Friday, February 5, 2010

Pistachio + Date Scones

I've been chasing simplicity for quite some time, but can never seem to achieve it. In my mind, all I want is a quiet life in the town I grew up in; baking and being with my kids, friends, family. There is something very comforting about a place where you know everyone you see, and they have all known you since toddlerhood. In reality, I am nowhere near that (and may never be). The last few years have been very stressful for me. In no particular order; I've had two kids, gotten married, sold a house, built a house, moved 5 times, and opened a retail store. It hasn't all been easy - and it certainly hasn't been simple - but it's life. My life. Now another chapter is beginning in my life; that of being a single mom. It will certainly be an adjustment, but everyone will be a lot happier. Now that's all I'm gonna say about that.

Scones are simplicity itself - even when as gussied up as these are. So, even if I can't live my bucolic dreams, I can eat them.

These scones are eggless, and made with cream. I love breakfast treats made with cream - it gives them such a soft, light crumb that almost melts in your mouth. Pistachios have a very distinct flavor - buttery, smoky, savory - and are not commonly found in scones, so these are an unexpected and delightful addition. They are also a wonderful foil for the sweet dates. I love dates. I love them plain, I love them rolled in coconut, I love them in baked goods. I've never met a date I didn't like. When baked, they become unbelievably tender - date paste, almost - and if you're lucky enough to get one that is slightly exposed in the dough you're in for a real treat. The edges become slightly crispy and chewy and caramelized, and they are delicious.

These are sure to be a regular treat around these parts. Next time, however, I will add more dates - I think 1 1/2 cups instead of 1 cup. I thought the date to pistachio balance was a little off. Also, they took a bit longer to bake than the recipe specified. I had to turn the oven down and cover them with foil to prevent them from burning. I would recommend baking them at 400 instead of 425, as the original recipe calls for. I'm writing the recipe below as I made them, with changes I would make in parentheses.

Pistachio + Date Scones
adapted from eatmakeread

2 cups unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons palm sugar (or any other sugar; if you use unsalted pistachios, you could reduce this by 1 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup dates, chopped (I think they need 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons pistachios, chopped, divided
1 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream, divided

Preheat oven to 425 (I think this should be more like 400). Line baking sheet with parchment. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add butter, and using a pastry blender cut it in until well-combined, but so that there are still some large-ish pieces of butter in the mixture. Add dates and 1/2 cup pistachios, tossing with your hands, and separating any large clumps of dates. Add 1 cup heavy cream, and stir with fork until a dough forms. Turn out onto a floured board, and pat into a disk about 1/2" thick. Cut into 8 wedges. Place wedges on baking sheet, giving them as much space as you can. Spoon a bit of the remaining cream on the top of each scone, spreading it with the back of the spoon to coat the surface of the scone. Sprinkle tops of scones with remaining chopped pistachios. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until scones are golden. If they seem to be browning too quickly, cover them loosely with a piece of aluminum foil. Let cool on rack for at least 10 minutes.


  1. Sarah, your scones, like everything else you bake, look and sound amazing. Life isn't always as peaceful or simple as we would like it to be, but, we can certainly do everything in our power to maintain peace and simplicity as much as possible. I know (from experience) that it is not easy to be a single mom, or a mom at all, BUT once you make the adjustment it can be much, much better for everyone than being in a "bad" marriage. I wish you and your sweet little ones all the best. Peace, Stephanie

  2. Çok lezzetli bu ya!Görüntü muhteşem...

  3. Gorgeous scones Sarah!

    I haven't "known" you long, but I get the sense you're incredibly strong and I know you'll get through these challenges. I'll be thinking lots of positive thoughts for you and your boys. *Hugs*

  4. Oh, these are so beautiful and sound heavenly - I, too, absolutely adore dates! Beautiful photography, as well.

  5. They look wonderful! Love scones - thanks for sharing the recipe.

  6. Stephanie and Tracey, Thanks for your kind words, it means a lot :)

  7. Oh, Sarah, I'm sorry to hear of your challenges. You will no doubt rise above the troubled waters and maintain an even keel and smooth sailing for your boys; my thoughts and prayers are with you (and I have no idea where all that sailing imagery came from!)

    Dates are a recent, but very real, obsession for me - these scones look heavenly.

  8. I really like the flavour combination in these scones!

  9. I love dates and pistachios and scones! So these sound just about perfect.

    It sounds like you're on your way to a simpler, happier life. Even if it takes a while, it will happen and it will be worth it. After having some not-so-great times myself, I truly appreciate my life now!


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