Now, I have no idea what goes into a traditional orange roll. But I do know how to make chocolate-mandarin won tons (a personal invention that I'm sure we'll get around to eventually,) and at the center of that dish is a mandarin orange reduction. Using similar principals, I set out to make a filling with the ingredients on hand.
Those ingredients were:
7 "cutie" tangerines
1/4 cup + 2 T softened butter, divided
1/2 cup cranberries
1/2 cup brown sugar
Before I began the filling, I made the dough following the instructions on the package. It runs a bit contrary to my nature, but I didn't tamper with it a bit. If you are ambitious (or just don't have the product on hand) you can make your own dough-this package makes sixteen rolls, and my half of the recipe makes enough filling to cover that amount plus a little bit extra.
Once the dough was on its final rise, I heated a small saucepan on medium heat and melted the two tablespoons of butter. While it was starting to bubble, I peeled and removed the stray pith from six of the tangerines, tore them into segments, and tossed them into the butter along with the cranberries. The cranberries aren't entirely necessary here-I had them leftover from the oatmeal cookies I made a couple of weeks ago, and was just trying to limit food waste-but they worked quite well and made these turn out with a unique taste that was reminiscent of orange rolls past, but still completely new. If you don't want to go to the hassle or it's not the right season, just add a couple more tangerines. Once the fruit was in I added the brown sugar and squeezed the last cutie over the top so that its juice would help the sugar dissolve. This mixture needs to cook down for about ten minutes (stirring occasionally,) or until the chunks of fruit have broken down, released their juices, and had the opportunity to reduce in them.
Once the mixture looked nice and syrupy it got tossed into the food processor. When I would make my mandarin dessert, the canned orange segments dissolved so thoroughly that I never needed to bother, but fresh fruit holds up better, and I didn't want huge bits of tangerine in my rolls. It didn't take more than a few pulses to make it smooth.
|An even smear should do it.|