cream cheese filling
Make the cream cheese filling. Using a food processor or an immersion blender, mix the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, vanilla paste, all-purpose flour, grated lemon zest, and heavy cream. Mix for approximately 2 - 3 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Preheat the oven to 200 °C / 390 °F or if you are using a fan-assisted oven, preheat it to 180 °C / 350 °F.
Always use cold puff pastry, straight from the fridge. Unwrap the rolled butter puff pastry and place it on a sheet of parchment paper. Cut the dough in half horizontally and sprinkle the bottom half of the dough with sugar. Place the upper half over the sprinkled half. Cut in six equal rectangles and transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using a fork, prick the dough all over, leaving out 1/2 cm or 1/4-inch edge. Gently press the dough down using the fork.
add the apricots and bake
Spread the cream cheese filling all over each puff pastry rectangle, leaving out the edges. Place two jarred and drained apricot halves on top of each pastry. Place in the preheated oven on the middle rack. Bake for 15 minutes at 200 °C / 390 °F or if you are using a fan-assisted oven, bake at 180 °C / 350 °F or until the puff pastry is flaky and the filling is creamy and baked. Remove from the oven and sprinkle two tablespoons of sugar all over the pastries. Place back in the oven, on the top rack, and switch the settings to low broil. Bake for 3 - 5 minutes or until the sugar caramelizes. Keep an eye on the pastries when they are on broil.
Remove the baked apricot danish pastries from the oven. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Serve for breakfast, brunch, snack, or dessert. Keep in a bag, at room temperature, for up to 2 days.