Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Scones - Maple Walnut and then Raspberry Lemon

I had a hankering this morning. Husband took Connor to school so I had an additional hour added to my day. I love that. It was 52 degrees as I stood in the backyard listening to birds sing the "we're not roasting anymore" song and the dogs barked madly at unseen squirrels.

I considered, briefly, dashing out to treat myself to a coffee (that someone else made) and a baked good. The weather has finally cooled off a little bit here in Texas and I felt like a scone or some other breakfast cake type thing; then it occurred to me. I know how to make them, have supplies here and if I spent a few minutes, I didn't have to even get dressed. Sometimes I like a good plan.

I dug through my notes and decided to use the sweet biscuit recipe as a base and went from there. Trust me on this one, the dough is unnaturally wet but if you flip and knead a few gentle times with gobs of flour on it, you can pat it out, cut it, transfer it to a pan and bake it. The resultant scone is a cross between a biscuit and a cake and I think that's the perfect definition of a scone in the first place. Stick with me here, I haven't led you wrong before!


In the food processor combine

2 cups a/p flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp brown sugar

pulse it a few times then add 7 Tbsp cold butter and pulse until it's crumby. Toss in a scant cupful of walnut halves - so they have a chance against the blades when you add the liquid, any smaller and you'll have walnut dust - IF you are fanatical, feel free to substitute pecans but since I live in Texas and EVERYTHING has pecans, I like the walnut diversion!

In a 1 cup measure add

1 egg
1/4 cup maple syrup (if you don't have REAL maple syrup, you're not allowed to make this, just sayin')
mix together and fill with milk to equal one cup total liquid.

Pour down the feed tube with the machine running (yes yes yes, you can do this by hand, I just happened to be lazy today) and stop the minute it combines. It looks like batter, fear not!!!

HEAVILY flour the counter and use a spatula to scrape the dough/batter onto the counter, cover heavily with flour and knead LIGHTLY a couple of times to entice the mass to be more a dough than a batter.

Pat it out to 3/4 inch thick in a circle and cut into 8 wedges (these make gigantic scones but, hey, if you're making yourself scones, why on earth would you make yourself small ones?)

Put wedges on pan (I use a cast iron comal because it sits on my stovetop and I tend to use it for everything) and brush lightly with butter. I sprinkled little sugar on top today because I wasn't sure (no really!) whether I was going to glaze them.

Bake at 425 for 16 minutes (or until they're done, don't overbake them though!)

Let sit on the pan for a few minutes then transfer them to a wire rack to cool a bit. I made a glaze of

1/2 cup powdered sugar and enough maple syrup to make a glaze the consistency I could drizzle.

When the scones are room temperature (or close enough) glaze them and leave them to dry a few minutes then eat one. Yes, I do know. Yes, I did taste it. Yes, you're welcome.

I was waiting for these to cool and thought why not keep going? This batch I did by hand, mostly because I couldn't be bothered to wash out the cuisinart.


In a big bowl, combine

2 cups a/p flour
1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar

then cut/rub in 1/2 stick cold butter. I used my hands, mix the dry ingredients with your fingertips then rub the flour/butter between your palms, as soon as you feel the butter, drop it all back into the bowl. Alternatively, use a pastry cutter or two knives (both of which work better for me because of that unfortunate hot hand condition I am cursed with)

When it all looks like sand with some lumps, you're ready for liquid, make a well in the centre and add

3/4 cup half and half with 1tsp vanilla and a healthy dose of lemon zest mixed in. Pour 3/4 of the mixture into the well and mix with the knife until it comes together, add more liquid if needed, it should be a soft dough.

Turn the dough onto a floured piece of parchment paper. Pat (or roll) it out to a large rectangle about 1/3 inch thick. Spread the whole thing with raspberry jam (or whatever jam you love) Chunky or smooth, doesn't matter.

Use the paper and fold the dough into thirds lengthwise, like you're folding a piece of paper to go into an envelope - remember those? Brush any extra flour off the top.

Cut the log into wedges with a bench scraper that's well floured and spread them out on the parchment. Transfer the whole lot (with the parchment) onto a baking sheet and bake at 375 for 19 minutes.

Like the maple scones, allow to sit a few minutes before you transfer them to a wire rack.

Glaze them, when they're room temperature, with 1/2 powdered sugar, lemon zest and enough lemon juice to make the consistency you like for spreading, pouring or glazing.

Eat. Repeat.

These are also ridiculously delicious with a completely different texture to the maple. These are as moist but substantially crumblier and crisper. More of a flaky scone.

Yes, I had to eat one of each, purely in the name of science and research of course and no, I can't possibly decide which one I like better. Feel free to share with me your thoughts on the subject.


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