Almost every year I go fruit picking with my dear friend Lynn. We pick pounds and pounds of apples, blueberries ancd cherries at local farms in the area and have a blast. But the work is not quite done when you put down the buckets and gather your pickings: when I get home I have to wash, dehydrate or freeze the blueberries, pit the cherries (which leads to splatters of cherry juice absolutely EVERYWHERE) and freeze, can or dehydrate them. The apples are peeled, sliced and frozen, canned, dehydrated or stored whole for the winter.
I love the cherries and the apples, but I never know why I go blueberry picking. I don't care much for the berries and truly think they are overrated, but heck, they're there so I pick 'm. Which means that I have gallons of these little blue marbles frozen and taking up space in the freezer. The cherries are long gone, the last of the apples will go into apple pies tomorrow and the blueberries were here to stay. Until I saw this recipe from Gloria's Canela Kitchen at the BBD#28 roundup: blueberry buns. What a great way to use up at least some of my berry bounty! Gloria uses a lovely apricot glaze for the buns, but I'm serving them with a creamy lemony sauce instead so I chose not to add the glaze.
Because the berries I pick over here are so juicy, I dry them for several hours in the dehydrator so their flavor intensifies and the juice does not color everything it touches.
For the dough
1 heaping teaspoon of yeast
1/4 cup of water, warm
1/2 cup of milk, warm
1 teaspoon of grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of sugar
Mix the yeast with the flour, add the warm liquids, the egg and the lemon peel. When they are well blended, add the salt and the sugar, and knead for about 5 minutes until the dough is soft and pliable. Rest in a greased bowl in a warm spot, covered, until doubled, or for about 40 minutes.
For the filling
1 package of cream cheese
2 tablespoons of milk
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of grated lemon peel
Mix everything together, taste, adjust and set aside.
Punch down the dough and rest for a couple of minutes (the dough, not you!). Lightly flour the countertop and roll the dough into a rectangle. Make sure you don't roll it too thin! Spread half of the cream cheese filling over the top of the dough, leaving a half inch margin on all sides. Sprinkle a cup of blueberries over the spread, making sure they are distributed evenly. Then roll the dough, starting from the top, jelly-roll style, toward you. Pinch the seam and cut the roll in 2 inch pieces. Be careful to cut through the dough slowly so as not to "squish" the sides: you want the open side of the roll to be, well, open.
I baked mine in a round cake pan. If you prefer, you can bake them individually in muffin pans like Gloria did. But whatever you do, grease your baking pan or container, and place the rolls cut-side up in a circle. Leave a bit of space on all sides as the dough will proof one more time and fill in the voids. If you have some blueberries left over, place them on top of the rolls. Now cover the container and let the rolls sit for a good 30 minutes until they've practically doubled. Heat your oven in the meantime to 350F. Right before you put them in the oven, carefully brush an egg wash over the dough (For the egg wash: beat one egg with one tablespoon of water.)
Bake the rolls on the middle rack in the oven for about 30 minutes or until golden-brown.
Add two more tablespoons of milk to the cream cheese/lemon mix and stir so that you get a tangy, creamy, lemony sauce. Serve your blueberry rolls with a generous drizzle on top. Yummmmm!!!! (Why is there no picture with cream cheese drizzle, you ask? Eh.....because I forgot.....I was too busy eating, shame on me!)