I have just come back from a place where dates grow – no, not the Middle East but the Californian dessert. Dates are a big deal over there and you get them at all the markets and they feature in some dishes – and even milkshakes! I had the tastiest date milkshake at the Hadley Fruit Orchard shop near Palm Springs and would go out of my way for another one of those…
I also had a great brunch of French Toast with dates while I was there and will try to re-create and feature it here soon but I have to play around with it a bit more, so for now I have opted for something else – date and pistachio scones which I also call breakfast scones. They’re very much like English scones with some additional ingredients but for a change I have cut them in triangles rather than used scone cutters but it doesn’t make a difference to the end result.
- 315g flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 50 g sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- grated rind of one lemon
- 125g butter (cold)
- 80ml milk
- 1 tsp treacle (or syrup)
- 1 egg
- 55g pistachios
- 120g dates
Roast the pistachios in a pan and set them aside to cool, then cut them into chunks. Chop the dates into rough pieces as well and set both aside.
Preheat the over to gas mark 5.
Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and lemon rind in a bowl. Now cut the butter into small pieces, straight over it and rub the butter pieces into the flour mix with your hands to make crumbs similar to a crumble topping.
In a jar, combine the milk, treacle and egg with a little whisk and pour this liquid mix in the crumbs and, using a fork, lightly incorporate it so that all is just combined (don’t overwork the dough). Now add the date and pistachio pieces.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and flatten to about 2cm – if you start with a round dough ball you will get a flat disk, which can then easily be cut into 8 triangles, just like a cake. Alternatively, you can alternatively, cut smaller triangles or cut out round pieces, just keep in mind that the smaller the scones the shorter the baking time.
Bake for about 18 – 22 minutes until they get a little brown
In my case of 8 big cake sized triangles they needed the full 22 minutes.
Cool them down on a wire rack and serve with apricot jam and if you want to treat yourself butter too!