I can't believe that I forgot to post about these - they were sooooooo good! And not *quite* as difficult as I expected. Definitely time consuming, but so buttery and so flaky and so worth it.
Danishes - like their filling-less cousins croissants - are based on a dough enriched with eggs and sugar. I used the recipe from Make Bread, Buy Butter which also includes lemon zest. The dough was pretty amazing raw, but there was still a full pound of butter to be added.
After the dough rises, you roll it out into a rectangle and add two sticks of butter. But don't stop there.
Fold over one flap of dough and add another two sticks of butter. Breathe. Remind yourself that you are making three dozen pastries. Fold the other flap over and seal it up.
After 30 minutes in the fridge, roll the dough out into a large rectangle and fold in thirds. Refrigerate, roll, and fold again. And a again. Then leave it in the fridge overnight.
Now, I'm pretty good at math, but I can't figure out how folding it over 12 times turned into 10,000 layers. This is when I knew they were going to be amazingly flaky.
Making 36 little envelopes of dough was the most tedious part of the process, but still not that bad. Especially since I knew the end was near. Each envelope got a tablespoon of blood orange curd (which froze and defrosted perfectly), before going in the oven.
Two dozen went straight to the freezer, which was good, because otherwise I would have eaten all 36 straight out of the oven. All that butter made the outer edge of the pastries crisp and the inner layers soft and tender. After a day, they lose the crisp edge but keep all their flaky goodness.