Meatless Monday: Cherry Cheese Pastries, Kind Of

We are a brunch household. We just love that meal. So for family celebrations, we usually host a brunch, and depending on who we’re feting, my husband or I cook and clean. Dan usually does pancakes and made-to-order eggs, and I usually do… something else.

My plan for Father’s Day was sausage, eggs (scrambled with cheese or scrambled without cheese), plus croissants and apple pastries from Costco. (I’m not as good at brunch as Dan.)

I had returned from Costco with a truckload of cherries as well, because have I mentioned my children like fruit? Well they do, and Costco was giving out samples of cherries, and my children had about a dozen. Each. I could see the sample person sweating as she was pitting cherries for my ravenous children. I herded them away after three, but they kept circling back, circling back. Finally I told them to leave the poor woman alone, I was buying cherries already.

I wondered if I could create a cherry-cheese-croissant-type pastry with what I had to hand. The short answer was no: I needed cream cheese, and I needed crescent roll dough — not already-made croissants. But once I’ve gotten an idea in my head, I gotta see if I can make it work.

Between Twitter and general Web surfing, I got the gist of what I wanted to do. I did NOT want to use canned cherry pie filling; I did want sweetened cheese; and I pretty much resigned myself to the fact that the Pillsbury Doughboy was going to get some of my cash.

Father’s Day Cherry-Cheese Pastries

One container crescent roll dough
1/2 cup fresh cherries, seeded and chopped (I used my food processor)
8 oz. brick cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 egg, separated

2. Combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and the egg yolk. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.

3. Spread out the crescent dough triangles on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

4. Place a spoonful of the cream cheese mixture on the long end of the triangle, then place a spoonful of the cherries on top. Fold the pastry around the cherry cheese mixture (there must be some kind of technique to this, but I certainly don’t know it). Brush the top of the pastry with egg white.

5. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.

The end result was not pretty, but they were tasty. That 1/2 cup of chopped cherries is an estimate — I chopped up WAY too many cherries, nearly 2 cups — and next time, I would like to make my own dough and make the pastries bigger. Because the filling is amazingly delicious. I’ll have to do a little legwork on that.

Oh, and you’ll have left over sweetened cream cheese spread. It’s excellent on croissants.

Do you brunch? What’s your favorite thing to make and/or eat?