I love seeing new ingredients at the farmer’s market. I get excited! I start thinking of recipes I can make with the new produce, how would it taste, how to use it in a recipe. I want to find out the benefits of that produce. Take pictures of the produce, because it can be so pretty! So I found calamansi fruit at the market, at this booth run by an 80 year old mother and her son. She is this fiesty little asian woman, with so much energy and zeal. I always make it a point to get something from her, even though I may not need it. The calamansi fruit is so cute! They are yellow green in color, the skin is soft, easily squeezeable, and the juice is tart. I was really inclined to make a calamansi curd, and use it to make morning buns! The curd tastes so good just by itself, and also slathered on a sourdough toast or use it with plain whipped greek yogurt to give it some ooomph!! Hmm.
I used my lemon curd recipe to make the calamansi curd. The curd color is so pretty, a bright beautiful yellow because of the juice color and the beautiful egg yolks, from eggs that I got at the farmer’s market. My family loves morning buns. They are fantastic with coffee or milk and you can do so much with the base recipe. I used a Bon Appetit recipe, from the website, and have tweaked it and simplified it to suit how I would like to make it. The recipe works beautifully and the buns are wonderful and puffy, crisp on the outside and soft and moist on the inside. The recipe makes 24 buns, so I made half with nutella spread and the filling, and half of them with the filling and the calamansi curd. The filling is a combination of butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, spices like cinnamon, ginger and cardamom. I love the addition of cardamom and ginger, because they are warm and wonderful spices for the winter, and work beautifully with the nutella and the calamansi curd.
The dough is an overnight dough, and not hard to prepare at all. You simply mix the dry and wet ingredients separately, and then add them together. Let the dough rest overnight. The morning of, divide the dough into 2 halves, to make 12 morning buns at a time in the muffin pan. Each half makes 12 morning buns. You can use the calamansi curd for both the doughs. My kids love chocolate(well who doesn’t?! 🙂 ) so I used nutella in one half of the dough. You have to let them rise again for about half hour, and then bake it off in the oven at 350 degrees. After baking, brush each morning bun with melted butter, and roll them in granulated sugar. They are best eaten fresh ofcourse 🙂 The kitchen smells amazing when the buns are baking in the oven! All the butter, sugar, citrus smells are intoxicating and so inviting! 🙂 The calamansi curd morning bun tasted amazing with a spread of the curd on the top as well. I could not stop at one, they were super delicious!
You can try to find the calamansi fruit in asian grocery stores, or better, get a plant from Home Depot and grow them yourself! I will surely be getting a plant soon. I am loving this fruit and I only wish it was available in abundance! You can make lemon curd if you cannot find calamansi easily.
If you do get a chance to make this recipe, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment on the blog post!
Hope you all are having a wonderful start of February!
1 ¼-ounce envelope active dry yeast (about 2¼ teaspoons)
1 ¼ cup whole milk, warmed
¼ cup honey
4 large eggs
3½ cups (or more) bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
¾ cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
½ cup granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
½ cup of calamansi juice
3 whole eggs at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
Brushing the buns and muffin pan:
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
Bread flour (for surface)
Fine sanding sugar or granulated sugar (for sprinkling)
In a medium bowl, add in the eggs, and whisk for a minute to blend. Add in the sugar and juice and whisk again to blend well.
Now in a small pot, on medium heat, add in the mixture, and keep stirring with a wooden spoon, till the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon. The process should not take more than 5 minutes. Now take it off the heat, and slowly add 1 tbsp of butter at a time, and whisk until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a glass bowl, to catch the uncooked egg bits. Cover with a plastic wrap, touching the curd, so as not to form a skin on the top. Refrigerate for 4 hours until it is chilled. Then it is ready to eat.
For the yeasted dough:
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, whisk yeast in 1 cup of warm milk(should not be hot else it will kill the yeast), and honey. Let it sit, till it turns foamy after 5 minutes. Now add the eggs and whisk till well blended for about 1 minute. Add in the vanilla extract and orange zest and whisk for a few seconds.
In a separate bowl, add in the bread flour, whole wheat flour, salt and whisk. Now remove the paddle, fit with a dough attachment, and add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, and start the mixture on slow speed so as not to spread all the flour. Increase the speed to medium as the flour mixture comes together. Let the dough mix for about 8 minutes total. The dough will start climbing onto the hook slowly. The dough will be sort of firm. Add in ¼ cup of milk and whisk again at medium speed for 2 minutes. Now reduce the speed to medium-low and add in the butter one cube at a time. The dough will absorb the butter completely, then add in the next cube. Continue until all the butter is absorbed and you get a smooth, soft dough.
Cover the mixing bowl with a plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge overnight for atleast 8 hours. It will double in size overnight.
In a small medium saucepan, add in the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, and cook it over low heat, stirring constantly to form a smooth mixture. Let it cool.
Punch down the dough. Remove the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half, keep the other half back in the mixer. Roll out the dough evenly using flour as needed, to a 16x12 rectangle. Spread half of the mixture with a pastry brush, evenly on the dough leaving a 1 inch border all around. Now brush half of the calamansi curd onto the mixture, very lightly so as not to disrupt the sugar mixture filling. Now using the long side, closest to you, start rolling the dough tightly all the way to the end. Transfer the rolled dough onto a baking sheet. Now chill the dough for 15 minutes in the freezer.
Repeat the process with the second dough. Remove the first one from the freezer.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Melt 8 tbsp of butter in a small saucepan. Using a pastry brush, brush a 12-cup muffin pan with the butter. Sprinkle each cup generously with sugar. Trim the ends of the chilled dough log by ½ an inch. Cut the remaining log into 12 equal pieces. Put each piece into each cup. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. It will expand to the width of the muffin cups.
Bake the buns in the oven until golden brown about 25-30 minutes. Keep a watch in the last 5 minutes, because some oven temperatures are hotter than others.
Put 2 cups of granulated sugar on a big plate. Remove the buns from the oven. Brush them with the melted butter and roll each bun generously in the sugar. Repeat with all the 11 remaining buns. Let cool on a wire rack. They are ready to serve!
Repeat the process with the other chilled dough in the freezer.