Cream cheese and cranberry sauce, in my opinion, is a match made in heaven- the slightly sour silkiness of the cream cheese works so well with tart yet sweet cranberries. I was quite liberal with both, and the baking aftermath looked a lot like a crime scene!
For the pastry swirls shown in the above photo, i made my own puff pastry and cranberry sauce. However, this is quite labour intensive and time-consuming. Especially at this time of the year when everyone wants quick and easy recipes more than the ever. Therefore, the recipe i am posting today is a quick and easy version that you can make in under an hour, using – loud gasp- ready-made puff pastry!
To be honest, i think ready-made pastry gets a bad rap. While fresh, home-made puff pastry is obviously going to be the gold-standard, i think its perfectly understandable for home cooks to use the shortcut that is ready-made pastry. I have made these cranberry swirls may times over the years, and made my own pastry and used ready-made pastry, and in both recipes, they have turned out delicious. This recipe is so versatile in the fact that if you don’t want to make your own cranberry sauce, you can use shop-brought cranberry jam or sauce. In fact, you don’t even HAVE TO use cranberries – if you aren’t a fan, the cranberries in this recipe can be easily substituted for raspberry or strawberry jam, which is also amazing with cream cheese and cinnamon.
Quick and Easy Cranberry, Cinnamon & Cream Cheese Swirls
- 200 grams cranberry jam/sauce
- 185 grams cream cheese
- 1 tbsp cinnamon powder
- 500 grams ready-made puff pastry Make sure to defrost this prior to making this recipe, according to package instructions or overnight
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- plain flour for when you are rolling out the pastry
- Handful fresh cranberries
- 1 egg yolk, to brush the pastry with before baking.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan. Grease and line an oven-proof tray with baking paper.
- When you are sure the pastry has defrosted, sprinkle some flour on your worktop, and start to roll out the pastry both length-wise and width-wise, until it is roughly 30cm in width and 15cm in length (it should look like a rectangle!).
- On one side of the pastry (width-wise), carefully spread a thin layer of the cream cheese, going right up to the edges.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon powder over the cream cheese as evenly in possible, using your cream cheese spreader to work the powder slightly into the cream cheese.
- Time for the cranberry sauce/jam! if you are using jam, heat this in a bowl in the microwave for approximately 10 seconds, to soften it. If you are using cranberry sauce, this is fine as it is.
- Spread the cranberry sauce/jam carefully over the cream cheese and cinnamon layer. This time don't go right up the edges, but leave a 1-2cm gap between the edge and you layer of cranberry sauce/jam.
- Now carefully fold the clean side of the pastry over the side with the cream cheese, cranberry and cinnamon, making a rough square shape.
- Using a sharp knife or a dough cutter, cut the pastry into strips length wise, about 2cm thick in width. You should get 6-8 strips. Once you have done this, carefully move these strips to the side.
- Taking one of the strips, using one hand to twist the pastry to the right from the bottom. Using your other hand, twist the pastry from the top to the left. The pastry will become a long twisted length showing the layers of pastry, cranberries and cream cheese.
- Gently curl the pastry length into a spiral shape. Once you have done this, place the pastry onto your baking tray.
- Repeat the last two steps with the remaining pastry strips.
- Once the pastries are on the tray, brush liberally with egg to achieve a golden outer pastry.
- Dot each pastry with cranberries in the folds, and sprinkle with brown sugar over the top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden.
- Now they are done. Enjoy!
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