Quick and easy festive Danish pastries

Christmas pastry baking homecook mincemeat

Whether made using traditional Danish pastry dough, a shortcut version or, even simpler, commercial puff pastry (the all-butter variety, not the cheap, nasty version made with oil!), these festive treats are sure to hit the spot.

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Seriously, I have made many batches of these in recent weeks and they have gone down so well: always a pleasing sign! I also got my  Year 9 students to make their own dough for these pastries, and they did a wonderful job.

The dough

You can go full-out with a Danish pastry or croissant dough, and I often favour a speedier dough for these pastries (the recipe can be found here), but to be honest using the wonderful all-butter puff pastry that is so widely available makes these even quicker to make up a batch.

A 320g pack of ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry makes 12 decent sized pastries.

Keep the filling simple but full of flavour

A good quality mincemeat makes a world of difference: homemade is ideal but you can boost commercial mincemeat with extra alcohol, ground almonds, dried cherries,a little more mixed spice and the like……..

I sometimes like to pop a little bit of marzipan in with the mincemeat, but the mincemeat alone will give a good batch of pastries.

Recipe: festive Danish pastries – make about 12

  • 1 pack of all-butter puff pastry (320g) or croissant dough (recipe link above)
  • 2-3 tablespoons quality mincemeat (see above if you want to ramp things up somewhat with the filling!)
  • a few glace cherries, halved
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon curd or apricot jam to glaze

(1) Roll out the pastry to a thin rectangle a few millimetres thick (or just unroll the ready-rolled pastry!) and cut out small squares,. about 7cm by 7cm.

(2) Take a pastry square and cut diagonally through each corner of it towards the centre, going to a couple of centimetres from the centre – giving four “flaps” . Repeat for the other squares and place on baking sheets lined with greaseproof paper.

(3) Place a teaspoon of the mincemeat on the centre of each square.

(4) Fold over one corner of a flap onto the centre of the mincemeat.

Take the same corner of the second flap and fold onto the first.

Repeat all the way round to give the pinwheel effect.


(5) Place a cherry on the centre and press down.

If using a Danish pastry or croissant dough, pop into a large plastic bag and leave at room temperature to prove until well risen and puffy.

(6) Brush liberally with the beaten egg and bake for about 12-15 minutes until well risen and golden.

(7) Transfer to a cooling rack and while they are still hot brush with the apricot jam or glaze.

Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking, teaching and eating good food.

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