I have one last Christmas recipe for you before you head into Christmas vacation: Spiced Cranberry-Apple Cheese Pastries. I can’t believe that Christmas is FOUR days away! Time has really flown by this holiday season. These Spiced Cranberry-Apple Cheese Pastries are the perfect treat for holiday brunch because 1) They taste amazing and 2) They will make your house smell like Christmas x 1,000. Christmas is always packed with family gatherings and out-of-town guests, so I love having festive treats to serve my guests. You never know when you’ll need to whip up something festive, like my Orange Cardamom Doughnuts with Cranberry Glaze, Eggnog Snickerdoodles, Eggnog Chai Mini Bundt Cakes, or these Spiced Cranberry-Apple Cheese Pastries. It’s for this reason that I keep eggnog, puff pastry dough, and cranberries stocked in my kitchen during the holidays.
Pro tip for baking these Spiced Cranberry-Apple Cheese Pastries: be generous with your portions of cheese mixture and spiced cranberry-apple mixture. Personally, I like using my muffin tin to expedite the baking process. However, you can always bake these like traditional fruit and cheese danishes by laying out the pastry squares on a lined baking sheet and spooning the mixture into the middle of each square. Make sure to wait until the pastries are cooled to room temperature before drizzling the icing over the Spiced Cranberry-Apple Cheese Danishes. But no judgment if you sneak one (or five) pastries fresh from the oven.
Yields 36 Pastries
45 minPrep Time
18 minCook Time
1 hr, 3 Total Time
- 3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices 1/4 inch thick
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 4 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
- 10 oz. fresh cranberries
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups Cream Cheese (12 oz.), softened
- 1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese, room temperature
- 2/3 cups Granulated Sugar
- 2 Egg Yolks, room temperature
- 1/4 cup All-purpose Flour
- 2 tablespoons Grated Orange Zest
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Bean Paste
- 3/4 teaspoon Salt
- 2 Package Puff Pastry Sheets
- 1 Egg, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon Water
- 1/2 cup Whole Milk
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
- 3 cups Powdered Sugar
- In a 5 1/2-quart Dutch oven, stir together the apples, brown sugar, 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar, the cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, salt and cornstarch until the apples are evenly coated.
- Set over medium heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are just tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and vanilla, and let cool for 30 minutes.
- Beat the cream cheese, ricotta, sugar, and egg yoks until creamy, then add the flour, zest, vanilla bean paste, and salt, mixing until just smooth. Chill for at least 30 minutes to 24 hours.
- Beat egg and water together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400º F.
- Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
- Cut the pastry dough sheets into 9 even squares per sheet and gently place them in the middle of each muffin tin well. Scoop a tablespoon of cheese filling and a tablespoon of the spiced apple-cranberry filling into each well.
- Brush the egg wash over the exposed pastry dough.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 15-18 minutes until golden brown.
- Place the tin on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes and then remove from the tin and finish cooling on the rack.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, vanilla bean paste, and powdered sugar until smooth.
- Drizzle the glaze over the pastries (you can place the wire rack on a cookie sheet or over some foil to catch the excess glaze).
You will have leftover cheese filling and spiced cranberry-apple filling. Store each in an air-tight container for up to 5 days. You can use it on your waffles and pancakes throughout the week!
Spiced Cran-apple filling adapted from Williams Sonoma Spiced Apple-Cranberry pie filling. https://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/spiced-apple-cranberry-pie.html
Note: This post contains affiliate links and I receive a small commission when you purchase any of the products via the links above. But I wouldn’t recommend them if I didn’t absolutely love them!