Monday, May 26, 2014

Scones for a Queen

Tea time is a civilized rite of relaxation best enjoyed with crustless sandwiches filled with vinegar soaked cucumbers, sherry from Jerez, Spain, and scones with homemade jam. If the queen comes for a visit or you need to feel like one for a moment, this recipe fits the bill. It can also be used for strawberry shortcake, a favorite summer dinner in my childhood.  In my home of origin, shortcake is served with cold milk. Let the milk soak into the cake and top it with piles of strawberries. It's also good with a dollop of whipped cream.

Scones for a Queen
Variation: Try using 1 ½ All-purpose flour + ½ cup Whole Wheat flour. Add dried fruit such as currants or cranberries, ½ cup, after cutting the butter into the dry ingredients.

Ingredients
All-purpose Flour, 2 cups
Sugar, 1/3 cup
Baking Powder, 1.5 tsp
Baking Soda, 1/4 tsp
Salt, 1/2 tsp
Lemon peel, 2 tsp
Cold Butter, 1 stick (8 Tbsp), cut in 1 Tbsp pieces
Fresh Cream,  ~1 cup
Large Suguar Crystals, 1/2 Tbsp to 1 Tbsp

Directions
In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients with a fork-- flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon peel.

Cut butter into flour using a pastry cutter or with a standing mixer fitted with a paddle until you have fine-sized lumps. After cutting the butter into the dry ingredients, add dried fruit, if using, and stir with a fork to coat the pieces.

When you have fine-sized lumps, add the cream and gently fold together until just mixed, add additional tablespoon of cream if needed. It should be very thick and stick together. Do not over handle the dough.

Pat the dough into a large circle with an even in thickness of about one-inch. Cut using a bench cutter into triangles and place about half an inch apart onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon sheet. Sprinkle tops with large sugar crystals, as you like.

Bake 395ºF (200ºC) for 12-15 minutes, until golden on top and dough appears cooked in center. Serve warm with lemon curd, jam, fresh cut fruit, and/or whipped or clotted cream.

Scones for a Queen