This luxe rice, studded with apricots and crisp apple, is inspired by an ancient Persian dish that was made for the royal court.Plus: Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide More Middle Eastern Recipes
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a small bowl, crumble the saffron over the warm water and let stand for 5 minutes.
In a large skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, 7 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon, then add the rice and stir to coat. Add the stock, saffron and its soaking liquid and the salt and bring to a boil. Transfer the rice and liquid to a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, or until the stock is absorbed and the rice is tender.
In a large skillet, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the scallions and cook over moderately high heat for 30 seconds. Add the almonds and apricots and cook until the apricots start to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the apple and cook, stirring, just until warmed, about 1 minute. Stir the mixture into the rice, season with pepper and serve hot.