Monday, September 6, 2010

supreme cream scones


Sometimes after a demanding week at work, when my day off comes I wake up and want nothing more than to start a leisurely sunlit morning baking in the kitchen and listening to music. Today I woke up thinking about scones, one of my favorite indulgences whether sweet or savory.

I didn't want to do a scone that had any eggs in it, so I started by sleuthing around a bit online. I found a recipe for scones, sans eggs, originally published in Bon App├ętit magazine and available at epicurious.com, and was impressed. It involves a different series of steps than I was familiar with from drop scone recipes I have made before. It is instead a wedge scone recipe, and before baking melted butter is brushed on, and a mixture of sugar and lemon zest is sprinkled on top. Those are the basic concepts I kept from the recipe before customizing it. I was in the mood for pear blueberry scones because I had a big juicy anjou pear I wanted to use. I decided to cut back on the amount of lemon zest suggested in the original recipe so that it wouldn't dominate the other fruit flavors. I used Sucanat instead of a refined sweetener and I think it worked really well.

I also used a new flour I was excited to try. Last time I was at Whole Foods I was looking for an unrefined all purpose flour and found Bob's Red Mill Organic Hard White Whole Wheat Flour which they explain is a recent innovation: a new variety of wheat is used that grinds into a much lighter flour than traditional whole wheat flour. I always have felt conflicted about using whole wheat flour in baking recipes because though I really want the health benefit of the whole grain, I dislike the added density that seems inevitable. But this flour is amazing. It is indistinguishable from all purpose white flour as far as I can tell.

Most importantly, I should mention that these scones turned out truly amazing. My friend and I had them with tea, and she said that they were the best scones she has ever had. Now I am tempted to purchase a proper cast iron wedge scone pan so that I can continue on a quest for ultimate scone perfection.

Pear Blueberry Scones

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup plus 2 T. Sucanat
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

1 large pear, cored and chopped
1/3 cup frozen blueberries
1 T. lemon juice
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 1/4 cups heavy cream

3 T. unsalted butter, melted

Method:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Stir the lemon juice into the blueberries and put aside. Mix 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 T. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt in large bowl. In a second bowl, mix the cream, pear, blueberries, and 1 tsp. of the lemon zest. Add this wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just until dough forms. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead gently just until dough holds together. Form dough into an 8 or 9 inch diameter, 1/2-inch-thick round. Cut into 8 wedges.

Transfer wedges to large lightly greased baking sheet, spacing evenly. Combine remaining 2 T. Sucanat and 1 tsp. lemon peel in small bowl. Brush scones with melted butter. Sprinkle with Sucanat mixture. Bake scones until light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool slightly. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool completely. Wrap in foil; store at room temperature.) Serve the scones warm or at room temperature.



2 comments:

  1. I was looking forward to reading about the mulligatawny soup, but the page on the blog post isn't showing up! So I'm happy remembering this cream scones blog from the other week, which sounded really good (and awesome find on the new whole wheat flour), and brought me back to a time about 7 years ago. Back then I was living in the bay area, and on an occasional Saturday would go to the early morning program at the Siddha Yoga center in Oakland. From about 6:30-8 am, one could sit quietly with others in a dimly lit hall in meditation, and then for the last 45 minutes or so a disciple would lead a very sweet hindu chanting set...starting very slowly and quietly, and crescendo-ing with day break. Of course that was all good, but I have to admit that an equal part of the morning for me was the fact that the center also had a little bakery attached, where they would make, with careful devotion... -- you guessed it -- cream scones... ready just as the program let out. For me at that time, there was nothing better in the world than this, with a nice cup of black tea, or coffee. Thank you for the memory...(and I'm sure you never forget the secret ingredient of loving kindness!).

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  2. Jon! Thank you for sharing this memory, and being so generous with your description. What a lovely, comforting way to spend your Saturday mornings.

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