baked egg danish with kale and bacon

recipe for egg danishes with kale and bacon.jpg

This flaky, baked egg danish is a delicious and easy way to dress up breakfast. The crispy layers of puff pastry are filled with a runny egg, salty bacon, and tender sautéed kale. The greens balance the richness, add a touch of bitterness and make this decadent breakfast pastry feel a little less indulgent. These danishes are a unique, eye-catching addition to brunch, yet they're also a fun, easy breakfast for a special morning.

I was inspired to make these pastries by a recipe I saw on Saveur, but I simplified the process by subbing in store-bought frozen puff pastry (though by all means, make the laminated dough if you want!) and switched up the filling to bacon, sautéed kale, and onions. Feel free to use any greens you have on hand (just note the blanching times may differ), other vegetables— mushrooms, squash or sun-dried tomatoes all come to mind, and even play with salty cheeses and herbs. As long as the filling is relatively dry to prevent the pastries from getting soggy, the flavor combinations are up to you. But personally, I love how the kale adds just a touch of bitterness to cut the rich pastry, bacon and egg yolk, and I wouldn’t change a thing. 

When assembling these pastries, make sure you don’t skimp on the filling— the pastry puffs up so much in the oven that the flaky dough can easily dominate everything else. If in doubt, pile on more than you think is necessary. Also, I know the filling uses an awkward amount of kale, so while I’m already dirtying pans, I just use the full bunch of kale, the whole onion and a touch more white wine vinegar for the filling and then use the extra for a snack, slathered on crusty bread with ricotta, or scattered in a frittata for dinner. Enjoy!

note:

  • the 17.3 oz box of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry has 2 sheets that are 9.5” x 9.5" large. Don’t worry if you have a different size on hand, just do your best to get as many squares as you can out of each sheet to minimize waste. Anywhere from 3” to 5” squares will work great.

 
 
baked egg danish kale and bacon.jpg
 

baked egg danish with kale and bacon

makes 4 large pastries | recipe inspired by, but adapted from, Saveur

ingredients

  • 1 17.3 oz box of puff pastry, frozen

  • flour, for dusting

  • 1/2 bunch flat leaf kale, rinsed

  • 6 thick slices bacon, chopped

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 onion, diced

  • salt and pepper

  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar

  • red pepper flakes, to taste

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • 1 tbsp. heavy cream

  • 4 large eggs

  • chopped chives or parsley, for topping

directions

  1. Unwrap frozen puff pastry, place on a lightly floured surface, and thaw at room temperature, about 30 minutes. The pastry will unfold without cracking, but will still be cold, when it’s ready. If you need extra time to prep the filling, put the pastry in the refrigerator to keep it cold until needed.

  2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, remove stems from kale leaves. Stack sections of leaves and roll them into a tube, then slice crosswise into 1/2” ribbons. When the water boils, add salt to taste and the kale. Blanch for a minute and a half, then transfer kale to a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking then drain. When cool to the touch, squeeze out excess water and set aside.

  3. Cook chopped bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, until browned and crisp. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate, and discard excess fat. Add olive oil, onions, salt and pepper to pan, and sauté over medium heat until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

  4. Add blanched kale, red pepper flakes and salt to taste, then sauté another 5 minutes, until tender and well mixed with the onions. Deglaze the pan with the vinegar, stir to release any browned bits from the pan, and cook until most of the liquid evaporates, 3- 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

  5. When the pastry is thawed but cold (no more than 40 minutes at room temperature) and the filling is made, preheat oven to 400 °F. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks and heavy cream and set egg wash aside.

  6. On a large, lightly floured cutting board, carefully unfold one pastry sheet and cut into four 4 1/2” squares (see note about size of pastry sheets). Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, spaced far apart (the puff pastry really does puff). Repeat unfolding and cutting with the second sheet, then use a 3” round biscuit cutter, or a glass of similar size, to punch holes in the center. Discard centerpieces (or toss in cinnamon and sugar and bake for a delicious snack).

  7. Brush the squares lightly with egg wash then top each piece with one of the squares with the cut out center. Brush top piece lightly with egg wash. Put 2 tbsp crispy bacon into each hole, saving the rest for later. Divide kale mixture evenly into each hole, mounding the filling up as much as possible to keep it in the hole and away from the top edge (too much kale on the top piece may prevent the dough from fully puffing). Transfer the tray to the oven and bake until golden and puffed, but still soft, 12- 15 minutes.

  8. Remove the tray from the oven and quickly but gently use the back of a spoon to press the kale down to deepen the hole. Carefully crack 1 egg into each hole and top with the remaining bacon bits and a pinch of salt. Immediately return the trays to the oven and bake until the pastries are golden brown, the egg whites have set and are opaque, and the yolks are soft (about 9 minutes for a very runny yolk, 13–15 for well done). Remove from oven when cooked to your liking, sprinkle each egg with chives or parsley, and serve immediately.

  • these pastries are best consumed right away, but can be reheated at 350 °F for 8- 10 minutes, or until warmed through and crisp.