Fig, Pistachio and Goat Cheese Danish

Fig, Pistachio and Goat Cheese Danish

  • Servings: 12
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For the pastry:
3/4 cup milk 
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 large egg, room temperature
2 1/4 cups flour (I like a split of 2 cups white flour, 1/4 cup whole wheat flour)
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cut into pats

3/4 cup shelled raw pistachios (you can use roasted if that's all you can find, but the subtler flavor of raw works a bit better)
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 stick butter, softened to room temperature
1 Tbsp flour
1 egg
pinch salt
splash rosewater (optional, but adds a nice perfume)
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
6 large figs — cut 4 into a small dice for the filling, and the remaining two into slices for garnishing the top

1 egg, beaten with a splash of water (aka 'the egg wash')
coarse sugar


In a small bowl, mix together the milk, yeast, and egg. Let sit for a few minutes for the yeast to soften.

In a food processor or large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt.  Add the butter, and pulse or press with the heel of your hand until the butter is reduced to 1/2" pieces (you don't need it quite as well-mixed as for a pie crust).If using a food processor, transfer to a bowl at this point. Add the yeast mixture, stirring until it's well-combined (it'll be a fairly goopy mass with lumps of butter — don't fret!). Cover the bowl, and refrigerate overnight or up to four days (if the latter, you might need to punch it down to deflate every day or two if it's rising a lot).

To turn the dough into pastry, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Dust a work surface with flour, and turn the dough out onto it. Roll until it forms a rectangle, about 18" in length (no worries about being terribly precise). Fold into thirds, like a business letter, then rotate 90 degrees. Repeat the process three more times — the clumps of butter will roll out into nice long flakes, and the dough will begin to become more cohesive and dough-like. Cover and let rest half an hour (you can also re-refrigerate for another day or two at this point if needed).

When you're ready to assemble the danish, line an 8-inch square pan with parchment and make the filling. Place the nuts and sugar in a food processor, and process until reduced to bits. Add the butter, flour, egg, salt and rosewater, and process until it forms a relatively smooth paste (scraping down the sides of the mixer as needed).

Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 18" in length. Spread with the pistachio filling — go right up to the short side edges, but leave about 1/4" on each long edge. Sprinkle the chopped figs and crumbled goat cheese, then roll the long side in and pinch to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 12 equal pieces. Place the pieces, with either swirled cut side up, into your prepared pan (you may need to squash them down slightly). Top each roll with one of the fig slices. Let sit for ~30-40 minutes to rise (they will have some space between them, but that will be filled in as they rise and then bake).

While the Danish are rising, preheat your oven to 375° Farenheit. 

When the Danish are slightly risen, brush with the egg wash, and sprinkle generously with coarse sugar. Bake until browned, ~20-25 minutes.