Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Scones and Tea

 Recently I noticed a strange phenomenon in my fridge. You see, I get a weekly milk delivery, which includes orange juice and butter as well. Now one can only butter so much bread in a week, this order is for baking. In the colder months I regularly make batches of rolled cookies and pies, but that's too much time in the kitchen hovering over a hot oven. So my fridge had built up a pile of one pound boxes of butter - an embarrassment of riches.

So I pulled out an old recipe from my days working at a bakery - scones. The joy of it, is you make a dry part, ass some assorted liquids, and then add all the nommy little morsels you can stand. I use a food processor to cut the cold butter into flour sugar and leavening.You don't want to puree the mess, just get it chopped up into crumbly bits.

I added homemade yogurt (That's what I do if people forget to drink the milk, there are two lactose free folks in the house so I take most of that burden.) and an egg. Then I chopped up fresh cherries. Did I mention that the cherry tree is ripe? I guess this whole project is just baking with perishables... I added cherries and hopped almonds. It's good to have everything cold so that the butter stays stiff in the batter.

Then I formed it into a disc. It should be stiff enough to not slump out when shaping, but not stiff like a cookie dough. I actually baked a test to make sure it was just right, my last batch was too wet and I ended up with cookies instead... I've always cut scones into wedges, tradition perhaps? But it's important for even baking that they are not too much thicker than they are wide.

After a short while in a medium oven the scones are golden brown and ready for dunking in tea. It's been hot enough for iced tea here, but it's still good with scones. Maybe scones and ice cream?

I also like to make savory scones with veggies and cheese, perhaps when our Farm Share starts to arrive next week and we are inundated with fresh vegetables... What's you favorite warm-weather baking project?

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