Jun 18

Orange and Pistachio Swirls

Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus 1 hour to rise
Cooking time: 18-20 minutes
Serves 9

225g strong plain white flour, plus extra for dusting
1/4tsp salt
25g butter
2tsp fast-action yeast
25g caster sugar
1 large egg, beaten
75ml warm milk


50g butter, melted
50g light muscovado sugar
120g South African raisins
50g pistachio nuts, finely chopped
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
Few drops of vegetable oil


25g caster sugar


50g icing sugar
2-3tsp orange juice
Fine shreds of orange zest and chopped pistachios, to decorate

  1. Put the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips. Stir in the yeast and sugar. Beat the egg and milk together, then stir into the flour mixture. Bring the mixture together to form a soft dough.
  2. Dust a work surface with a little flour. Turn the dough onto this and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Cover and leave to rest for 10 minutes while you make the filling, by mixing together the melted butter with the muscovado sugar, South African raisins, pistachio nuts and orange zest.
  3. Roll out the dough into a rectangle measuring approximately 25x30cm. Sprinkle the filling evenly on top. Roll up from one long end and cut into 9 slices.
  4. Grease a 23cm (9in) cake tin with a few drops of vegetable oil, then arrange the buns in it (cut sides up), spacing them apart. Cover with cling film and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour, or until roughly doubled in size.
  5. Preheat the oven to 210°C, fan oven 190°C, Gas Mark 7. Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes until the buns are risen and golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack.
  6. For the glaze, put the caster sugar and 3tbsp water into a small saucepan. Heat to dissolve, then boil for 40-60 seconds. Brush over the warm buns. Cool completely.
  7. To decorate, mix the icing sugar with the orange juice to make a thin icing. Drizzle over the buns, then sprinkle them with fine shreds of orange zest and chopped pistachios. Leave to set, then serve.
COOK’S TIPS: Another time, use finely chopped pecan nuts with lemon zest and juice instead of orange.