It only took 8 months for me to really start having a pregnancy craving. Unfortunately I keep dreaming of lemon meringue pies, lemon meringue cupcakes, lemon mousse and sushi.
Okay, the sushi can wait another 2 months, but my lemon fixation was getting the better of me.
Trying to find an accomplice to my wicked thoughts I asked my husband, "It wouldn't be bad if I used my own eggs to make one little lemon meringue pie, would it?"
My husband, who is far more sensible than I, reminded me that I only had 2 months left as per doctors orders to stay away from under cooked eggs, raw meat and soft cheeses. Then I would be home free. Was it really worth the risk?
Well, I never said my husband was fun, but he also doesn't have hormones clouding his judgement. No, really I appreciate his words of wisdom, but it didn't cure my cravings.
So, I took to Pinterest, my recipe box, past issues of food magazines and just a random 'lemon' Google search. Thankfully there are many options that don't include taboo foods for pregnant gals. One recipe that really hit me was this Lemon Cream Cheese Danish recipe from With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart Blog. It reminded me of the lemony pastries I enjoyed during college.
A sweet yeast bread filled with lemon and cream cheese that is rich, but not too sweet, seemed like the perfect treat for a busy weekend. My husband, not a huge lemon fan but forced to be one since I am, wolfed it down and his only suggestion was more powdered sugar drizzle over the top. One long loaf was gone faster than I could have imagined so I guess it was win.
This gorgeous recipe also won my heart because all the heavy lifting was done in the bread machine. All I had to do was mix, roll, fill and bake. Easy, right?
So, shall we get started?
Lemon Cream Cheese Danish
adapted from With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart Blog
For the Bread You Will Need:
- 1 large egg + enough water to make one cup
- 1/4 c. unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 c. bread flour
- 3 Tbsp. dry milk
- 3 Tbsp. honey
- 2 tsp. yeast
Add all the ingredients as directed by your bread machine. Using the dough setting, let the dough rest for 5 minutes before taking it out of the machine.
While you are resting the dough, make the filling.
For the Filling You Will Need:
- 11 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 lemon, zested
In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar till fluffy. Then add in the remaining ingredients and mix in till well incorporated. Try to get the mixture as smooth as possible.
Now grab your rested dough and roll it right out on your Silpat or a sheet of parchment paper. This way you don't have to worry about transferring it to your baking sheet. I rolled my dough out roughly as big as my silicone baking mat.
Pour the filling down the center third of the dough. Then with a knife, cut 1" slits down the length of the dough.
Cross each of the strips over the filling and secure the ends. I didn't do anything fancy.
Then let this rise for 30 minutes. Cover with plastic so it doesn't dry out. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Bake for 30 minutes until the bread is golden brown and cooked through. I tented mine with foil after 20 minutes so it wouldn't born on the top.
Let the bread cool slightly before drizzling it with glaze or the glaze will just be absorbed and disappear. My husband wants me to add more next time.
For the Glaze You Will Need:
- 1 c. powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 2-3 tsp. milk + more to achieve desired consistency
Whisk together the glaze ingredients. You want it to be pour-able, but thick enough to stick to the danish.
I reused my tenting foil to go underneath and catch any glaze that drizzled off. Slice, serve and, of course, Enjoy!