Apple Cheese Danish
17.3 ounce package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
pounds cooking apples, peeled (if desired), cored, and thinly sliced (about 7 cups)
cup granulated sugar, divided
teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
tablespoons coarse sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 15x10x1-inch baking pan; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, unfold one pastry sheet and roll into a 15x10-inch rectangle. Transfer to the prepared baking pan, pressing dough to edges of pan. Bake in the preheated oven about 12 minutes or until golden brown (pastry will puff and shrink from sides of pan). Cool on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, in an extra-large skillet, cook apples in hot butter over medium heat about 8 minutes or just until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, the flour, 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon, and the nutmeg. Sprinkle over apples. Cook and stir over medium-low heat for 2 minutes more; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla just until combined. Carefully spread cream cheese mixture over baked pastry to within 1 inch of the edges. Spoon apple mixture over cream cheese mixture.
- On a lightly floured surface, unfold the remaining pastry sheet and roll into about a 13x9-inch rectangle (make sure pastry is large enough to completely cover apple mixture). Place on top of apple mixture. Lightly press edges of top pastry to edges of bottom pastry. Lightly brush pastry with milk. Using a sharp knife, cut a few slits in pastry to allow steam to escape. In a small bowl, combine coarse sugar and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; sprinkle over pastry.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until pastry is slightly puffed and golden brown. Cool on wire rack about 45 minutes. Serve slightly warm. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
- Prepare the apple mixture as directed in Step 2. Cool and transfer to an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
- To save time, prepare as directed, except substitute one 21-ounce can of your favorite fruit pie filling for the apples, butter, 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, the flour, 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon, and the nutmeg; omit Step 2.