Elizabeth’s memories of blackberry picking brought back memories of my own as well as a strong craving for blackberries. I ran down to the patch by the river to grab a few blackberries while Elizabeth’s images still in fresh in my mind. It brought back memories of Gerrit and Marlies running around the field while I picked bowl after bowl of warm, juicy berries. Those wonderful berries became luscious pie, sweet jam, and our favorite warm delicious cake. I looked everywhere for my blackberry cake recipe but couldn’t find it. As I was looking for it, I found a recipe for a danish that looked tempting so I tried it. It was so good that I thought you might like it too.
This is not a true Danish, though the original recipe calls it that. It is delicious though and adaptable to whatever your family likes. The recipe makes two braids so I cut the filling recipe in half and froze half of the dough for later. You can easily double the filling recipe if you plan to bake both at once, and any berries will work. One of these days, I will find my cake recipe and share that one with you too.
Blackberry Dessert Braid
1 cup warm whole milk
2 1/4 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
3 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 large eggs
For each braid:
3 ounces Quark
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1-2 tablespoons whole milk
Combine the warm milk and yeast and stir slightly to combine. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and cut it into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender until the butter is the size of small peas. Whisk together the yeast mixture and the eggs and add all at once to the flour mixture. Stir just until it forms a sticky dough. Do not knead. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
Dump the chilled dough onto a floured surface and roll it into a large rectangle about 15 inches wide. Fold the dough in thirds like you would a business letter, then roll it out again. Repeat 2 more times. Fold the dough in thirds again and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes.
Cut chilled dough in half and roll each out into an approximate 12×8 inch rectangle. Transfer to 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Use a knife to score each rectangle into thirds lengthwise. Cut the outer thirds into one inch strips.
Beat the Quark, sugar and corn starch until smooth. Gently fold the berries into the Quark mixture. Spread into the center of each dough rectangle.
To make a braid, take the dough strip closest to you and fold it over the filling. Fold the dough strip from the other side over the top, overlapping the first one slightly angling each strip away from you. Repeat all the way down.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush with egg wash and bake until crust is golden about, about 30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. 6. Whisk together the powdered sugar and milk or cream until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled Danish braid. Serve and enjoy!