I, Basil, Take Thee, Apricot

You are cordially invited to the marriage (eh, um, I mean “pairing) of Basil and Apricot.

If anyone knows any reason why these two should not be joined in tasteful unity, speak now, or forever hold your peace.


Wait..  I think Lemon just objected.  It seems she wants to be with Basil as well.  A love triangle it is!  (or I have just been watching too much Big Love)

Chocolate and Bacon.  Watermelon and Tomato.  Pear and Bleu Cheese.  It seems now a days that anything goes when it comes to baking.  Crazy pairings are happening all over the culinary world.  Sweet and spicy.  Savory and sweet.  You name it and it’s probably been paired.  So it should have been no surprise today when I googled “Basil and Apricot” and found recipes for ice cream, cookies and breads.  I was looking more for a shortcake recipe and couldn’t find it so I adapted my own.  I bet you are just dying to try this.  I know you don’t believe that it will actually taste good, but it is!  I swear.  It’s amazing.

Lemon Basil Shortcakes with Apricot Butter

adapted from Bon Appetit


  • 3/4 cup chilled buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/3-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon lemon-scented sugar (rub lemon peel and sugar together, remove peel)
For Butter
  • 1 Apricot
  • 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 1 T honey

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 425°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with silicone baking mat, smooth side up, or parchment paper. Mix buttermilk, lemon zest, and basil in small bowl. Whisk remaining dry ingredients in large bowl to blend, breaking up any large clumps of brown sugar with fingertips.

Add butter and rub in with fingertips until you have pea sized amounts of butter (this will make them flaky).

Add buttermilk mixture and fold with a wooden spoon or spatula just until blended (dough will be sticky).

Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface. Knead gently just until dough comes together, 4 to 5 turns (do not overwork dough or shortcakes will be tough). Pat dough out to 3/4-inchthick round.

Using 3-inch-diameter cookie cutter (smaller is ok too) dipped in flour, cut out dough rounds. Gently gather dough scraps and pat out to 3/4-inch thickness.

Cut out additional rounds, for 6 rounds total. Transfer dough rounds to prepared baking sheet, spacing apart. Brush a little bit of egg white on each biscuit (to make them golden brown) and sprinke with lemon-scented sugar.

Bake biscuits until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool slightly.

Make the butter in the meantime!  Chop the apricots until they are tiny, put in a bowl with butter, add honey and stir, stir, stir.  I left mine chunky, but feel free to use more butter and chop the apricots finer if you want it smooth.

Using a serrated knife, carefully cut the biscuits horizontally in half, spread with your desired amount of butter.  Eat.  Then eat some more!

What’s the strangest pairing you’ve ever had?

Ah me! love can not be cured by herbs.  ~Ovid


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Leah
    Jul 08, 2011 @ 17:15:59

    How fun these look!!!!! :)


  2. Jonny D
    Jul 12, 2011 @ 18:11:57

    The best strangest pairing I ever had (besides the shortbread) was the Peanut Butter, Fudge and Pretzels I had in my Chubby Hubby Ice Cream today.


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