Sometimes you just need a scone. I grew up with my grandmother's scones and still use her extremely simple recipe when I want to make a quick batch. But I was intrigued by a recipe I found recently in the January, 2004, issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine: dried-apricot and sage scones. The imagined flavour combination sparked my curiosity and I had to try them out. I'm very glad I did!
Dried-Apricot and Sage Scones
(Makes 8 scones)
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon fine salt
5 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup chopped dried apricots (about 4 ounces)
2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh sage
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing
Sanding sugar (or regular sugar) for dusting
Step one: Preheat oven to 375. Place flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Work in butter with your fingertips or with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in dried apricots and sage. Add cream. Gather mixture together with your hands until it starts to hold together. (Don’t be too rough with it; this could toughen the dough).
Step two: Place mixture onto a lightly floured work surface. Quickly bring the dough together: pat into an 8-inch round disk that is approximately one inch thick. Smooth the top gently with a rolling pin. Cut into eight wedges using a metal bench scraper or a large, sharp knife dusted with flour.
Step three: Arrange the wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with cream and then dust with sanding sugar, or regular sugar if sanding sugar is not available. Bake until cooked through and lightly golden-brown, about 30 minutes. Immediately transfer scones to a wire rack to cool. Let cool at least ten minutes before serving. Serve warm or room temperature.
Cook’s note: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days.