One of the pleasures of small town living is you get to know people by their recipes. If you need a lead on the best rum balls, the most festive apple pies, the tastiest sticky buns, the most authentic chowder, just ask me. I brought these to the local newspaper’s 50th birthday party—people still thank me for the recipe. This is an excellent recipe for the end-of-season garden since sage lasts so well into the fall.
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt (or less, to taste—if the cheese is salty, use less)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons minced, fresh sage
- 6 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut or grated into small pieces
- 1 1/2 cups finely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 5 ounces) (up to 1/2 cup could be another cheese)
- 1/3 cup milk
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, pepper, and sage to combine. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture in the food processor, and pulse to cut the butter into the flour until it takes on the texture of fine sand, about 12 3-second pulses. Add the cheese and pulse to combine. With the motor running, add the milk and process just until the dough comes together (about 30 seconds – do not over process – good advice in recipes and in life!).
Transfer the dough to a work surface, divide it in half, and form each half into a long rectangle measuring about 6 inches long and 2 inches high and wide, to create square crackers (roll into a 6-inch log for round crackers). Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate until very firm, at least 2 hours and up to 3 days. To bake the crackers, set the oven rack in the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or a nonstick mat. Working with one half at a time, rest the dough at room temperature for about 3 minutes. Working quickly, slice the dough into 1/4-inch-thick crackers, arrange them about 1/2 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet, and bake until the edges are just golden and the center is firm, at least 14 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer the crackers to a wire rack, cool completely, and serve. May be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two. Makes about 6 dozen crackers. Based on a recipe from the Boston Globe Magazine.