Sunday, May 6, 2012

Currant Cream Scones

I lifted nearly this entire recipe from Smitten Kitchen... but naturally, NATURALLY, I just cannot resist playing around with a few things here, another tweak there. It's a real issue that's maybe good for other hobbies and professions (my day job for one) but with baking... no way. You need to be exact. Precise. My sister even got me a baking scale for Christmas for goodness sakes so I should be doing this correctly. I just can't though.

This time... well it turned out pretty delicious. Because I kept the changes to a minimum. I soaked the currants in some sherry to see if that would lend another flavor. Normally I'd start adding in cinnamon, nutmeg, even cardamom, but I wanted to see what a liquid change would do, especially one with such a heavy almond aftertaste. The result... nothing I can really notice. The second was replacing a teaspoon of the flour with some cornmeal. Maybe it's the Southern girl in me try to get every possible taste of home into a baked good, but I like the crunch and extra little bite when there's a touch of cornmeal in something.

Otherwise... I kept it pretty much by the book. I did use a pastry cutter as opposed to the food processor and my thoughts were that I'd never make a pie crust in a food processor so why make anything else that requires chilled fat? There's something about seeing the dough, working through the texture by hand that just can't be beat... and I think that's reflected in the final product. Oh, and I forgot the raw sugar for the tops, but I'm not one for sweet things so I personally don't miss it. So there you have it. Currant cream scones. Fluffy, light. Moist on the inside but covered in crusty, flaky shell. Perfect to wake up to.

Currant Cream Scones
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen via America's Test Kitchen 
2 c. AP flour minus 1 tsp- I sifted it twice
1 tsp. cornmeal
1 Tbl. baking powder
3 Tbl. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
5 Tbl. chilled butter- cut into small cubes
1/2 c. currants
1 c. heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 425. In a large bowl sift in the flour then add sugar, baking powder, salt and cornmeal and combine. Cut in the butter and using a pastry cutter, work until its a little larger than peas. Mix in the currants.

2. Stir in the cream using a rubber spatula just until the dough begins to form. Turn out the dough onto a countertop and knead just until it comes together.

3. Pat into a 3/4" round and cut out using a biscuit cutter or other rounded top object (I just a Jefferson cup). Place on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the tops are just browned. Let rest on a wire rack.

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