14 July 2010

An Early Morning Project ...



Lately, I have been suffering from a wicked bout of insomnia. My husband says it comes from having too much on my mind, my mother says it comes with the territory called  'empty house syndrome', my friends blame being a certain age. Platitudes, all. I am resigned, but resentful.

Rather than fight it, I have tended to get up and move around the house until I feel drowsy again. I usually pick a mindless task to do while I make some chamomile tea - folding laundry, emptying the dishwasher, tidying up, reading or flipping through cook books. You get the idea. One morning last week, I found a recipe for Dorset scones and decided to make them for a warm something with my tea. It took the rough edge off a very early morning.

I liked the recipe because it requires cold butter, and very little handling of the dough. I used a food processor to expedite things and it really made for a perfect dough. A doughnut cutter sans hole made for nice uniform round scones and raw sugar crystals sprinkled over the egg and milk wash made things nice and sparkly! Warm from the oven, they can't be beat!

They were still warm when Silent Bob padded into the kitchen to see just what the heck I was doing up so early. Later, I vented my spleen by writing my frustration out about fighting insomnia sans drugs, but right then, in the early morning, I was satisfied with a cuppa and a warm scone.





   

















Today's scones are for a friend who is coming to tea. These will have chopped dried cranberries instead of the currants and two teaspoons of lemon zest  instead of the nutmeg  ... added for a different flavor. I really should be using the fresh blueberries that SB picked, but we've had them in cake, salad, on cereal and yogurt, and by the mouthful.  I'm taking a break. You can put them in your batch if you like ... they would be more seasonal ands hopefully, local. I am taking a different route today. However you decide to make them, please do enjoy them with your cuppa... cheers!


Dorset Scones
courtesy of Sheila Lukins’ All Around the World Cookbook

Ingredients:

2 c. flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
3 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. nutmeg
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 large egg
approximately ½ c. milk
¾ c. currants

Making the Scones:

1. Pre-heat oven to 450° F.

2. Place the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and nutmeg in a food processor bowl and pulse to combine. Add the butter, cut into chunks and pulse 15 or 20 times until the mixture is like a coarse meal.

3. Break the egg into a small bowl and whisk. Pour half the egg into a measuring cup and fill to the one-half level with milk. Pour the milk/egg mixture over the flour mixture and process for about 10 seconds or until the dough pulls away from the edges of the bowl and forms large curds.

4. Scrape the dough onto a floured surface and gently and quickly knead in the currants.

5. Pat the dough into a ½ -inch thick layer and cut the scones. Gently and quickly ball up the extra dough and pat it back out to ½ inch thickness and continue cutting rounds.

6. Arrange the rounds on an ungreased sheet and chill for 15 minutes.

7. Add 1 tbsp. of milk to the remaining egg and whisk.

8. Brush the surfaces of the scones and sprinkle with raw sugar crystals JUST before you put them in the oven.

9. Bake for just about 15 minutes. Remove when the tops are lightly browned. Cool for 5-10 minutes and serve.

10. Bag leftovers and remove the air, close tightly and store in a cool dark place for no longer than one day. If in doubt, freeze them. They will thaw and re-heat nicely.

Punchline: Dorset Scones - printer friendly

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