Monday, July 14, 2008

Scones For One...

A few years ago, just after starting Culinary school, my cousin Denise gave me a red, linen-bound notebook for Christmas. The notebook had been passed around to several members of my family, and each member added a few of their favorite recipes. That notebook is probably the best gift I've ever received. Flipping through it I can't help but remember forgotten bits and pieces of my childhood...not the big things that seem to be paramount in most people's memory - family vacations, trips to Disneyland, etc. - but the little things like dinners with Grandma and Grandpa, family celebrations, and lazy summer afternoons with my sister. These are the events that are easy to take for granted, but also the events, the little things, that shape who we are, and who we become.

The notebook isn't full...I throw in special recipes as I acquire them, new and old friends add to it, the jobs I take, and the places I travel, continue to shape it. As I've said before, food is a powerful thing - it connects people, places, and time. It rekindles memories, and soothes the soul. It's easy to forget that, the notebook helps me remember.

I paged through the notebook this morning, and since it was my day off, I decided to make some scones for breakfast. This recipe is the product of the various scone recipes I've used in the different bakeries I've worked in. It's actually the child of two great recipes, with my tweaks. This is one of my "aces" because its tasty, very versatile, and easy to double, triple, or divide.

Because I live alone, I can't justify making a dozen scones- they're so good that I wouldn't be able to control myself, and would ultimately eat the entire batch. Thus, I decided to quarter the recipe and make 6 scones...

The following recipe is the FULL version, it makes two dozen scones. The QUARTERED version is found in the parenthesis. The photos are from several months ago, and don't correspond to the size of the written recipe below - they're from a version that yielded 3 dozen. However, they show the filling/shaping process quite well.

Yield: 2 dozen

2 pounds AP flour (1/2 pound)
6 ounces granulated sugar (1.5 oz.)
1.5 teaspoons kosher salt (a pinch)
3 Tablespoons baking powder (3/4 Tbsp)
10 ounces unsalted butter, cut in to 1 inch pieces, chilled (2.5 oz.)
2 cups heavy cream (1/2 cup)
4 eggs (1 egg)
1-2 cups of fruit (fresh or frozen), chocolate, nuts, or desired filling (1/4- 1/2 cup)

-Combine dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix to combine.

- Add chilled butter to the dry ingredients, mixing until the butter is pea sized.

- Crack the eggs into the measured cream and slowly add to the butter and flour mixture. Mix until JUST combined- the dough with be soft and sticky.

- Turn out the dough on to a floured work surface, knead until any dry bits are incorporated.

- Shape the dough into a rough log shape, divide into four equal pieces. Flatten each piece into a seven or eight inch disk.

- Place a quarter cup (or desired amount) of berries/chocolate/desired filling in the center of each round, leaving about an inch of extra dough all the way around the filling. Bring the outside edges in towards the center to completely enclose the filling, pinch together to form a seam

- Flip the disk over, so that the seam faces down, and re-flatten the dough into a seven or eight inch round.

- Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with raw/Demara sugar (Cinnamon-sugar is also tasty, you could even use streusel)

-Bake at 350 degrees for 20-24 minutes, or until golden.


*For the finished scones pictured above, I added 2 Tablespoons of unsweetened coconut to the dry ingredients, and filled them with bittersweet chocolate chips. After brushing with egg wash, I sprinkled vanilla sugar on top.
*For savory scones - omit sugar. Top with cheese if desired.


bab43 said...

These look absolutely fabulous!

Thanks also for the wonderful photos that show step by step instructions.

Can't wait to make glad I 'Stumbled' onto your site!

All the best,
Barbara in Toronto

Y said...

How wonderful, to own a notebook with such memories. Thanks for sharing one of it's secrets - the scones look wonderful! :)