12 January 2010


dried blueberry/cranberry scones w/lemon zest and pecans

my other favorite pastry blender - LG

I don't need breakfast most mornings. Maybe because I'm up very early this a.m., by 9:00am I'm hankering for something really, really interesting. I almost default to peanut butter on toast, but then CA discovers that the Skippy Chunky is gone. Both jars empty and in the kitchen wastecan.

I have used a variety of scone recipes, but haven't commited to a basic recipe to add to my cookbook. This might be the one.

I think the original started with America's Test Kitchen and then was tweaked by Annie. I tweak it a bit more by adding a bit extra sugar, using half-n-half instead of cream (just because I have no cream), and adding lemon zest and toasted pecans.

In less than 30 minutes footsteps of all sizes can be heard migrating toward the kitchen and sidling up to the cook. KF and LG declare these scones to be YUMMY!

(recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen and House of Annie)

2 cups   flour
1 T        baking powder
3 T        sugar (more for sprinkling)
1/2 tsp  salt
5 T       cold, unsalted butter
1/2 cup cranberries and blueberries, dried
1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted
zest of one lemon
1 T       lemon juice
3/4 cup heavy cream (more for brushing)

1. Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C).
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Using pastry blender or hands, cut in butter until it resembles coarse meal.
3. Toast pecan pieces for 4 minutes.
4. Add dried fruits and lemon zest., and toss thoroughly with flour mixture.
5. Toss in pecans still hot from the oven.
6. Add the lemon juice.
7. Stir in heavy cream until it comes together.
(Annie's notes: It will still have lots of loose, sandy pieces. If you think it's too loose and sandy, you can
add a little bit more cream to bind it a bit more -- it shouldn't affect the outcome if a bit more cream is added.
I find that pouring the cream in slowly and mixing it little by little is more efficient than dumping the cream in all at once.)

8. Place batter on a floured surface and roughly work it into a ball.
9. Knead slightly by pressing into a rectangle, then folding into thirds and finally dividing into two balls.
10. Flatten each ball to desired thickness (1-1/4") and cut into pie quarters.
11. Brush tops with half-n-half and sprinkle with sugar.
12. Bake on parchment for 12 - 15 minutes.
13. Serve warm.

Last time I made scones I rediscovered my pastry blender. This time I use my fingers. When taking the photos I hate the ones with my liver-spotted hands, so draft LG as my hand model. Both she and KF are always in the middle of any cooking/baking going on in my kitchen. They're naturals.

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