Apple Cinnamon “Apple” Buns

apple buns

I have apples on my mind. Of course it’s Fall and apples are solidly “in season”. I have another reason to be focused on apples though. You see, last week, I joined some other Canadian food bloggers and writers on a trip to the Wenatchee area of Washington state, where we toured an organic apple orchard and packing plant. I’ve posted a few pictures on the Seasons & Suppers Facebook page, if you’re interested.

So why am I going to Washington state when apples grow right here in Ontario? Well, as much as I would love to have a wide variety of locally-grown apples available to me year-round, this just isn’t possible. We need to import apples to meet demand, particularly organic apples, and a lot of these apples happen to come from orchards in Washington state.

I won’t throw a lot of facts and figures at you. I’ll just tell you this. When I listened to the patriarch of Stemilt Orchards talk about his orchards and his apples (and his “world famous” compost), it was easy to see his passion for growing the best possible fruit in an environmentally friendly way. I heard the same sort of passion from the Organic Trade Association and the Northwest’s Pear and Cherry fruit growers. So if I can’t always find a locally grown apple, I’m happy to know that the apples that are in my store from further afield are grown with such a commitment to quality. I also appreciate the work they’ve done (and are still doing) to make organic fruit readily available for consumers here, and making it more economical than ever before.

I’d like to thank the Organic Trade Association, Pear Bureau Northwest/USA Pears, the Washington State Apple Commission and the Washington Fruit Commission/NW Cherry Growers for the opportunity to visit and learn about Pacific Northwest fruit and organic fruit.

brook hurst stephens As part of our trip, we were treated to a great fruit preserving demonstration from Brook Hurst Stephens of the website Learn to Preserve.

In our 3-hour class, one of the recipes we made was an Apple Pie preserve. You can find the recipe for Apple Pie Preserves here on Brook’s site. It’s great for pancakes, waffles, ice cream … or these buns. (But don’t worry. I’ve also included a quick, “make-you-own” apple filling, if you’re not into making preserves).

apple buns

Now about these buns. First, they are the cutest darned buns. (Admittedly, they look a lot more apple-like in the muffin tins than out of them, so I’m storing them in the tins, to enjoy their cuteness until I eat them). Secondly, the dough is made with a really interesting water-roux technique, that was popularized in China and is reputed to produce soft, fluffy bread that stays fresh longer (I’ve been wanting to try this for a while). Finally, they are deeeeelicious.

apple buns

The bread is indeed soft and fluffy, as promised. I’ll have to report back on how long they stay fresh. (Update, they stayed nice and fresh into the 3rd day. I froze a few as well, thawed them and they were still nice). These buns are best enjoyed a little warm. About 10 seconds in the microwave will do the trick to re-heat them. If you like, you could also dust them with a little powdered sugar before serving. If you’re the adventurous type, I might suggest that a bit of aged cheddar inside would be a fabulous variation. (I’ll be trying that next, myself!)

These buns were inspired by this post from Cornercafe and the dough recipe was adapted from that post. The apple filling is my own creation.

Yummly

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26 Comments

  • Liz says:

    These are so cute and look light and fluffy. I missed picking apples this year as the orchards are not allowing it this year ;( Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks Liz. Yes, the Ontario apple crop was so hard hit. Can’t get over the prices of apples this Fall! (But I’m going to buy lots, anyway :)

  • These apple buns look amazing! A perfect breakfast!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks Angie and yes, they were perfect for breakfast. The dough is so nice and light and with the apple, they were great.

  • Sophie says:

    Tangzhong! i have been wanting to try this method for bread-baking, too! But what the heck, these are the CUTEST buns i have ever seen. beautiful work, Jennifer! I can’t get over these. Fun to think of you being here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest — next time keep driving, and visit us in Oregon :)

    • Jennifer says:

      This dough was really good Sophie and an interesting technique. And yes, how cute are these buns? They made me smile every time I walked past them on the counter.

      I LOVED Seattle. The market was fabulous and a Starbucks on every corner. And the shopping was great. My kind of city! I’ll be sure to go back and already have Oregon on my list to see when I do.

      • Sophie says:

        I love Seattle, too! I would love to visit Canada again, myself…. I havent been there since I was about 14. My husband was born in northern BC!

        • Jennifer says:

          You’d love Victoria or Vancouver (or the Tofino area on Vancouver Island is beautiful!). I think they are all very much like Seattle – the west coast “vibe”. Of course, Toronto or Montreal also great cities worth visiting.

  • I can’t get over how amazing these look! I bookmarked them to make, as I love a unique way to use apples. My kitchen has been too full of apple pies and cakes.

    • Jennifer says:

      I hope you get a chance to make them Laura. They have all disappeared from my house, so I think it’s safe to say they were a hit!

  • Amy says:

    Wow! These buns are cute as a button! I think I can smell them through my computer screen.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks Amy. Sounds like you’ve been busy since you got home. Hope you have a great (relaxing) Thanksgiving weekend!

  • Renee says:

    Jennifer! These buns look delicious! Love the little “stems”. So great meeting you in Washington – have a lovely Thanksgiving.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks so much, Renee. So nice to meet you, too. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, as well, with lots of good food!

  • Betty says:

    These are gorgeous! Apples are an integral part of my fall baking- maybe I’ll be brave enough to try these. :)

  • Maddie says:

    omg, what’s a great idea ! must be delicious !

  • Kasia says:

    Those look so cute! Almost could smell the apples and cinnamon.

  • Grace says:

    I tried this recipe and SMASHING! The buns turned out soft and very nice. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. GBU.

  • Tamara says:

    Hi Jennifer, my name is Tamara, I’m following you for some weeks now:) I love cooking too and I’m learning and enjoying your recipes and beautiful webpage so much! Thank you. This Xmas, and inspired by these buns;) I decided to bake all my gifts for my family, and of course, chose your apple cinnamon buns for my mom’s gift (since she loves apple desserts) I followed your instructions step by step, and the buns came out perfect, just perfect & delicious, apart from being the cutest thing:D
    thank you again, you are an inspiration.
    Warm regards from Madrid, Merry Xmas and a wonderful 2014!

    • Jennifer M says:

      Thank you so much, Tamara. I’m glad to hear your apple buns turned out so well! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, as well :)

  • Erin says:

    Thanks, I used your filling with my grandmother’s bun recipe and they turned out much tastier than the last time when I just used apple tossed with cinnamon. I opted to sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top prior to baking instead of using cinnamon sticks and it was a nice touch.

    The dough recipe I used is actually for Pyrogs (ham buns). We make them every year on the day after xmas and they are filled with the leftover ham which we ground and fry with diced onion and a little cream. Before baking buns are brushed with a milk and sugar mix. If you are looking for something else to try that would work with your dough recipe :)

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