I’m guessing lemon berry wasn’t quite the flavor combination you expected this time of year.
The weather is finally hinting at fall. The air is taking on a clearer, crisper note, the nights demanding a sweatshirt more often than not. You’re probably starting to think about buying far more apples than you know what to do with, setting up a weekend rendezvous (or three) with a Pumpkin Spice Latte, and maybe even pulling those boots out from the back of your closet.
I’m with you friends, I am. Nothing brings out the baker in me more than the arrival of fall. But for some reason this year I wasn’t quite ready to let the flavors of summer go. Still, I was craving something gooey and sweet. Something with all the comforting warmth of fall but the brightness of summer.
And so these Lemon Berry Mascarpone Sweet Rolls were born. They’re the bridge, the gateway, if you will, to fall baking. Yeast risen dough wrapped around sweet, tart, and creamy filling then covered with a lemon drizzle. It makes for one ridiculously decadent breakfast and, let’s be honest, it also passed as a very respectable dessert on more than a few nights in my house.
This dough recipe comes from Joy the Baker, and boy is it wonderful. Tender, warm and lemon scented it is an absolute dream to work with. The dough came together beautifully in the stand mixer and was a breeze to knead. You can use frozen berries for the filling, and I’m fairly sure cream cheese would be a fine stand in for the mascarpone.
The process altogether does take several hours, but most of it is hands off time while the dough rises. I found this was a lovely way to spend a not quite summer, but not quite fall afternoon. You can whip these up, place them in the fridge, and have warm, lovely sweet rolls waiting for you in the morning.
I can’t think of a much better way to say hello to fall.
Lemon Berry Mascarpone Sweet Rolls
Yields: 12 sweet rolls
Recipe adapted from Joy The Baker
For the dough:
1 cup milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons rapid rise dry yeast
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling
For the filling:
1 1/2 cups frozen mixed berries, unthawed (mine was a mix of blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry)
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon lemon zest
6 oz. mascarpone cheese
2 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
For the glaze:
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon milk
1. In a small saucepan, use a thermometer to heat the milk to about 95 degrees. Pour the milk into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Stir the sugar and yeast into the warm milk and let sit until frothy, 5 to 7 minutes. Once frothy, add the butter, eggs, zest, and salt and beat on low for about 1 minute. Add the flour to the bowl and beat on low speed for 2 minutes, or until the flour is incorporated into the dough. Scrape down the bowl and switch to the dough hook. Beat dough on medium speed for 10 minutes.
2. Sprinkle your work surface lightly with flour. Scrape the dough out onto the work surface. Sprinkle the dough with about another 1/2 cup flour. Knead with your hands for about 2 minutes. Dough will be warm and soft and just a tad sticky. If it’s super sticky, knead in a little more flour.
3. Place dough in a large oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and then a large kitchen towel. Place in a warm spot in the house and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
4. While the dough rises, make the filling. In a small bowl, mix together berries, sugar, honey, zest, and mascarpone, crushing the berries slightly as you stir. Refrigerate until dough is ready. Grease a 9 x 13 in pan with butter and set aside.
5. Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour. Once the dough has risen, turn out onto work surface and knead with your hands for 1 minute. Use a rolling pin, to roll the dough out into a 10 x 20 in rectangle. Brush the melted butter over the dough then spread the filling over it. Roll up the dough starting on the long side. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into quarters, and then cut each quarter into thirds. Take each piece and place cut side up in the greased baking dish.
*At this point you can cover the pan with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, resume directions.*
6. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and a warm kitchen towel then sit in a warm place to rise for an hour, or until slightly puffed.
7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes or until golden and puffy. Meanwhile, make the drizzle. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, lemon juice, and milk. Once rolls have been removed from oven and cooled slightly (10 minutesish), drizzle with lemon glaze and serve.