Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Scones, any way you want them

The only thing that keeps me from making scones all the time is the waistband of my pants. They are so delicious, so refined, so quick to throw together, and so indulgently bad for you. Please don't make them if you are alone in the house, because you will be tempted to eat all of them and then you will hate me for at least a week while you struggle to button your clothes. Or do make them and then run around delivering precious packages of hot scones to friends and they will love you. Much better for everyone involved.

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Scones (slightly modified from the currant cream scone recipe in the Tassajara Recipe Book - makes 8 good sized scones)

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
4 dried, pitted dates (original recipe calls for currants and really, any dried fruit will do)
1 or 2 tbsp sugar (depending on your sweet tooth)
5 tbsp cold butter, cubed
2 eggs
5 tbsp milk or cream
Zest of one orange
A few drops of vanilla

If you have a food processor: put the flour, salt, baking powder, dates and sugar in the food processor and buzz it around a couple of times.

Drop in the cubed butter and pulse a few more times, until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, zest and vanilla and pour it into the food processor while it is running. It should quickly combine into a rough dough.

Stop the food processor, scrape the dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead a couple of times until the dough comes together. Shape it into a circle about 3/4 inch thick, brush it with a the remnants of the egg/milk mixture and sprinkle a bit of superfine sugar over the top, if desired.

Use a large knife to cut the circle into 8 wedges and place them on an ungreased baking pan. Bake for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees, until the scones are golden brown on top.

If you don't have a food processor, you can sift the flour mixture and then add chopped dates. Cut the butter in with a pastry cutter and then gently stir in the wet ingredients.
The Tassajara Bread Book and the Tassajara Recipe Book are great resources if you are interested in bread making. They are sweet little paperback volumes complete with hippie poetry about the feel of dough beneath your fingers and very helpful hand drawn illustrations. (Obviously, the food processor modification to this recipe was mine, and I'm not sure the author would approve.) They give you plenty of information about technique, so I never feel lost when following the recipes.

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Wait, did you catch that? It's my new tea cup!

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Because scones require good tea, preferably served in a fabulous cup.

34 comments:

  1. I've never made scones... Will have to remedy that with your recipe. Yes, that teacup is so great. I bet your tea tastes better in it!

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  2. Oh yes, these look amazing and that tea cup is divine!

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  3. scones scare me because there's never a time during the day that one doesn't seem appropriate. these look incredible and your photo shoot makes them even more appealing!

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  4. that tea cup is perfect and with homemade scones? yummmm

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  5. This makes me hungary. I've been dying to make lavender lemon scones but am looking for a recipe...any ideas!?

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  6. Every time I come to read your blog, I end up jealous, hungry or both. Right now, both!

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  7. it's a truly fabulous cup! and i know what you mean about baking and the waistband; for that very reason, i've turned into the person who's always bringing goodies to work. y'know, it takes a village (to metabolize the stuff i bake).

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  8. Um, yes to scones and yes to your fabulous cup!

    Scones are my absolute go-to breakfast treat. This looks like a terrific recipe. And a great scone secret: once you make the dough and shape them, you can keep them in the freezer and pull them out to bake whenever you want them! it makes them extra flakey and wonderful...just bake from frozen at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes!

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  9. What great photos! I'm a lover of scones. Whether sweet or savory, I'm usually the first to split one open and slather with butter!

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  10. truly lovely stuff. hrmmmm. dried cherries and lemon zest here i come! oh, and whole wheat flour please {who says they can't at least try and be diet friendly?}

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  11. I get a little giggly when I see that tea cup! Thanks for the nice scones recipe.

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  12. I love scones! I just made themm last week AND your right I could eat the whole batch! Yes I saw your lovely cup. I love it!!! Enjoy your day. xoxo

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  13. i love scones! with tea of course :) yours look so yummy, i think i'll make some and take it to my mums (my parents are both keen runners so no problem for them! )

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  14. that teacup is MADE for scones.
    so elegant & exquisite- both the cup & the scone.
    i found out recently that i absolutely adore scones!
    they are so wonderful, and these look just right!

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  15. OH YUM...they look so good and your tea does too!

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  16. These look so good and I love your tea cup!

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  17. Wonder if I can modify this recipe to be gluten-free... I deeply miss scones.

    The photos of the tea cup are killing me.

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  18. I've been looking for a scone recipe to use up my chocolate covered bing cherries. thanks :)

    definitely a fabulous teacup

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  19. Do you also make Irish soda bread? those scones look fabulous and that spot of tea warms my heart.
    pve

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  20. Oh my word! I am DEFINITELY trying these. I have been on such a baking kick recently, experimenting with new things -- this would be a perfect new recipe to try! Thanks!

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  21. Oh my, this is old time favorite breakfast, serve with jam and butter while it's still hot. Delicious.
    Cheers,
    Elra

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  22. I'm obsessed with that tea cup. If it mysteriously goes missing, I swear it wasn't me.

    I love scones, and how is it that you can magically make recipes seem so friendly and easy to make? Thank you for the constant culinary inspiration.

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  23. oh i forgot.i love the teacup.....

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  24. Beautiful cup !!! and scones...Mmm, I'm hungry now !

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  25. It came! It had tea in it! Hooray!

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  26. Oh, these sounds so much better than the dry crackers I am having with my tea right now!

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  27. TEACUPTEACUPTEACUPTEACUP! I still feel sad that the teacup isn't mine, but the scone recipe makes me feel (slightly) better. xo.

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  28. yum! looks like the perfect cup of tea!

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  29. The tea cup is SO CUTE! I have fallen in love now ;o) Greetings from germany, geisslein

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  30. okay...that looks so yummy and that tea cup? i've never seen anything so sweet.

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  31. I could go for a scone right this second.

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  32. I love your recipes! I just tried this one for the second time, the first time I used raisins and lemon zest and this time I tried to be a little daring and used dried cranberries and lime zest, I'm hoping it'll work out well (they're baking in the oven right now. I was wondering if you've ever had any problems with the dough being too wet, I found that this time I had to add some extra flour which made me think that perhaps the cranberries weren't as dry as they should have been, in any case I'm a bit hesitant that they'll out, I'd love to learn from your experience, thanks!

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  33. I am definitely going to try this recipe! Thank you for sharing. (Does milk really work as a good substitute for cream? Because I always have milk and never have cream.)

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