Monday, April 27, 2009
It was a glorious Saturday in the Bay Area this past weekend. I drove across town with the windows rolled down and Al Green cranked up. I was in the market for a brand-spanking new cake pan, loaf pan and strainer. All of which I procured and then skipped home to make these Strawberry Scottish Scones I'd been eying in Molly Wizenberg's fantastic book "A Homemade Life." I'm a huge fan of Molly's blog Orangette, and she's certainly inspired me merge cooking and writing.
I made just three minor adjustments, substituting brown sugar for white (as I was out of white sugar and too lazy to run down to the store) I also used Meyer Lemons for the zest (because I will use any excuse to use a Meyer Lemon) and I added fresh strawberries to the dough. My tiny studio was filled with the most delicious smell, and I half-expected my neighbors to come knocking at my door, hoping to partake.
And so there I was simultaneously singing along to Al, "Can't get next to you girl!" and taking bites of delicious scone. Close friends reading this will perhaps be surprised, my general distaste for scones is well-known. My main complaint being that store-bought scones are simply too dense and heavy for me to enjoy. But these are no ordinary scones. These are light, fluffy and quite tasty. I brought them over to Amber's on Sunday for her big move. 7 people, 1 apartment, done in 45 minutes! Plenty of time leftover for pizza and beer. We are obviously awesome movers. The scones were devoured, and everyone seemed to enjoy them. And I still have a few for breakfast this week.
Scottish Scones with Strawberry
from Molly Wizenberg's "A Homemade Life"
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp (half a stick) of cold unsalted butter
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 pint fresh strawberries (you can use any type of fresh or frozen berry)
1/2 cup half-and-half, plus more for glazing
1 large egg
Preheat the oven to 425. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt . Using your hands, rub the butter into the mixture, pinching and squeezing until there are no lumps bigger than a pea. Add sugar and lemon zest, whisk to incorporate.
Pour 1/2 cup half-and-half into a small bowl and add the egg. Beat together well. Pour into the flour mixture and stir to combine. Using your hands, squeeze and press the dough into a rough mass. Turn the dough and any excess flour onto a cutting board or counter and knead until it just comes together. No more than 12 times, you don't want to overwork the dough. As soon as it holds together, pat it into a rough circle about 1 inch thick. Cut the circle into 8 wedges.
Place the wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment, or a silpat. Pour a splash of half-and-half into a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the scones with a thin coat to glaze. Bake 10-14 minutes, or until pale golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly, serve warm with butter. If you're serving them later, heat the oven to 300 and re-heat the scones for a few minutes.