16 April 2007

Whores in Church

Scones conjure up images of daft old women sitting around in a dim room twittering about who was dressed like a whore in church. Maybe it's just me. But Saturday we decided to buckle down and eat the clotted cream that I bought in London like forever ago to see if it would make us go blind, or implode, or suffer some other fresh hell. It did not. And it was delicious. For future reference, however, aging what is supposed to be a fresh dairy product is perhaps not the best idea. Note to self.

The scones, which to be honest were intended to be simply a vehicle for moving butterfat into my mouth in a more socially acceptable manner than shoveling it in with a spatula, came out spectacular. Moist, tender, golden-crusted. The buttermilk had to replace the cream because we didn't have any and I cannot deal with Safeway before noon, but I think it tenderized the crumb somewhat.

Current Scones
(modified from the New Joy of Cooking)
250 mL
1 c
all purpose flour
45 mL
3 T
7 mL
½ T
baking powder
1 mL
¼ t
baking soda
1 mL
¼ t
45 g
3 T
butter, cold
60 mL
¼ c
dried currents (real currents, not crappy zante currents)

egg yolk
60 mL
¼ c

1. Heat the oven to 425ºF/220ºC and put a piece of parchment paper on to a large baking pan.

2. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt together in a mixing bowl until thoroughly combined.

3. Cut the cold butter into small pieces (¼"/½cm cubes) with a sharp knife. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the fat into the flour until the largest peices are the size of a pea and the entire mixture looks like coarse bread crumbs.

4. Add the dried currents and mix so that the fruit is coated in flour.

5. Mix the egg yolk and the buttermilk together.

6. Now, be gentle and patient here dear reader. Much like a paranoid girl, these scones need gentle handling and no cause to get upset, lest she start crying and you have to throw her from a moving car to save yourself. Take the liquids and dump them into the flour. Now, with a bowl scraping, bottom-to-top motion, gently mix the liquids and the flour mixture. It will look pretty ragged at this point. Abandon your spoon, for it has taken you as far as it can go. With your hand, scoop all the dough (some will be powdery, some will be wet and sticky) into a ball and push it against the bottom of the bowl. Do this five more times. Is it starting to look like dough? No? Sprinkle a teaspoon of cold water over the dough and gently knead five more times.

7. At this point, it might not look perfect, but fear not. Gather this shaggy, rough looking dough into a ball and pat it out on the counter into a circle about an inch thick (2.5cm). With a sharp knife, cut it into six wedges. Transfer it to the parchment paper on the baking sheet, keeping the wedges in their circular shape. Brush the top with buttermilk and place in the oven.

8. Bake 15-20 minutes, until the scones have risen and the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack for a few minutes to let the crumb set.

9.. Shovel them into your mouth heaped with clotted cream, butter, and jam. Repent for your sins, and vow to never eat again.


Anonymous said...

oh my god that looks delicious.

P.S. If you can read this, this is the first time blogger has allowed me to post here in over a week!


the princess said...

I just saw a recipe for clotted cream, which is basically to leave some cream to drain off all its liquid for a long time. Sounds good to me!

the princess said...

You know what? That totally made no sense. I'm not sure what I mean that you need to drain the liquid off of...Hmmm...