A Legacy – Oma’s Lemon Buns
Family is so important. Something I’m realizing more as I get older. I have wonderful friends, many of whom are like family (especially since we live so far away from any relative), but they could never replace our parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and memories of our grandparents.
Some of my fondest memories have to do with food and family. I’ve been blessed with a family that loves to eat well. From my Oma on my Dad’s side, to my Mom, there was no shortage of good cooking growing up. I didn’t really discover my passion for food until I got married and had someone to cook for. But now that I’ve discovered it, I cherish it, and use it as a way to connect to my family. I’ve learned how to make my Oma’s Zwieback in person, talked with Mom on the phone while trying to make her Cinnamon Buns, and have taken photos of the process as I’ve made Oma’s Paska, so I could show her, and have her tell me what I did wrong (and she amazed me – she told me, from a photograph, that the dough was too sticky). I love that cooking connects me to my family.
This heritage, this legacy is so precious to me. So I want to begin to share some of those recipes on here in my new Legacy Recipes section.
This first one is Oma’s Lemon Buns. Oma was an exceptional cook. I can’t tell you if she was a better baker or a better cook. She was simply wonderful at both. I don’t remember a visit where there weren’t at least cookies and Zwieback (and by cookies, I mean at least 5 different kinds), and maybe even Lemon Buns. Oma said that when she turned 90 last October, she would be done baking. That didn’t happen. At the family gatherings before and after her funeral two weeks ago, there were Lemon Buns, cookies, Platz, Fleisch Perishky… her baking outlived her. I think the Lemon Buns were my favorite dessert (other than the Paska, which we only ate at Easter). So I’ll share that recipe with you today. It’s in Oma’s handwriting, but I’ll also type it out, so you can print it if you’d like. If you have any questions, I can’t help you, I’ve never made them. But I intend to, soon.
- 1 C milk
- 1 C sugar
- 1/2 t salt
- 3/4 C butter or shortening
- 3 eggs
- 2 pkg yeast
- zest from 1 lemon
- juice from 1 lemon
- 9-10 C flour
- 1 C warm water
- 1 t sugar
- Filling: 2 pkg lemon pie filling.
- Cook 2 pkg lemon pie filling. Let cool.
- Dissolve 1 t sugar and yeast in warm water. Let stand 10 min.
- Cream together butter, sugar, eggs and salt, add lemon peel, juice and the yeast mixture, then alternate the flour with the milk.
- Knead to a soft smooth dough. Let rise in a warm place until double in bulk.
- Roll out fairly thin, cut into 2 1/2"x4" pieces. Cut a 1" slit, 1 " from each end. Put a tsp lemon filling in the center and pull on end through the slit off the other end. Spread the dough to each side and pinch together. Let the buns rise for about an hour.
- Brush with milk beaten egg. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 325F. Put the icing on before you serve.
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