a little of each

A family's cookbook

The Best Scones May 20, 2013

Filed under: Breads,Breakfast — alittlemoreofeach @ 8:44 pm
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From Smitten Kitchen and America’s Test Kitchen.

Scone

I am not a baker, but if there is one thing I feel like I should inherently be able to bake, it is a good scone.  I am partly Scottish – from my freckled, white skin to my love of its terriers, ponies, and cats, not to mention those kilts.  Yes, those kilts….  Anyway, I’ve made tough scones, chewy scones, crumbly and dry scones.  My MacBeth ancestors (no joke) were crying, “Ach!”  And then came the Smitten Kitchen, a Brooklyn Jew who loves to cook and does it so darn well, and she inspired me to try scones one more time.   And would you, and my MacBeth clansmen and -women, believe that I can now confidently make a light, fluffy, not-too-sweet scone that is worthy of clotted cream and lemon curd?  These quickly became a Sunday evening tradition during the airing of Downton Abbey on PBS.

Downton Abbey

Tell me there’s not a better way to enjoy period dramas than with a delicious scone and a great big cuppa.

 

Ingredients

2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, preferably a low-protein brand such as Gold Medal or Pillsbury
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup currants (I used dried cranberries, and chopped them into smaller bits)
1 cup heavy cream (I have used whole milk with wonderful results.)
juice and zest from one lemon
a few tablespoons of confectioners sugar

Directions

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425°F.

2. Place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in large bowl or work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Whisk together or pulse six times.

3. If making by hand, use two knives, a pastry blender or your fingertips and quickly cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps. Stir in currants. If using food processor, remove cover and distribute butter evenly over dry ingredients. Cover and pulse 12 times, each pulse lasting 1 second. Add currants and pulse one more time. Transfer dough to large bowl.

4. Stir in heavy cream with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.

5. Transfer dough and all dry, floury bits to countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. Form scones by either a) pressing the dough into an 8-inch circle on a lightly floured work surface, cutting the dough into 8 wedges with either a knife or bench scraper.

6. Place rounds or wedges on ungreased baking sheet and bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Combine lemon juice, zest, and enough confectioners sugar to form a drizzle-able liquid.  Drizzle over the warmish scones.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Blueberry Scones

Filed under: Breads,Breakfast — alittlemoreofeach @ 8:13 am
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blueberry scone.2

 
Ingredients
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2-3 Tbl raw sugar for sprinkling on scones

 

 

blueberry scone

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425.  Freeze, then grate one stick of butter.  Put blueberries into the freezer until needed.  Whisk the milk and sour cream together and refrigerate until needed.
  2. Blend flour, sugar, lemon rind, baking powder, salt and baking soda together.  Add frozen grated butter and gently toss with your hands until thoroughly coated.  Fold in the chilled milk with a spatula until just combined.
  3. Turn the dough mixture onto a well-floured surface.  Flour your hands and the dough, knead gently until six to eight times until it barely holds together.  Add flour as needed to prevent sticking.
  4. Roll dough out to approximately a 12″ square.
  5. Sprinkle the cold blueberries evenly over the dough, pressing lightly into the dough.  Roll the dough into a log shape, then press with a roller until about 4″ wide by 12″ long.
  6. Cut into four equal rectangles, and then each rectangle into triangles.
  7. Place scones on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Melt the remaining 1/4 stick butter, and brush each scone with butter and sprinkle with raw sugar.
  8. Bake until lightly golden brown, 18 to 24 minutes.
  9. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Serve warm or room temperature. Makes 8 scones.
 

Apricot Cream Cheese Scones January 9, 2013

Filed under: Breakfast — alittlemoreofeach @ 3:40 pm
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I made these for brunch on Mother’s Day 2005. They were especially good served with peach butter. The scones do not have to be rolled and cut into shapes. Small, slightly flattened balls of dough work well too. I also served these at my thesis defense in July 2005. I made a double-batch which I do not recommend; it requires too much stirring and results in tough scones.

4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, chilled
1 stick butter
1 cup diced or slivered dried apricots
1 large egg
¼ cup milk, plus more for brushing
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in cream cheese and butter using fingers, a pastry blender, a fork or a mixer, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in dried apricots. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, ¼ cup milk and vanilla. Combine liquid and dry ingredients, and stir until dough becomes cohesive. (The more you work the dough, the tougher it will get.) Turn dough out onto floured surface and fold it over several times, until it holds together. Pat dough into a ¾-inch thick rectangle. Cut out scones with a round cookie cutter, gathering scraps and rerolling dough. Brush the tops lightly with milk and sprinkle with a little extra sugar. Place scones 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Turn oven off, leave door closed, and bake for 8 minutes more, or until scones are light golden brown. Serve hot, with clotted cream or butter and jam or raspberry curd.