Apple Cider Pecan Sticky Buns

A good rule of thumb when purchasing apples for cider making: 10 to 12 pounds of apples will yield approximately 1 gallon of cider, coincidentally the amount needed to make the final tried, tested, and triumphantly approved apple cider pecan sticky buns I craved…

By / Photography By Susie Jenkins-Brito | October 13, 2017

Ingredients

Apple Cider Sauce
  • 1½ cups pecan halves
  • 4 cups unfiltered fresh pressed Alaska apple cider
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
Dough
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar + a pinch
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted + 1 teaspoon for brushing
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2¾ cup all purpose flour + more for dusting
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
Filling
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Preparation

For the dough: In a small saucepan over low heat warm the water and milk to approximately 100º F. Remove from heat and sprinkle yeast over the top with a pinch of sugar and allow to rest for 5 minutes until foamy, then whisk into the yeast/milk mixture the melted butter, vanilla and egg yolk until combined.

In a large bowl sift together the flour, ¼ cup sugar, salt and nutmeg, make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast mixture. Using a wooden spoon stir until a well-combined sticky dough forms. Turn out onto a well floured surface and knead until the dough becomes soft and elastic, adding dustings of flour as needed. This will take approximately 5 to 6 minutes.

Coat a large bowl with butter, shape dough into a ball, then place in bowl and turn once to coat with butter. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise at room temperature until doubled in size, roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Once risen, remove plastic wrap, knead briefly in the bowl to release air, and shape back into a ball. Cover dough directly with large sheet of lightly buttered plastic wrap and also cover bowl tightly with an additional sheet of plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 6 hours but preferably overnight.

For the apple cider sauce: Prepare your pie plates/cake pans by evenly sprinkling flaked sea salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg across the pan’s bottom. In a heavy bottomed 3-4 quart saucepan boil apple cider over high heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a thick dark syrup of roughly ⅓ - ½ cup in volume. This can take up to 45 minutes depending on your stove top.

Reduce heat to medium high and quickly stir in the butter and sugars. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and let sauce boil stirring often until it reaches 220º F. Working quickly pour the sauce, evenly divided, into the spice-prepared pans, top sauce with the pecan halves and set aside to await the buns.

Note: This sauce can be made the night before baking if each pan is wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and allowed to rest at room temperature until the buns are placed atop to rise.

For the buns: On the morning of baking, remove chilled dough from refrigerator turning out onto a floured surface. Roll dough into a “10x14” rectangle. Brush evenly with the melted butter, leaving a 1” border on one long edge and sprinkle evenly with the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Roll from one long end to the other ending on the side with the clean border. Pinch to seal.

Cut into 14-1” rolls and place 7 rolls evenly spaced into each of the prepared pans holding the apple cider sauce and pecans. Loosely cover in plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350º F, uncover rolls and place pans into the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately invert onto a serving platter. Allow pan to rest until buns have fully slid out of the pan.

Serve piping hot with a mug of hot apple cider in hand.

Ingredients

Apple Cider Sauce
  • 1½ cups pecan halves
  • 4 cups unfiltered fresh pressed Alaska apple cider
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
Dough
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar + a pinch
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted + 1 teaspoon for brushing
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2¾ cup all purpose flour + more for dusting
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
Filling
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
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