things i love: nectarines. cardamom. nectarine and cardamom together. nectarines and cardamom snuggled up in nectarine cardamom cinnamon rolls. are you with me?
as a person who does not have central air conditioning and does not enjoy the heat, a recipe has to be rillyrilly good for me to turn on my oven in the summer. these nectarine cardamom cinnamon rolls make the cut and totally justify heating up the kitchen (but not toooo much, thank you exhaust fan that i basically never turn off in the summer).
starting from my go-to cinnamon bun recipe (which i *will* share in its unadulterated form one of these days…), i tweaked the spices (read: omitted the small amount of ground cloves and substituted in a much heftier dose of ground cardamom) and diced up a nectarine to nestle in the brown sugar filling before rolling the whole thing up.
and while we’re talking about ovens, here’s a tip to check how evenly your oven heats: buy a package of refrigerated biscuits (the kind in the spring loaded can that pop open once you peel the label off). bake them according to the package directions (leave the baking sheet in the oven the same way the whole time – don’t turn halfway through baking). these biscuits are engineered within an inch of their lives to be uniform, so any variations that result give you clues about how your oven heats.
when time is up, remove the sheet from the oven and keep it oriented the same way it was in the oven (top left corner in the top left corner, etc.). then, first, check to see if the biscuits are undercooked, too dark, or just right. that will give you a clue about the temperature of your oven (a thermometer is also helpful for gauging temperature, especially if you know the oven is off and want to know by how much).
secondly, look at how the biscuits compare to one another. for example, in my oven, the front right corner is warmer than the back left corner so when i don’t flip the baking sheet around, the cookies/muffins/etc. in the front get darker than their friends in the back row. sometimes i don’t care too much and i just leave them to do their thing but other times, i flip the sheet around 180° half or three quarters of the way through the baking time.
knowing how your oven behaves can also be helpful if you want to do two different things at once, like bake chicken and heat up a casserole. knowing which parts of the oven get hotter can help determine where to put the various dishes.
ok, so there’s my (typically verbose) little tip on how to learn more about how your oven behaves (or doesn’t…). whether you decide to embark on an oven behavior knowledge quest or not is up to you. but either way, i definitely recommend embarking on a “what do freshly baked nectarine cardamom cinnamon rolls taste like?” knowledge quest. because, spoiler alert, the answer is: yummy.
ps – if you’re into cinnamon rolls, pin/print/bookmark/jot on a scrap of paper the recipe for chai-spiced apple cinnamon rolls. fall can’t come fast enough…
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