How to shape Danish pastries

Go all the way and make your own Danish pastry dough, or use these easy pastry shaping techniques with ready-made puff pastry to make four different shaped pastries.

Begin by cutting the puff pastry into a 10cm/4in squares.

For the first shape, fold two opposing corners into the centre of the pastry, over the filling, and press firmly to seal.

For the second shape, fold all four corners into the centre to create a parcel shape. This is good for almond squares with a filling of frangiapane.

For the third shape, the Catherine wheel or pinwheel, use a knife to make a 4cm/1½in cut from each corner toward the centre of the square. Fold alternating corners of the cut pastry into the centre and press firmly. This makes a lovely Christmas mince pie pinwheel.

For the fourth shape is the cross. Leaving a 1cm/½in border, make a 4cm/1½in cut parallel to each corner. Fold the corner borders over to the opposing sides of the internal square. This is the classic shape for an apricot or pear Danish pastry with the fruit exposed in the middle.

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Raspberry rose Danishes, praline spirals and Alsatian plaited Danish pastries

By Mary-Anne Boermans

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