My grandmother-in-law, Esther Carpman was a sprightly, ash-blond, kitchen dynamo who was famous for her hearty potato "kugelins", served with old-fashioned sweet and sour cabbage borscht, as well as these gems of a sweet roll. Yeasty sweet bun dough was stuffed with cherry filling and then folded into odd shapes. When I started dating my husband, I only heard about these legendary bun because were always devoured within ten minutes and always gone before I ever saw them! One day, I lucked out and snagged a still-warm bun; in a flash I finally understood the ardent following these buns induced. I got luckier: one day I discovered the recipe tucked in my mother-in-law's files and with a little adapting here and there, I had Bubbie Esther’s cherry buns perfected. A version of it appeared in a feature I wrote for Bon Appetit on quick yeasted breads and the recipe is also of course, in my cookbook, A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking. Bubbie Esther used sweet cherries and often, cherry pie filling if she was pressed for time but I am partial to make my own filling with jarred Hungarian sour cherries. Both approaches work well, as does blueberry or apple filling. As a friend of mine said, "these are pure memory food".
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Hi there, fellow home and pro baker and fan of