This is my favorite Finnish coffee table Christmas treat. The pastry is similar to a Danish pastry but made with a soft cheese like ricotta. It is ideal for a Nordic Winter Tea Party with Keemun glögg or with a hot cup of Firepot Breakfast tea.
Makes: 12- 24 pastries
Time: 2 hours
You will need:
For the pastry:
1 cup flour
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup softened salted butter
For the filling:
.5 cups dried apricots or plums (I prefer plums and they are more traditional)
.5 cups sugar
.5 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make pastry:
Combine cheese and butter until uniform.
Add flour until combined.
Knead for a minute and refrigerate, covered, for at least an hour.
To make filling:
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
Blend until smooth.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Roll pastry out on a floured board in the shape of a square 1/4 inch thick. Fold the bottom third of the square up to the center of the dough and the top third down. Roll again into a square 1/4 inch thick. Repeat this process once more to create a flaky dough.
Cut the square into 9 squares (about 3 inches square each). Then make 4 2 inch slits in each square from the corners towards the middle.
Place a spoonful of apricot or plum filling in the center of each square and lift every other cut edge towards the center, so you have a star. Press tips together.
Brush with an egg yolk wash, if desired
Bake for about 12 minutes until browned and puffed.