After a week of rain and cold, were were lucky to have a truly gorgeous Saturday here in Jerusalem. Families were out in the Emek (Valley of the Cross), enjoying the almond blossoms, cyclamen and the bright red anemones that look incredibly vibrant against the greenest grass we will see this year. Auralee, Jeff and I wandered the valley for hours, until the sun began to set, enjoying the colors and the glimpse of spring-weather.
After wearing ourselves out, we went home to enjoy apricot sage scones, roasted tomato salad with white beans, butternut squash stew, and an apple crisp. Not bad for a short weekend.
Apricot Sage Scones, adapted from Martha Stewart Living, 2005
I’ve had this recipe in my binder of clippings ever since I first made it in 2005. When my friend Caitlin, a personal chef here in Jerusalem, asked if I had ever made savory-sweet scones, I immediately began singing the praises of these, which reminded me that it had been too long since we’d had them ourselves. You can put the leftover sage leaves on a sheet pan, covered with a paper towel, and allow them to dry for a week or so at room temp. Then crumble them up and keep them on hand with the rest of your dried herbs and spices.
2 cups flour (I used whole wheat)
1//4 cup sugar
1 Tbs baking power
3/4 tsp salt
5 Tbs cold butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
2 Tbs + 1 tsp fresh sage, finely chopped
1 cup cold cream or milk (I used soy milk)
standing sugar and milk/cream for brushing and sprinkling
Put the dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse until mixed. Add the sage and apricots and pulse again. Add the butter and pulse until it is the size of peas. Then add the cream slowly (you may not need it all). The batter should be tacky, not so wet that you can’t handle it. If your scone batter gets too wet, you can add a little extra flour. Turn the batter onto a lightly floured surface and quickly shape into a flat-ish circle (handling the dough as little as possible), about 8 inches around. Cut it into triangles (first in half, then quarters and so forth) and place the scone on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Brush each scone with a bit of milk/cream/soy milk and sprinkle with standing sugar.
Bake at 350°F/175°C until done ~ 18 to 20 minutes. These will make your house smell divine and are best eaten slightly warm.