The light lingers across the valley a little more each day, illuminating the icy, snow-laden landscape. Winter might still have a hold, but the brightness and warmth are reminders that spring is not too far away. And what better way to celebrate the radiancy of this time then with a baked good that captures this essence. These raspberry custard buns do just the trick, with their sweet and tart raspberries and bright yellow custard wrapped in a blanket of cardamom dough.
Using frozen raspberries picked from the garden in the summer rather than jam provides a freshness to these buns with each bite. The dough is a simple bun “boller” dough I use as my base for most of my bun recipes. A spoonful of sweet and creamy custard in each one provides a nice balance to the tart raspberries.
As the raspberry custard buns bake, the flavors seeps into one another in the most delightful way. Finishing them off with a dusting of powdered sugar and enjoying them while still warm is the best way to savor each one.
Raspberry Custard Buns (Bringebærsnurrer med vaniljekrem)
Makes 12 buns
For the buns:
- 1¼ cups (300 ml) whole milk
- 4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (500 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 6 tablespoons (75 g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons (¼ ounce (7 g)) instant yeast
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup (75 g) lightly salted butter, cut into small pieces
For the filling:
- 4 tablespoons (56 g) butter, at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 ½ cups (150 g) frozen raspberries, roughly chopped
For the custard:
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup (65) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cups (480 ml) whole milk
- ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the buns, in a small saucepan, heat the milk over low heat until lukewarm.
In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, cardamom, and salt. Add the lukewarm milk and 1 of the eggs. Knead on low for 8 minutes. Add the butter and knead on medium for about 5 minutes more, or until the dough is very elastic and somewhat moist. Transfer the dough to lightly buttered bowl, cover with a tea towel, and let rise in a warm spot for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
For the filling, in a small bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar.
Once the dough has doubled in size, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, using a rolling pin and more flour as needed to prevent sticking, roll out the dough into a large rectangle that measures roughly 20 x 15 inches (50 x 38 cm). Spread the filling evenly across the dough all the way to the edges and sprinkle the chopped frozen raspberries on top. Starting on one of the long sides, roll the dough around the filling to form a long, roughly 20 inch (50 cm), log. Using a sharp knife, cut the log crosswise into 12 equal size buns. Divide the buns between the prepared baking sheets, cover with a tea towel, and let rise in a warm spot for 40 minutes.
For the custard, in a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar then whisk in the cornstarch. Put the milk in a small saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk and add the scraped bean (or add the vanilla extract). Place over low heat and warm until just about to simmer. Remove the vanilla bean, then gradually pour the warm milk in a slow, steady stream into the egg yolk and sugar mixture, whisking constantly to avoid curdling the eggs. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the custard has thickened considerably. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
Using a small spoon, push apart the center layer of each bun to make a hole, then fill with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the prepared custard.
In a small bowl, whisk the remaining egg and lightly brush it on top of the dough. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until nicely browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly, then top each with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days.