These pastries* were really a spur-of-the-moment creation, based on the availability of fresh peaches and a last-minute dinner invitation. You know me, I can never arrive at a gathering without some kind of baked good, so I skimmed my recipe box for inspiration and came up with these incredibly simple, yet incredibly tasty desserts. Squares of buttery puff pastry are topped with a pillow of marzipan and a handful of peach slices, then baked to crispy, flaky perfection. The tanginess of the peaches is set off nicely by the floral sweetness of the marzipan, and the crunch of puff pastry wraps it all together in a convenient bundle, ready for dessert or an indulgent breakfast treat.
*Okay, so these aren’t really danishes– a danish is a very specific type of pastry with a very specific type of laminated, yeasted dough. Puff pastry was a shortcut.
Peach Marzipan Danish (makes 8)
1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
5 small peaches (or 3-4 large)
7 oz. package ready-made marzipan
Coarse sugar (demarara is my favorite)
2 tbs. apricot jam
powdered sugar for garnish
1. Slice your peaches into eighths (if they’re small), or into smaller chunks (if they’re larger).
2. Roll out your marzipan just under 1/4″ thick and cut eight 2″ circles out of it. Set aside.
3. Cut your puff pastry into 8 squares– mine came in two sheets, so 4 squares per sheet.
4. Place one marzipan circle in the center of each square and top with peach slices. I had very small local peaches, so I put three slices in a triangle around the base, then put two more slices in the center. You can do whatever you like, though.
5. Bring the corners of the puff pastry squares over the top of the peaches.
6. Beat the egg in a small bowl to make egg wash, and glaze the visible pastry corners.
7. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
8. Bake at 400 degrees F for approximately 18 minutes, or until deep golden brown. (Optional step: about 5 minutes before the end of baking, crumble a few pieces of marzipan on top of each pastry, and return it to the oven to finish baking).
9. Heat apricot jam in the microwave until runny. Brush jam over the exposed peach slices for a nice shine.
10. Once completely cool, dust with powdered sugar if desired.
- You can roll your marzipan in smallish chunks (about the size of a ping-pong ball) rather than trying to do it all at once. It’ll be easier to roll out thin, and marzipan doesn’t suffer from being re-rolled like cookie dough does.
- Roll out marzipan on powdered sugar to keep it from sticking to the board.
- Do not assemble the unbaked danishes too long before baking– I left them in the fridge for a few hours and the juices started flowing and leaking onto the baking sheet. I had to sop them up with a paper towel to keep the pastry from getting too soggy!
- You might also consider making a powdered-sugar-and-milk glaze to drizzle over the tops in place of the plain powdered sugar.