These craggy and fruit-enriched drop scones gain a sunny yellow glow and a mysteriously exotic nuance from a pinch of saffron, which makes then both sweet and savory at the same time.
The sweet side with lime curd and a proper cup of tea. The savory side with yellow cherry tomato and basil jam, black pepper asiago cheese, and a side of cornichons.
2 cups of self-rising flour*
2/3 cup unsulphered dried apricots, chopped into 1-cm sized pieces
1/3 cup currants
2/3 cup milk (or more if necessary)
1 large egg
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into cm-sized chunks
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of saffron salt, or plain salt
pinch of saffron (optional)
* You can make self-rising flour by adding 2 teaspoons of baking powder to all-purpose flour.
You will need a strainer, two baking sheets and baking paper, or extra butter to grease the baking sheets.
Turn the oven on to 400 F and position two racks in the upper third and lower third of the oven.
If the apricots and currants are hard, as dried fruit often can be, place them in a bowl and cover with warm water to plump them up a little.
Heat the milk until it is just warm to the touch (about 10 seconds in a microwave) and add the saffron.
Let the saffron milk and fruit (if plumping) sit for 20 minutes. Immediately before proceeding with the rest of the recipe, drain the fruit in a strainer and allow to drip until you need it.
Mix the self-rising flour and salt in a bowl, and rub in the butter until it is broken down to pea-sized pieces. This takes just a few minutes.
Add the strained fruit to the dry ingredients and use a fork to gently mix together and break up any fruity lumps.
Strain the saffron milk to remove the saffron threads if you'd like, then beat in the egg until well combined. Add this to the dry ingredients and fruit, and mix gently until just combined. The batter should be spoonable but stiff enough to retain its shape when scooped.
Spoon out approximately 1/2 cup sized rough mounds of dough. Leave the surface craggy. I used one spoon to scoop the dough, and a second to gently slide the lump of dough off the spoon and onto the prepared baking sheet. Space about 2 or 3 inches apart. You will need two baking sheets.
Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until the upper craiggy surface is starting to brown, and rotate trays at the 10-minute mark.
Remove from the oven, cool for a few minutes on the baking tray, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.
These are very delectable warm, and are also very good when cool.
Store in an air-tight container and eat within 3 or 4 days. Can be frozen.