Sunday, April 22, 2012

Game of Scones

Last Sunday I breakfasted at the Fairmont with Mom and Doug. We sat at a ridiculous low table in gigantic mohair wing chairs which made me feel very much like Alice in Wonderland when she takes the "Drink Me" potion.

Mom and Doug both had delicious-looking scones ("A Fairmont Specialty") that I immediately decided to go home and recreate without the all-purpose flour. With the prior week's blueberry oat scones fresh in my mind, I also wanted to work on improving the texture (more flaky, less spongy) and was aiming for a more classic scone flavor.

Kate's Classic Dried Fruit Scones
Makes 12 2" square scones

1 1/2 cups white spelt flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold and cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons dried blueberries
2 tablespoons dried currants
5 dried apricots, chopped finely
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup yogurt

A bit of extra milk for brushing the tops of the scones (which I absolutely forgot to do this time).

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 

2. In a large bowl, combine spelt flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt with a whisk. Cut butter into flour mixture using a pastry blender or your (cold!) hands.

As much as I love the food processor, the pastry blender really does work better for this, I think.

3. Stir in dried fruits. Put flour mixture back in fridge for 5-10 minutes.

4. While the flour mixture is chilling, combine the milk and yogurt with a whisk until well blended. Remove the flour from the fridge and pour in the milk/yogurt mixture. Stir to combine. The dough will be very dry.

Very dry and crumbly, just as it should be.

5. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and, using your hands, knead the tough together, picking up the remaining dry bits. Form the dough into a rectangle. 

Like magic, the dough comes together nicely.

6. Using a chef's knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into 12 squares. Place squares on the prepared baking sheet and place back in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes.

Studded with fruit. Yum.

7. Remove from refrigerator and brush the tops of the scones with milk (or an egg wash). Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until scones begin to brown on top.

Once I was on the scone kick, it just felt right to cook up some lemon curd with the remaining lemons in the fridge. Very British of me, no? Once again, I used Alice Waters' recipe, which is killer. You can read about it here.

I am happy to report that these scones turned out to be quite delicious. So much better than the last batch! They are tender yet flaky and just dense enough to feel legitimately scone-y without being like dried out hockey pucks. I love the mix of dried fruit versus the traditional single-note of currants alone.

I have managed to restrain myself, once again, from eating them all...

Dessert scone, anyone?

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