Sunday, October 17, 2010

- Bit by Bittman: My take on scones

Mark Bittman's "Minimalist" in the New York Times Dining section is the column I love to hate. All too often he comes up with a recipe that is close to, but not quite like one of my own, which makes me thump the table and declare, "I could have written that!" and/or "No, mine is better!"

The cool weather had me thinking of giving the convection oven a whirl, so my mind was already on scones. Thus it was that this week's Minimalist merited a double thump because "Of course I use the food processor!" but "How could he have left out the demerara sugar?" So then I had to make some. Life is hard.

And no, I don't have a picture of the scones ... only the twice-thumped table, since we ate them all before Don could get out the camera.

Scones (with thanks to Mom for the 1997 edition of the Joy of Cooking on which this is based)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 generous Tbs. butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup heavy cream and/or half-and-half
  • Demerara sugar
Put dry ingredients in food processor, and slice in pats of butter. Process until flour resembles coarse cornmeal. Put into a mixing bowl.
Whisk egg white into cream and/or half-and-half. Pour 3/4 of the egg/cream mixture over the flour mixture and blend gently with a large fork. Add more cream if dough appears at all dry.
Scrape out dough with a rubber spatula and place on a lightly floured pastry cloth. Press gently to desired thickness (a generous half inch or so). 
Cut into small rounds (1 1/2"), place on an ungreased aluminum sheet pan, brush with cream and sprinkle with demerara sugar.
Bake in a 400 degree convection oven for 7 minutes. Then check and bake an extra minute or until scones are lightly brown on the bottom. Let cool on sheet. 
Worthy toppings include clotted cream, mascarpone or double Devon, plus lemon curd or strawberry jam.


Melissa said...

With thanks to Melissa for discovering demerara sugar in England, and thanks to Mom and Dad for sending me there!

Liz Ackert said...

Between the demerara sugar and the olive oil, your trips were a bonus for all of us!