Has this not been the sunniest week ever, or what? Somehow I always seem to pick the best weeks to take off work – especially as we are holidaying here in the UK this year. And have I got a summery treat for you today, even if you are stuck inside the office. Meet my Apple Raspberry Danish Braid.
I’ve got to me honest, there is an easy way to make this recipe, and a much more time consuming way. It’s entirely up to you which you pick. But it all comes down to which pastry you choose. You can either go all-out and make the danish pastry in the recipe below, like I did, or you can skip a whole load of steps and just by some ready-made puff pastry from the supermarket.
You can definitely make the danish pastry yourself – it isn’t hard. It just takes a while. There’s a lot of rolling, chilling, rolling again, chilling again, blah blah blah. But if you’ve got a whole day to spare, or maybe a weekend, then feel free to give it a go. You can make the pastry the day before, and then leave it to chill in the fridge overnight before using the next morning, which would be perfect for a Sunday brunch.
Or you can just get some pre-made, ready-rolled puff pastry from the store and avoid any faff what-so-ever. It’s your call.
The filling is a lot simpler than the pastry, that’s for sure. Just pop some chopped apple in a saucepan with some butter and sugar, and cook until the apple is nice and soft. Oh, and there’s some cinnamon in there too, because who can make anything apple without throwing in some of everyone’s favourite spice. It’s not going to taste overly-cinnamony or anything, it just helps the apples taste more appley. Somehow.
Don’t cook the raspberries with the apple. Just place them on top of the apple mixture when you are assembling the braid. You can use fresh or frozen raspberries, and there’s no need to defrost the raspberries if you’re using frozen.
Finish the apple raspberry braid with some vanilla drizzle if you like – it’s the same drizzle from my Cherry Apricot Galette. Adding some drizzle always makes things look so much more professional and appetising, so it’s definitely worth the tiny bit of effort to do.
The apple raspberry braid is definitely best eaten on the day of making, although it will keep for a day or two if you pop it in the fridge, wrapped in some parchment.
- 225g (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 40g (1/3 cup) plain or all-purpose flour
- 300ml (1¼ cups) milk
- 50g (¼ cup) caster sugar (US granulated sugar)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2¼ teaspoon active yeast
- Up to 500g (4 cups) plain or all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 400g (3¼ cups) cooking apples, chopped – 2 or 3 large cooking apples
- 60g (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 160g (2/3 cup) light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons plain or all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 200g (1½ cups) fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1 beaten egg
- 40g (1/3 cup) icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- 2-3 teaspoons milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cream together the butter and 40g of flour. Roll out the butter mixture between two sheets of baking parchment or grease-proof paper, into a roughly 6x12 inch rectangle. Pop in the fridge to chill whilst you make the pastry dough.
- Put the milk, caster sugar, and salt into a small bowl, mix together, and then warm in the microwave for about one minute, or until it feels warm to the touch (but not hot). Set aside.
- Put 200g (1¾ cups) of the flour into a large bowl with the yeast, and whisk together. Make a well in the centre, and pour in the warm milk. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and grated nutmeg, and then stir together. Add the remainder of the flour, 75g (½ a cup) at a time, mixing or kneading together until a firm dough forms. Cover the bowl with a towel, and then leave somewhere warm to rise for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
- Once the dough has risen, roll it out on a generously floured worktop. Roll it into a 14 inch square, and then place the chilled sheet of butter onto one side of the dough. Fold the other side of the dough over the butter (see photos below) and then seal around the edges by pressing down, so that the butter is completely covered in dough. Roll out again into a 20x12 inch rectangle, with the long side towards you. Fold the top third down over the middle third, and then fold the top third upwards on top of the middle third. Roll out again to a 20x12 inch rectangle, and repeat the folding process. Wrap the dough in clingfilm or plastic wrap, and place in the fridge to chill for half an hour.
- Remove the dough from the fridge, and repeat the rolling and folding process twice more. Wrap the dough back up in clingfilm and return to the fridge for another 30 minutes, whilst you make the filling.
- Place the chopped apples and the butter into a medium saucepan, along with the sugar, flour, salt, and cinnamon. Mix together to coat the apples, and then bring almost to the boil over a medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until the apples are a little soft. Stir frequently to avoid anything burning at the bottom. Once the apples are cooked, remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool.
- Once the dough has chilled, remove from the fridge and roll out to a 13x8 inch rectangle, with the short side facing you. Chop off the edges if necessary to get a nice even rectangular shape. Transfer the rectangle to a baking sheet (cookie sheet). Spread the apple mixture down the middle third of the pastry, leaving an inch at the top and bottom. Place the raspberries on top of the apple mixture, making sure they are evenly distributed.
- Cut diagonal strips down both sides of the pastry, about 1 inch thick, and then fold them back across the filling, taking strips from alternate sides each time. This should leave you with a braid effect. Fold up the 1 inch of pastry left at the top and the bottom, and tuck under the braid. Cover with a towel and leave to rise for an hour.
- Preheat your oven to 190°C / 375°F (170°C fan), about 15 minutes before the braid has finished rising.
- Once the pastry has risen, brush with the beaten egg, and place in the preheated oven to bake for 20-25 minutes. After 10 minutes of baking, cover the braid with aluminium foil to stop the top from burning. Once the pastry is cooked, leave to cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack. Once completely cool, drizzle with vanilla glaze before serving (the vanilla glaze is made by combining the icing sugar, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl, and mixing).
- This braid is best eaten the day or day after baking, and is best stored in an airtight container somewhere cool or in the fridge. The dough can be made a day in advance - just keep in the fridge until needed.
- Alternatively, you can use store-bought puff pastry for this recipe, although it won't quite be a true danish. But that's okay!