Miso apple pie sticky buns with Calpico cream

So the flavors of this dessert came about from a lot of random things coming together. While in quarantine, I have limited amounts of butter and flour, so I was conceptualizing something where I could combine concepts to not only be original, but to conserve my supplies while hitting on all of the cravings that I was having. I really wanted a sticky bun/cinnamon roll, and after watching season 2 of End of the F***ing World on Netflix, I was craving apple strudel(I love saying it the German way, being apfelstrudel, just because it’s so fun to say!). And then I thought about apple pie. Apple pies have that lattice crust on top, and from my experiences with making Japanese melon pan, I know that putting a cookie/shortbread kind of thing on top of a bread dough has been done before and is relatively normal. So I went with the route of making a brioche dough for the roll, enrobing my take on an apple pie filling, topped with the lattice crust, and served with a vanilla-type of cream.

For the actual components, like mentioned, we have the brioche, pie filling, pie crust, and cream. I took my liberties on adding Japanese influences to it, because it wasn’t original enough (being sarcastic here). I did a miso-brown butter apple filling, that I spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. For my pie dough, I used ghee and butter, just to give it body, stability, and flakiness. For the cream, I did a Calpico cream cheese frosting. Calpico is one of my favorite drinks, being this Japanese yogurt beverage, and it pairs beautifully with all of the rich flavors. And since I didn’t want to use my eggs for the egg wash, I used kewpie mayonnaise thinned out with water instead, which actually worked pretty well as both a binding agent and achieving a golden brown finish on the actual buns. The end result is a fluffy brioche stuffed with a rich, fragrant apple filling, crunchy, flaky pie dough enrobing the entire thing, topped with a refreshingly light, but not sweet at all cream.


For the brioche:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour + more for rolling
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup milk
1 packet active-dry yeast
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil, kept cold
a pinch of salt
2 eggs, kept cold

Melt the butter into your heavy cream and milk. Pour into another bowl and crack in your cold eggs and whisk. This will help bring down the temperature of the milk mixture so that you can add it to the yeast faster. Once the milk mixture is warm enough for you to touch, add in your vegetable oil to bring it down further, and mix together all of your ingredients. Knead the dough for 10 minutes by hand, or for 3 minutes in a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, until the dough springs back up to the touch. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, wrap with cling film, and then proof either at room temperature or in a 110 degree F oven for 1 hour. Press down the dough and allow the proof again for another hour.

For the filling:
4-5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons brown butter
1 tablespoon white or yellow miso
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cardamom
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons water

Bloom your spices in the brown butter first. Throw in your miso, sugar, and apples and saute on low heat for about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are completely softened. Mix together the flour and water and pour into the pan, stirring with a rubber spatula until the mixture is fully incorporated into the apples. The flour mixture should capture any spare liquid and thicken it. This should take about another 2-3 minutes of stirring on low heat. Pour onto a sheet tray and refrigerate until completely chilled down.

For the pie crust:
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons ghee
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons cold water

Blitz flour, sugar, salt, butter, and ghee together into a fine powder. Mix in the cold water. Chill down the dough for at least 20 minutes in the freezer. Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut out 1/8th inch strips. For my lattices, I did 3 x 3 for my strips, and made them with strips that were about 1 1/2 inches long(I made twelve of those in total). Once the lattices are formed, refrigerate them again just to keep them firm until it is time for assembly and baking.

For assembly:
egg wash
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cardamom
a pinch of salt

Roll out your dough on a floured surface to be about a 15 x 8 inch rectangle. Spread on the apple pie filling mixture evenly, then roll up the dough into a tight scroll, widthwise so that you’ll have enough buns. Cut the dough into 12 pieces and place on oiled parchment, keeping distance between each bun. Place the lattices on the buns and allow the buns to proof for another 30 minutes at room temperature. Press the sides of the lattices around the sides of the buns, and then transfer to a smaller, lined baking pan. It’s more preferable that the buns are pressed against each other at this point. Brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash. Mix spices with your sugar and salt. Sprinkle on spiced sugar over the buns. Bake the buns at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes in the middle rack, then another 10 minutes on the top rack at 400 degrees F to guarantee browning on top.

For the egg wash:
2 tablespoons kewpie mayonnaise
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup warm water
a pinch of salt

Whisk together until lumps are completely smoothed out.

For the cream:
6 oz cream cheese
3 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons calico concentrate
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip together until softened and combined. Either transfer to silicone 1 inch half dome molds or to a piping bag. If using the molds, freeze for 30 minutes to get them solidified, or just refrigerate if using the bags. Spread the cream over the warm sticky buns, just to give them that melty look.


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