Apricot and Almond Scrolls

Apricot and Almond Scrolls via http://underthebluegumtree.comWhen it comes to food, my brother-in-law likes what he likes. And he likes apricot and almond scrolls, a sort of Danish pastry. Specifically the sort sold by Sainsbury’s.

When I went back to the UK in January, I was inducted into the delights of these fabled Sainsbury’s pastries. And my brother-in-law challenged me to replicate them for this blog.

As it is now mid-April, you can tell that I have been putting this off a little. One, because I have bad childhood memories of Danish pastries. And, two, because I thought that they would be really tricky to make.

Despite the lengthy recipe that follows, these are actually not too difficult to prepare. The dough is a sort of weird bread/puff pastry hybrid containing yeast. It involves a few steps but is a lot quicker than making a traditional puff pastry, plus it is nice and soft and easy to roll.

As someone who is not too fond of Danish pastries, I really enjoyed these and I am pleased with how visually similar they are to the Sainsbury’s ones.

So, Stu, this one’s for you!

I am entering this post into this month’s Alphabakes challenge as the nominated letter is “A”. Alphabakes is co-hosted by The More Than Occasional Baker and Caroline Makes

Apricot and Almond Scrolls via http://underthebluegumtree.com

Apricot and Almond Scrolls

Makes 10 pastries

For the dough (adapted from Women Institute’s Bread by Liz Herbert):

  • 250g (or 1 pack) butter, at room temperature
  • 450g white bread flour
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp fast action yeast
  • 150ml milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten

1.  Place the butter between two pieces of baking paper and roll into a rectangle approximately 23 x 13cm. Refrigerate.

2.  Mix the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a bowl. Pour in the milk and eggs and stir to form a soft dough. Knead for about 10 minutes until smooth. Cover and rest for 10 minutes.

3.  Roll the dough out into a square approximately 27cm x 27cm. Place the chilled butter in the middle of the dough and wrap the edges of the dough around to encase the butter on all sides. Press lightly to seal.

4.  Roll the dough into a long oblong, approximately 40cm x 18cm. Fold the top third of the dough down and the bottom third of the dough up to make a neat, layered rectangle. Place in a freezer bag and chill for 10 minutes.

5.  Repeat the previous step twice more. The dough is then ready to use (or you can refrigerate the dough overnight before making the pastries.)

For the pastries:

  • 100g ground almonds
  • 50g icing sugar + 4tbsp for the icing
  • 25g softened butter
  • 1 egg white
  • a few drops of almond extract (optional)
  • 1 quantity of dough (made to the previous recipe)
  • 1 beaten whole egg
  • 4 tbsp apricot jam

1.  Mix the ground almonds with the 50g of icing sugar, butter, egg white and almond extract (if using) to make a stiff paste. With lightly floured hands, take a scant teaspoon of the mixture and roll into a sausage shape (about 5-6cm in length). Repeat until you have 20 portions.

2.  Cut the dough into 2 equal size portions. Roll one portion into a rectangle at least 40cm x 24cm (the dough should be about 3-4mm thick). Cut 5 strips from the dough, each 8cm x 24cm. Repeat with the second portion of dough so you have 10 strips in total.

3.  Take one of the strips and lightly score a line 6cm in from either end, so you are left with a 12cm rectangle in the centre. Brush inside this rectangle with beaten egg and place a portion of the almond mixture against each scored line. Using a cookie cutter (about 6-7cm in diameter) cut a semi-circle of dough out of the end of each strip. It should look like this (excuse the photo!):

Apricot and Almond Scrolls via http://underthebluegumtree.com

4.  Fold either end of the strip up and around the almond paste and press down gently on all sides to seal. You should be left with a circle/oval in the centre of the pastry:

Apricot and Almond Scrolls via http://underthebluegumtree.com

5.  Transfer the pastry to a lined baking sheet and spread a teaspoonful of jam in the circle/oval. Brush the rest of the pastry with beaten egg.

6.  Repeat the process with the remaining strips of dough.

7.  Bake in a preheated oven at 200C/180C fan until golden and puffed (about 15 minutes). You may want to add a little more jam to the centre of each pastry once they are cooked.

8.  Allow the pastries to cool a little then mix the remaining 4tbsp of icing sugar with 1tbsp of boiling water. Drizzle the icing over the pastries and serve.

16 comments

  1. Yeasted laminated doughs are excellent for all sorts of pastries, aren’t croissants made from similar dough? Your scrolls looks beautiful and Stu should be delighted and never want to eat the shop ones again :)

    • Thanks Joanna! This is the first time I’ve made a yeasted laminated dough so it was all new to me. I do want to try croissants one day though and some different Danish pastries with this same dough. I have a sneaking suspicion Stu will still prefer his Sainsbury’s pastries ;-)

    • Thank you! This was a lot easier than I thought, once I’d worked out how to cut the dough. The dough itself is simpler than puff pastry. It needs less resting and seems easier to roll. I am going to make another batch and experiment with some different fillings and designs.

  2. They do look identical to the Sainsburys version – yours are a better colour though. I have bad memories of apricot jam from my years in South Africa as it was used for everything. I might just need to give it another go as these look delish.

    • Thanks Angela! You SAFA’s do like a good dose of apricot jam don’t you? ;-) It’s not my favourite preserve but I used a good quality jam with lots of fruit and it was lovely. You could of course make them with any preserve you fancied.

  3. laura_howtocook

    Your wonderful pastries are a far superior version of Sainsbury’s. What a challenge these must have been but I know that once eaten there would be very little chance of your brother in law ever going back to the supermarket variety. Your pastry looks divine!

  4. I’m always impressed with anyone that makes their own pastry especially Danish pastry like this. It looks amazing and you should be so proud of yourself! Lucky Stu – has he asked for a more difficult challenge? :)

  5. These look amazing, and so much more appealing than the shop bought ones. You’re so talented! I could really go one of these right now. Bookmarked for future experimentation, thank you!

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