If you love homemade pastry, you’ll want to stick around for this one. Apricot Almond Fruit Pastry is tender, sweet and irresistible. In no way do I consider myself to be a pastry chef — so if I can do it, so can you, and if you love breakfast pastry, then this recipe needs to be on your to-do list. These sweet yeast rolls will make any occasion special.
It’s literally once in a blue moon that I get up the courage to make sweet buns or breakfast pastry — at least one that requires rolling and rising and filling. In fact, the last time might have been back when my daughter was a baby. She’s now 22. However, this Apricot Almond Fruit Pastry is beyond simple to make — and the dough is absolutely a dream to work with — seriously…
I used my stand mixer to mix and knead the dough — but it’s not required. You can absolutely do this by hand — you’ll just have to use a little more muscle. The dough rose up beautifully, but even more importantly, it behaved while I rolled it out. There was no sticking to the counter, not fighting every step of the way. No, this homemade pastry dough was cooperative. I appreciate that — and so will you.
For Apricot Almond Fruit Pastry Filling:
- Apricot Jam
- Cognac or Brandy
- Almond Extract
- Add apricot jam to a glass measuring cup.
- Microwave in bursts until it’s a pourable consistency.
- Stir in the cognac and almond extract and set aside.
- Spread the softened butter over the rolled out dough.
- Top the butter with the apricot jam mixture and spread evenly, leaving a half inch border around the edge of the breakfast pastry.
After the butter and jam are spread over the dough, roll it up into pinwheels. Start with the long edge and roll the dough over so that it’s firm, but not tight. You don’t want the filling to ooze out. When you’re finished rolling, use a sharp knife to cut into one inch pieces.
Arrange in baking pans. I used two different sized pans, but you can use a 13 x 9 or two 9″ round cake pans — just space them evenly in the pan and give a little room for them to rise a second time. If you want to bake the rolls now, cover with a dish towel and let the sweet yeast rolls rise, then bake. However, you can also make the pastry up to this point and refrigerate it overnight. The next day, take the dough out of the fridge and let it rest for two hours (first hour to come to room temperature and the second hour to rise.) Then bake them off as usual. Imagine that, homemade pastry on a weekend morning — and you don’t have to get up in the middle of the night to make it happen!
Just before baking, sprinkle the sweet yeast rolls with sliced almonds for a little texture and crunch.
You want to bake these rolls until their just very slightly golden. If you let them get too browned, the Apricot Almond Fruit Pastry will be hard and tough instead of tender and soft. Be sure to keep an eye on them. I start peeking at about the 13 minute point…
No sweet yeast rolls would be complete without a gooey glaze and this one is as simple and delicious as you can imagine with powdered sugar, half and half and a little of the filling from the apricot almond fruit pastries… #doesntsuck! If you’re looking for a good breakfast pastry for Christmas or Easter morning — or you’re just in the mood for something special on any given weekend, try this easy recipe… and enjoy.
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Apricot Almond Sweet Rolls
FOR THE DOUGH:
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup buttermilk shaken
FOR THE APRICOT FILLING:
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup apricot preserves
- 2 tablespoons brandy or cognac
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons half and half or milk
- remaining apricot filling
MAKE THE PASTRY:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar yeast and salt.
- Place the butter in a glass 1-cup measure and microwave in 30 second bursts until butter has melted. Whisk the buttermilk into the butter. This mixture needs to be between 105°- 115°F BEFORE ADDING TO THE FLOUR MIXTURE. If it's too cool, heat it in 5-10 second bursts. If it's too hot, let it cool to the proper temperature. Too hot and you will kill the yeast.
- Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture, then add the eggs. Attach the dough hook attachment and mix the ingredients on low speed for about 5-7 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic
- Note, you can do this by hand if you start with a wooden spoon to mix and then use your hands to knead and combine -- it will take about twice as long to get it to the smooth/elastic stage -- but it's a great arm workout!
- Turn the oven on to 250° for 5 minutes, then turn off the oven. Oven should be warm but not hot.
- Lightly grease a large bowl with vegetable oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, flipping once to lightly coat. Cover the dough with a clean dish towel and set in the warm oven to rise until doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.
MAKE THE APRICOT FILLING:
- While the dough is rising, remove the butter from the refrigerator to soften -- it needs to be spreadable for the filling.
- If the apricot preserves are chunky, place them in the bowl of a mini food processor and pulse until smoother.
- Place the preserves in a glass measuring cup and microwave in 30-second bursts until thin and liquidy. Add the cognac and almond extract to the apricot preserves and whisk together until well combined. Set aside.
ROLL OUT THE DOUGH
- Spray two 9"- cake pans with vegetable spray and set aside.
- When the dough has risen, punch it down and transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough into a 26" x 13" rectangle with the wide end facing you. (this dough is a dream to work with -- and it shouldn't give you a problem rolling it out.)
- Drop spoonfuls of the softened butter equal parts over the rectangle of dough. Use an offset spatula to spread the butter into an even layer over the dough, leaving about a 1/2" - 3/4" border edge uncovered.
- Drizzle the 3/4 cup of the apricot mixture over the dough and spread evenly over the butter, again leaving a 1/2" - 3/4" border edge uncovered.
- Roll the dough into a firm, but not too tight (you don't want the filling to ooze out), cylinder or pinwheel, starting on the wide end of the dough. You will have a 26" log. Trim the rough edges from either end and discard.
- Cut the dough equally with a sharp knife into 16-20 pinwheels. Transfer the sweet rolls to the prepared baking pans with the pinwheel design facing up.
TO MAKE NOW:
- Cover with a dishtowel and let the dough rise again, about 1 hour or until almost doubled in size. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
TO MAKE LATER:
- After putting the rolls in the pan, cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator. The next morning, take the rolls out of the refrigerator and let them rise for 1-2 hours. Then continue with the baking instructions.
TO BAKE THE SWEET ROLLS:
- Preheat the oven to 375° and bake the sweet rolls for 13-18 minutes or until very lightly browned. (make sure you don't get them too dark, otherwise the pastry won't be soft.)
PREPARE THE GLAZE:
- In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and half and half. Heat the remaining apricot mixture in the microwave for 20-30 seconds until liquidy. Pour the apricot mixture into the glaze and stir well to combine.
- When the rolls are done, remove them from the oven. Let them sit for a few minutes before pouring the glaze over the top of the still warm rolls. Serve hot from the pan.
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