• Cheese Danish. Photo: Adi Shilon.
    Cheese Danish. Photo: Adi Shilon.
  • Haim Perry. Photo courtesy of the family.
    Haim Perry. Photo courtesy of the family.
  • Cheese Danish. Photo: Adi Shilon
    Cheese Danish. Photo: Adi Shilon
Recipe

Cheese Danish for Haim Perry

Their favorite dish: Haim Perry loves books, cinema, culture and music, his grandchildren and cheese danish, which Adi Shilon made for him

“Even a stuck clock shows the right time twice a day,” says 79 year old Haim whenever someone wonders why he’s been ‘stuck’ on the same style for decades. Haim Perry doesn’t give into trends. Born in Giv’atayim in 1944, Haim grew up in the Borchov neighborhood and went to Kalay High School. As a teenager, Haim joined Hashomer Hatzair youth movement and with it arrived at Kibbutz Nir Oz at the age of 18. There he met Osnat and together the two raised their beautiful family of five kids, now extended with thirteen grandkids. 

Haim combines his skills as a blacksmith and mechanic with his love of sculpting with iron and wood. His beautiful sculptures are displayed throughout the kibbutz and he established an open air sculpture garden and gallery where artists from around the country display their art. Haim makes plenty of time for his creative writing and has written scripts, stories and two children׳s books.

Haim enjoys people, whether gathering with family or friends, especially if there’s good whiskey, a glass of wine or a bottle of beer. A humanitarian at heart, Haim holds the essential rights to life, independence and freedom in the highest regard. He appreciates knowledge, friendships and good people who have a high moral standard and strong values; he is never impressed by prestige, money, assets or status. Haim reads endlessly, he loves movies, culture, and music of all sorts. From Arik Einstein and Hava Alberstein through Simon and Garfunkel to Jazz. And just like Arik, Haim is a devoted Hapoel Tel Aviv fan.

Saba Haim is the best; devoted and engaged, he is the eternal child who never misses an opportunity to take his grandkids on a trip to the pool or the petting zoo. He especially loves to take them to the beautiful green fields where he enjoys picking, and sampling, to run around and experience the simplicity of life with them. Like enjoying a fresh orange in the shade of the orange tree.

Haim Peri, 79 years old, was kidnapped from his home in Kibbutz Nir Oz and taken to Gaza on October 7th.

Ingredients for Cheese Danish

For the dough:

  • 1.1 lbs (500 grams) flour with a high protein content (12% or higher)
  • 2¼ teaspoon (7 grams) Dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup (70 grams) Sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons (30 grams) honey
  • 1 egg
  • 7 oz (200 grams) sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • grated lemon peel from one medium sized lemon
  • scant 1/2 cup (100 grams) butter cold, cut into cubes

For the filling:

  • 14 oz (400 grams) ricotta drained from liquid
  • 2 oz (60 grams) Vanilla Instant Pudding
  • 2¾ tablespoons (20 grams) confectioner's sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • grated lemon peel from one medium sized lemon

For the syrup:

  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) Sugar
  • 100 ml water
  • 1-2 cardamom pods

Instructions

  • 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix the flour and yeast and then add the rest of the dough ingredients, except the butter. Knead on low speed until the dough comes together, add the butter gradually, increase to medium speed and knead for about fifteen minutes until the dough is nice and smooth. Carefully help the dough to detach from the sides if necessary. Don't continue kneading if the dough is not perfect or the bowl not clean, we don't want to overmix. Add flour/milk if necessary. Set aside to rise in a greased bowl, covered, for about an hour and a half in a warm place or overnight in the refrigerator.

  • 2. In a bowl, mix together all the filling ingredients. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, as possible thin as possible, and spread the filling on it evenly. Fold in half, press together well, and cut into strips. Twist each strip and roll into a spiral. Place in a greased pan with a diameter of 12.5" (32 cm), if you want a cake and you can also bake individually. Cover and let rise for another half hour.

  • 3. Heat the oven to 350F (175C) degrees on turbo/fan/convection, brush gently with egg, and bake for about 25 minutes until properly browned.

  • 4. Put the syrup ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook for another five minutes. As soon as the danish comes out of the oven, brush with syrup, cool a little and serve.

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This recipe is part of Adi Shilon’s “Their Favorite Dish” project, which tells the story of 60 abductees through the recreation of their favorite recipe for a pastry or dessert. For all the details and additional recipes in the project.

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