I need to talk to you about ugly good. A mess of burnt potatoes, oozy egg, and ketchup on your plate first thing in the morning is ugly good. Have you ever had celery root? That’s totally ugly good. Those pumpkin muffins that you still ate even though they made like amoebae all over the pan are ugly good. Quince is ugly good and a gluten-free quince cream cheese danish that went into the oven looking pristine and came out a hot, delicious mess is the absolute ugly best.
Loving the ugly stuff isn’t easy. I’m a perfectionist-and-a-half when it comes to baking because I don’t want people to think gluten-free treats suck. (BECAUSE THEY DON’T!) So when I peeked in the oven and saw that my danish had undergone some sort of tectonic shift and busted a valley down the middle, I quickly declared it a failure.
Then it came out of the oven all golden and flakey with bits of pink poached quince peeking out. I swooned. It looked like it was made with the clumsy fingers of stressed-out lady who likes to make delicious things with weird fruits, butter, and love. That’s ugly good.
PS: Now’s probably a good time to admit that I bought 15+ pounds of quince last weekend, so you’ll be seeing a lot more of the wonkiest of fruits here in the coming days.
* Use 1/2 batch of this David Lebovitz poached quince recipe. I cut them into a bit smaller, 1/2 inch segments to make them more manageable to roll into the danish.
- My saran wrap rolling method, which really makes working with gluten-free doughs very easy, came from Manifest Vegan.
- As always, if you’re not gluten-free, you can replace the dough with your favorite recipe for a single pie crust.
- I realize this isn’t strictly a danish, but the only other thing I could think to call it was “pie roll.”