of the butter.
- Arrange the dough with a short edge nearest you and put the butter in the middle. Fold the top and bottom of the pastry over the butter so it is just overlapping. Press all the edges and sides together to ensure the butter is sealed within the pastry. Using a rolling pin, tap the dough from the middle upwards and from the middle downwards. This ensures the butter is evenly distributed.
- Roll out the pastry to a large rectangle approximately 1cm/½in thick. Turn dough so you have a long edge nearest you, then fold the right third into the middle and cover with the left third. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Do this turning, folding and chilling three more times.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Line two large baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
- Roll out the dough to a 30x40cm/12x16in rectangle. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp, the dough into 12 equal squares.
- To shape the pastry a line from every corner almost into the middle of the square. Brush the tip of each corner with a little of the egg and milk mixture, and fold the alternate corners into the middle pressing down firmly, creating a pinwheel.
- Transfer the pastries to the prepared trays. Using your finger, press down to create a hollow in the middle of the pastry for the filling. Put 1 teaspoon of the ground pecan mixture into the centre of each pastry and scatter with a few chopped pecans to decorate. Cover the baking trays with cling film and set aside in a warm place to rise for 10 minutes.
- To finish, brush each pastry with egg wash and bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and golden-brown.
- Meanwhile, for the apricot glaze, combine the apricot jam and lemon juice with 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Slowly heat the mixture, stirring gently, until runny. Pass through a sieve and set aside. While the pastries are still warm brush them with the apricot glaze.
- For the icing, mix the icing sugar, boiling water and vanilla extract together until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle and pipe lines across the cooled pastries to finish.