It’s supposed to be Autumn now. You know how I always talk about how excited I was for the chilly weather, the changing leaves, and wearing sweatshirts? Well, the weather is not cooperating. And as all my October feels start rushing over, with hopes of a breeze of chilly weather, I figured I’d bring autumn to my kitchen.
While everyone is scheduling apple picking dates and activities, mine is basically going to the supermarket and buying all the imported apples I can get my hands on. A word of warning, the posts over the next few weeks will have an obvious theme to them: Apples and cinnamon. So if you’re wondering what to do with all the apples you have, keep an eye on this spot for upcoming recipes and ideas.
The first thing we’re gonna discuss now is the base of this recipe (and ones to follow), Apple Butter. Make a batch, double it, half it, whatever you want to do, just keep it in your fridge. It’s practically just a thick, rich, buttery spread that’s the perfect companion for breakfast or dessert.
When you say apple, I automatically think of cinnamon. When you say cinnamon, rolls are the only idea that fits perfectly into that equation. There’s something satisfying about unrolling the layers of a baked cinnamon bun, watching the dough gently rip apart in soft, fluffy strands. I mean that’s the greatest marriage of flavors you can ever want.
If having your house smell like spicy apple orchard isn’t enough, replacing the classic butter in the filling with the apple butter makes it “healthier”, so technically, it’s a no guilt dessert, mainly because I said so. I also prefer my rolls without the icing just because I feel that it takes away from the flavor.
My happiness levels while making these increased with every step of it. Kneading the dough. Watching it rise. Spreading that apple butter. Watching them expanding even more while they baked in the oven. Then biting through that moist, warm and oozing filling.
I know this blog post seems a bit all over the place. A long time off can do that to you. But October is here, and there’s something about eminent holiday seasons that get me excited to bake and share recipes and joy with everyone. So bear with me as I readjust my writing and fall back into the usual pace. Until that happens, you have these buns to help you ignore the sloppy writing!
Apple Butter Cinnamon Rolls
Makes: 1 and 1/2 cups
- 500 grams Apples. I used red apples, if you go for a more sour kind, increase the sugar.
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/3 cups light brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 cups water (or divide it between water and pomegranate/apple juice)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Peel, core, and slice the apples. Place them in a saucepan, tossing them in lemon juice, spices and sugar. Stir in water, juice and vanilla.
- Cook over medium heat until tender. Use an immersion blender to puree the apples, and reduce heat to low. Cook stirring occasionally for 11/2 to 2 hours. The butter is done when it’s thick enough to coat the spoon without falling directly off.
- Add it to a clean storage container. Cool to room temp, then cover and refrigerate them till ready for use. This can keep for a few weeks in the fridge. Or you can even freeze them for a few months.
Makes 12 buns
- 240 ml whole milk
- 135 grams granulated sugar
- 16 grams yeast
- 1 stick (118 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and cut into 4 pieces
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 560 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting/rolling
- 100 grams light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 200 grams apple butter
- For the dough: Heat milk to 35°C (it would be just warm to touch)– use microwave or stovetop. Pour the it into the bowl of a stand electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Manually whisk in the sugar and yeast. Cover with a towel and let sit until the yeast is foamy, about 5-10 minutes. On low speed, beat in the softened butter until it is slightly broken up. Next add the eggs, one at a time, and then the salt. On low speed, gradually add the flour. Once it is all added, beat on medium speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is soft and supple, about 6 minutes longer.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for 1 minute. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrapand let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours. Here you have one of two choices: 1) Chuck it in the fridge and keep it over night, then remove it from the fridge and allow it to rise for 1-2 hours on the counter proceeding with the next steps, or 2) go ahead with the rest of the steps.
- Prepare your baking dish with parchment paper. Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, punch it down and, using a rolling pin, roll into a 5 mm rectangle. Make sure the dough is smooth and evenly thick.
- Fill the rolls: Spread the apple butter all over the dough. In a small bowl, toss the brown sugar and cinnamon together until combined and then sprinkle evenly over the dough. Tightly roll up the dough to form a long log. Cut into 12 equal rolls. Arrange them in the prepared baking pan. Cover the rolls very tightly with aluminum foil.
- Allow rolls to rise in a warm environment again for about 45-60 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Bake the rolls: Preheat the oven to 190°C. Bake rolls for about 25 minutes on the middle rack until they are golden brown. Remove pan from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
- Serve rolls warm, and enjoy.
Bon Appetit 🙂