Two things are happening right now that led to the creation of these rolls. First, Maine is entering a state of rhubarb fever. If you’ve ever seen this video, you know it can get real intense. The rhubarb is just barely to the point where is can be cut and used, but people can barely contain their excitement. We’re pulling out Grandma’s strawberry rhubarb pie recipe and scouring the internet for new, inventive ways to prepare this delightfully tart veggie. Did you know rhubarb is a vegetable? Everyone in Maine has a rhubarb patch somewhere on their property. Even if you live in a six story apartment building in the middle of Portland, you have a rhubarb patch.
Second, our extremely modest strawberry patch is beginning to flower. We have two rows of sparkle strawberries in our tiny garden. These two rows will produce enough berries to have me feeding the dog strawberry shortcake twice a day for at least a month. I have roughly a month before I am swimming in strawberries, I will not be prepared for it, but I will love every second. Before the strawberry sea arrives, I must clear my freezer of last year’s haul.
So, what’s a girl to do when she has a freezer clean out and a massive rhubarb patch that is just begging to be used? She throws some sugar at the pair, grabs her most-trusted yeast roll recipe and makes magic. Few notes about this recipe: it looks scary but isn’t, and the filling and frosting can both be made a day in advance and stored in the fridge overnight.Print
- 3 cups frozen strawberries
- 1 heaping cup chopped rhubarb
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- ¼ cup warm water
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- ½ cup butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ¾ cups milk
- ¾ cups water
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 5 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup melted butter
For the Filling:
- In a blender puree strawberries and chopped rhubarb. Add a bit of water if need be. Don’t worry if there a few bits and pieces that don’t get fully pureed, they will continue to break down when you cook the mixture.
- In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and warm water. Stir with a fork until the cornstarch ifs fully incorporated into the water, creating a slurry. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine strawberry-rhubarb mixture, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until it comes to a low boil. Very slowly add the cornstarch slurry to the saucepan, whisking constantly until all of the slurry has been added. Continue to whisk and cook over medium heat until mixture reaches a jam consistency. Remove from heat and let cool fully. Mixture can be stored in the fridge overnight.
For the Frosting:
- In a medium bowl beat together cream cheese, butter, lemon juice and milk until smooth and lump free. Slowly beat in powdered sugar until fully incorporated and smooth. Store in fridge until ready to use.
For Dough and Assembly:
- In a medium sized, microwave safe bowl, warm milk until just warm to the touch. About 45 seconds. Add warm water, and sugar to the milk. Mix in eggs and yeast. Let mixture sit for five minutes.
- In a large bowl, sift together flour and salt. Make a well in the center and gently pour milk mixture into the well. Cover bowl with a clean, dry towel and let sit in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Add melted butter to flour and milk mixture. Mix well. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently for 5 minutes. Add additional flour if too is too sticky. Place kneaded dough into a well-greased bowl, cover with a clean, dry towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Punch down the dough and roll out to a 18”x18” square. Spread strawberry-rhubarb onto the rolled out dough.
- Gently roll dough, cinnamon roll style, and pinch the edge shut.
- Cut roll into 12 equal sized pieces and gently place in a greased 9”x13” baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Top with frosting and serve immediately.