Apricot & Pistachio Buns! Sweet, tart apricots and salty, savory pistachios complement each other very nicely. For these buns I highlight those flavors with a little cinnamon, ginger and one of my favorite spices, cardamom.
In the photos you can see the unusual technique I use for rolling the dough and forming the buns. I spent some time thinking about how to incorporate the nuts and fruit into the dough because I wanted to keep the apricots and pistachios somewhat separate.
I thought the flavors would get muddled if I just mixed it all together. At first I considered mixing the apricots into the dough and then using the pistachios as a filling. But I was worried that the flavor of the apricots would get lost in the rich dough.
So I decided to use both the fruit and nuts as filling, but layered them so that each flavor could stand out. It also happens that using this technique makes for a very striking pattern when a bun is cut to reveal the layers.
Using apricot preserves in the glaze adds another layer of apricot flavor and the preserves give the glaze a beautiful color.
Scroll through the step by step photos to see how to make Apricot & Pistachio Buns:
I baked the Apricot & Pistachio Buns in jumbo muffin tins, but you can line them up on a buttered or parchment lined sheet pan. If you use regular sized muffin tins you probably want to cut the buns a little smaller, maybe getting 14-16 buns instead of 12.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.
- 1 cup (8 oz, 240ml) warm milk (110°F)
- 1/4 cup (2oz 56g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (2oz 56g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 egg
- 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons, 7g) dry yeast
- 3 1/2 cups (17.5 oz, 495g) unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 cup (7oz 200g) dried apricots
- 1 cup (5 oz, 150g) shelled pistachios
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 cup (2 oz, 56g) melted butter for brushing
- 1/2 cup Apricot Preserves, heated for 30 seconds in the microwave
- 2 cups (8 oz, 224g) confectioner's sugar
- 2 tablespoons warm water, approximately
- In a large mixer bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the warm milk, sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, egg and yeast
- Add 2 cups of the flour, the salt and the spices. Mix with the paddle on medium speed to form a thick batter. Change to the dough hook. With mixer on low add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time. If mixing by hand mix as much flour as you can with a spoon or spatula then knead in the remaining flour.
- Knead for 5 minutes. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl and gather on the hook.
- Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead into a smooth ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn once to grease the surface. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temp to rise until doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours).
- Pour boiling water over the apricots, soak for 1/2 hour, drain and chop into small bits.
- Process pistachios with, sugar and spices in a food processor or blender until coarsely ground. Set aside 1/4 cup for topping the buns.
- Brush 12 jumbo muffin cups with melted butter.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Roll to a 16"x20"rectangle, brush the surface of the dough with melted butter, Sprinkle the upper 1/2 of the rectangle with pistachio filling, Fold the lower half of the dough over the upper 1/2 (see photos).
- Brush the dough with melted butter then sprinkle with chopped apricots. Starting from the end closest to you, tightly roll the dough into a log, pinch the seam to seal.
- With a serrated knife cut the log into 12 buns. Place a bun in each cup of the buttered muffin tin. Brush the tops of the buns with melted butter. If baking the same day allow the buns to rise for about an hour until doubled in volume.
- If baking the next day, cover the buns with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning remove the buns from the refrigerator and allow to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume (about 1 - 1 1/2 hour). Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Bake until golden brown. About 15 minutes. Remove the buns from the pans and place on a cooling rack to glaze.
- While the buns are baking, combine the powdered sugar and warm apricot preserves in a small bowl. Add about 2 tablespoons of water to achieve a texture like pancake batter.
- While the buns are still warm drizzle with the glaze and sprinkle with reserved pistachios
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