pistachio + date scones
Oh how I love a good scone! I think they are one of the best ways to start the day, especially if they’re right out of the oven. A friend gave me a treasured box of Iranian dates, which are perfectly sweet and moist. It took me a few weeks to get up the nerve to actually make something with them because I wanted to make sure I didn’t waste them on a recipe I wasn’t sure about. Then this weekend it came to me, pistachio and date scones. This combination of sweet dates, pistachios and the buttery dough of scones was most certainly worth the wait.
I used my tried and true scone recipe, with a few minor adjustments to account for the sweetness of the dates. I simply reduced the amount of sugar, and blended the dough in a food processor, adding the dates and pistachios at the last minute. After shaping them into a big old square and then cutting them into triangles, I topped each scone with a mixture of honey and water and a sprinkling of pistachios.
I cannot recommend these scones enough. They are buttery and slightly moist like a scone should be, but they aren’t quite as heavy as scones tend to be these days. The dates and pisachios are speckled throughout each scone, each bite contains at least one and if you get both, it’s a happy moment. Hmmm, I think I need more scones in my life.
pistachio + date scones
adapted from this recipe
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup dates, chopped
1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon water
2 Tablespoons pistachios, coarsely chopped
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425°F.
Place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in large bowl or work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Whisk together or pulse six times.
If making by hand, use two knives, a pastry blender or your fingertips and quickly cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps. Stir in dates and pistachios.
If using food processor, remove cover and distribute butter evenly over dry ingredients. Cover and pulse 12 times, each pulse lasting 1 second. Add dried dates and pistachios and pulse one more time. Transfer dough to large bowl.
Stir in heavy cream with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.
Transfer dough and all dry, floury bits to countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. Form dough into a 9-inch square (or press into a 9×9 baking pan). First cut horizontal, then vertical, then from corner to corner until you have 8 triangles.
Place wedges on ungreased baking sheet. Combine 1 part water and 1 part honey and wash the top of each scones with the honey mixture. Sprinkle pistachios over each scone.
Bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.