It’s September. School’s started. The pools are closing. Leaves lose their chlorophyll. Starbucks whips out the pumpkin spice syrup. The weather gets cooler. All of those things are of varying degrees of importance, and all of them signify that yeah, the lazy days of summer and excessive air-conditioning are over. Pumpkin season is coming—and for many, it’s already arrived.
But what a more depressing sign of the impending cold seasons than to go blueberry picking and find that, alas, the pickin’s are sparser than your aunt’s bikini, and yes I’m sorry for that simile but I just got back from English class.
|Goddamn scumbag brain. source|
And you know what else there is to feel depressed about? Goddamn pumpkin spice everything. Pumpkin spice is great, but sometimes we just take it too far, you know?
|Fuck this I'm out. source|
But we can try. We can hang onto the last hurrahs of summer through these mediocre blueberries nestled in their far-from-mediocre bready bun. We can fulfill our desire for homey Finnish baked goods, with their cardamom and dried fruit and mild sweetness and ever-so-buttery texture. We can dive into these pillows of soft, yeasty bread and drown our fears with the alcohol fermenting in our stomachs.
|Well that escalated quickly.|
Through this, we shall conquer our sads.
Mustikkapiiraat (Finnish blueberry-filled buns) with vanilla glaze
Adapted from Melanger Baking
7 grams • active dry yeast • ¼ ounce
60 grams • water between 105 and 115 degrees F • ¼ cup
122 grams • lukewarm nondairy milk • ½ cup
67 grams • granulated sugar • 1/3 cup
64 grams • silken tofu, blended until smooth • ¼ cup
1 gram • ground cardamom • ½ teaspoon
40 grams • raisins • ¼ cup
3 grams • salt • ½ teaspoon
56 grams • coconut oil, softened • ¼ cup
312 grams • all-purpose flour • 2 ½ cups
450 grams • fresh blueberries • 2 cups
8 grams • cornstarch • 1 tablespoon
25 grams • granulated sugar • 2 tablespoons
To brush on top
30 grams • nondairy milk • 2 tablespoons
40 grams • maple syrup • 2 tablespoons
125 grams • powdered sugar • 1 cup
15 grams • nondairy milk • 1 tablespoon
4 grams • vanilla extract • 1 teaspoon
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, dissolve yeast in water; then add milk. Let stand for five minutes. Add sugar, tofu, cardamom, raisins, and salt. Add in softened coconut oil and 125 grams / 1 cup of the flour. Beat until smooth and satiny. Gradually add the rest of the flour and mix until the dough is smooth once again, but not quite stiff enough to knead.
Place in a greased bowl and cover with a tea towel. Let rise in a warm place for about 1 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
In the meantime, combine ingredients under “filling” in one bowl and the ingredients under “to brush on top” in another. You can mash the blueberries if you want. Also line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lightly dust a work surface and turn out dough. Knead in a bit more flour if necessary. Divide dough into 12 pieces and roll into round, smooth balls. Place on baking sheet. Let rise until puffy, about 45 minutes to one hour. Use this time to preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Once risen, flour the bottom of a drinking glass and press into the top of each round ball. Spoon filling into the center of each bun. Brush each bun with a bit of the milk / maple syrup mixture.
Bake buns for about 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before eating. If desired, you can top the buns with vanilla glaze. To make glaze, simply whisk all ingredients together until combined.
|Please excuse my inability to white balance.|
As you can see, it is very traditional for Finnish baked goods to highlight cardamom as a flavoring agent, similar to the vegan pulla I made a while back. It really grows on you. I wasn’t always a fan of cardamom, but after all of this bready goodness you can count me as a convert.
Also: note that you might want to mash the blueberries before baking. This might help them coagulate into more of a pie-esque filling rather than simply being individual roasted blueberries, which are tasty but not as filling-y as I would prefer.
Does that make sense? I don’t know. Maybe.
In other news: my 75th post! Damn, that’s a lot of blogging. Thanks for sticking with me; y’all break my heart!