Recipe: Accidentally low-sugar pistachio biscuits with apricot jam

So this recipe was going to be yet another of my nut-based gluten-free biscuits.  Since I had a lot of pistachios and it is Christmas baking time, I thought it might be fun to make extremely green biscuits with a colourful filling.  Pistachio goes well with orange flower water and apricots go well with both, so I thought I’d do a sort of middle-eastern-inspired, pistachio-based jam thumbprint biscuit.

Except that the mixture, rather than being on the loose and sloppy side as I had feared, was actually really dry and stiff and hard to work with.  And I couldn’t figure out why until halfway through my next batch of biscuits when I started adding sugar and realised that it was actually rice flour.  Oops.

But pistachios are too expensive to waste, so I thought I’d at least taste these little biscuits once they were done and see if they were edible.  And it turns out… they are.  They aren’t very sweet, of course, though the apricot jam rescues them from complete savoury-dom, but they are pretty good.  They basically taste like toasted pistachios with a hint of orange flower water.  And some apricot jam on top.  Which is pretty lovely, if you think about it!

Your shopping list

150 g pistachios
50 g ground almonds
50 g rice flour
1 egg
1/2 tsp orange flower water
about 25ml apricot jam

Now what will you do with it?

Line a baking tray with paper, and heat the oven to 180°C.

Grind the pistachios as finely as you can get them in a food processor.

Put the ground pistachios in a bowl with the ground almonds and rice flour, and mix.

Add the egg and orange flower water and mix together with a fork.  That won’t work very well, so just get right in there with your hands and squidge everything together – it will seem impossible at first, but rice flour does suddenly yield to moisture (which should have been my first clue, but I was tired), and come together in a very stiff dough.

Roll tightly into little balls a bit smaller than walnuts, and then use one hand to kind of hold each ball together on the tray while you make a hole in it with the finger of your other hand. Drop about 1/4 tsp of apricot jam into each fingerprint.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, until getting a bit golden around the edges – the jam will overflow a bit, but that’s OK.

Cool on a wire rack and serve!

Much like the Karma Chameleon they are red golden green.  Terrible jokes aside, how lovely is that colour?


Cherry jam would be very Christmassy, but I didn’t have any!  I’d probably take out the orange flower water and replace it with plain water if I were doing that, though.

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian.  It is full of nuts. It isn’t really low-GI, as there is sugar in the apricot jam, and I bet rice flour isn’t low-GI either.  But they are small biscuits with a very small amount of sugar in them, so they are probably better not too terrible for people who have to watch their blood sugars.

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