I’m all discombobulated on the harvest seasons down here.
Last year we missed strawberry season because our move to North Carolina occurred right in the midst of the harvest. This year we missed blueberry season, because I relied on Facebook memories… from when we were in Pennsylvania. I had made arrangements to go blueberry picking last weekend and when I called around to all of the local blueberry farms, they were either already closed, or had nothing left on their bushes. Needless to say, being in a completely different planting zone makes a difference.
The only positive outcome of planning a day around blueberry picking and not being able to, was that I needed some sort of other entertainment for Audrey and me, bringing us to Fort Macon State Park. I love this park. Not only is it scenic, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, but there is a plethora of information to be had about the prior functionality of the fort and the current environmental awareness. You can even enjoy a free tour where the guide will provide you with interesting facts, including how crescent-shaped indents formed on the stairs. I’m always amazed by all of the little things that we can experience in our little corner of the world inspiring me to write a post on the 10 best activities on the crystal coast (coming soon!).
Thank goodness I don’t have to specifically plan for all harvests, though.
Or else we’d be pumpkin-less around Halloween.
Another thing I don’t have to plan around a harvest for are these strawberry sweet rolls.
Because they are filled with strawberry pie filling.
Sure, you could wait until the next strawberry harvest happens, can a bunch of strawberry pie filling, and then make these strawberry sweet rolls.
Or, you can take the lazy (and reasonable) route and run to the store to pick up a can of pie filling. Like I did.
Either way. These are worth the effort.
I used the same sweet roll recipe that I used for my amish-style cinnamon rolls, but instead of stuffing the roll with cinnamon and sugar, I crammed it full of strawberry pie filling, and topped it with a delicious cream cheese frosting.
These were SO good. So much so, that a bunch of my co-workers claimed they were better than my cinnamon rolls. And they claimed those cinnamon rolls were the best they’ve ever had.
Strawberry Sweet Rolls
for the roll:
- 3/4 c. warm water
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1/4 c. vegetable oil
- 1/4 c. mashed potato*
- 1/2 egg**
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 envelopes active dry yeast
- 3 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 (21 oz.) can strawberry filling***
for the frosting:
- 5 tbsp. butter, softened
- 5 tbsp. cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 c. powdered sugar
- 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
In a large mixing bowl (or the bowl to your stand mixer), add the water, sugar, vegetable oil, mashed potato, egg, salt, and yeast. Mix thoroughly and allow to active for about 5 minutes.
Gradually add the flour, one cup at a time. If dough is too sticky, add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time until dough is workable. Transfer to a floured surface (or use the dough hook on your stand mixer) and knead for about 10 minutes or until dough is elastic-y.
Grease a large bowl with butter or vegetable oil, and place dough ball in, turning to coat. Cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rise for an hour and a half, or until it has doubled.
Punch the dough down, releasing the air, and place into a re-greased bowl, allowing to rise for an additional hour.
After the second rise, punch air out, and place dough on a clean surface (preferably with some parchment paper laid out). Roll out to 12×8 rectangle. Scoop the pie filling onto the dough and spread out making sure to leave 1 inch of dough around the perimeter clean.
Roll the dough lengthwise, tightly, placing the seal on the bottom. Using a serrated knife, with a sawing motion (or using a piece of string), cut the dough into 8 even rolls. I’ll warn you right now, this is messy. This is why I recommended parchment paper to roll your dough onto. Because you’ll have strawberry pie filling everywhere. But it’s worth it. Trust me. Place the rolls into a greased 9×13 baking dish. Cover the baking dish with a tea towel and allow to rise for an additional hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Once the hour, and final rise time, is up bake in the oven for 12 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
To make the frosting, combine all the frosting ingredients into a large mixing bowl (or the bowl to your stand mixer), and beat until light and fluffy. Spread evenly on the cooled cinnamon rolls.
*make the mashed potato by cooking the smallest potato you have and mash it. Don’t add milk, butter, or anything. Just potato.
**to half an egg, crack a large egg into a bowl and whisk together. Scoop out 2 tbsp. or eye it and pour half of the egg (though I never have success with this way).
***you’ll have a lot of strawberry pie filling leftover. Thank goodness it’s good with ice cream. And yogurt. And eaten straight off of a spoon.