Thursday, June 11, 2009

Scones and Lemon Curd, Two Ways

See, I had these 4 lemons that were begging to be used, and I needed something to make with them. So, I had the idea to make lemon curd. I had never made it before, but had been wanting to, so I though it would be the perfect time to make it.

But what to do with the curd? You can't really eat it straight, if you don't want an lemon overload. I thought about making lemon curd tarts, but decided I wanted to make tartlettes and I only have two tartlette pans, so I need to go buy a few more. Then, I thought about making biscuits but believe it or not I do not have a biscuit cutter or even a circle cutter. So I decided to make scones: those delicious, biscuit-y concoctions that are little wedges of goodness. Many of the recipes were flavored, which I did not want as it would clash with my scones, so I found this delicious sounding recipe that was plain but slightly sweet at Vintage Victuals. Her recipe is a traditional recipe from the British Isles for cream scones.

The scones came out, a little on the dry side and crumbly but I added extra butter because it didn't seem like it had enough, which could be why they were crumbly. I also had no heavy cream, or even half and half--bad planning on my part, so I ended up using skim milk (it was all we had) cut with a little bit of the more creamy part of melted butter. They cooked up perfectly. However, I thought I had baked them wrong. Turns out I didnt, but it led me to make a second batch using a diffrent recipe.

So then I looked in How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson because I thought it would have a really authentic recipe for scones. I used her recipe which had an insane amount of baking powder (like 2 tablespoons) and cream of tarter ( a whopping 4 teaspoons!) Those scones did call for an egg wash. I baked them, however they were more sticky and a quarter of them were left on the rolling board. They also called for both butter and shortening, and also contained no sugar in the recipe so they were not sweet at all. They were lighter, but not in a good way, but also somehow still tough.

I am partial to Vintage Victuals scone recipe, and actually the Domestic Goddess recipe scones were left uneaten and had to be thrown away.

The lemon curd is a recipe from Joy of Baking. I looked long and wide for a good curd recipe, although I really did not know what I was looking for since I had never made it. I chose Joy of Baking because other things I have made from them have turned out well with little fine tuning, and it didn't seem like it made too much. It also only called for a third of a cup of lemon juice which was all I had fresh.

Well, I made the first batch correctly, and it thickened properly but when I went to go to taste it, all I tasted was metal. It was because I had made it with an aluminum bowl and it had absorbed some of the taste. So I made a second batch, but I had no zest left over, and was very scant on the lemon juice. To compensate I downed the sugar and butter a bit. However, it did not thicken as much as the other batch did, but that could be it never got hot enough because I used a plastic bowl this time. The second batch was sweeter however, and so I liked it better. Also, the first batch lost most of the metallic taste as it cooled down.

The lemon curd with the scones was delicious by the way. The scones made with the Vintage Victuals recipe were crumbly and delicious and with a smear of jam and cream cheese were delicious. If I could afford the devonshire (clotted) cream at the grocery store, it would have been heavenly. See devon cream is like mayo textured but very sweet and just heavenly on scones, at least that's what it said on a website I went to. However, it is only made in a section of England. You also can not make it yourself as it needs unpasteurized cream to make, well unless you live on a farm where you can get unpasteurized milk. So naturally, its a little pricey. You could try putting a dollop of whipped cream on the scone for the same sweet, milky coolness. I also dipped some of the scone in some strong earl grey tea and it just absorbed the flavor of the tea wonderfully,

Try making the scones today. They are delicious for breakfast, brunch, afternoon snack or dessert.

Authentic British Cream Scones
Adapted from Vintage Victuals

1 3/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 butter (1 stick)
1/4 cup heavy cream ( could substitute half and half, whole milk or even skim if mixed with a little melted butter)
1 large egg

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  3. Cut in the butter until it's chunky. I used a wire pastry blender.
  4. Combine the cream and the egg, beating lightly. Add to the flour mixture and stir with a fork very lightly. Turn the crumbly dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently 5 to 6 times, just until the dough comes together. (I did this on a floured surface as the dough was a little sticky. It helped because I did not flour the surface for Nigella's scones and 2 of them were left of the table because they stuck).
  5. Roll until around 1-1.5 inch thick. Use a sharp knife ( I used a dough blade) to cut into even sized triangles. Place the wedges on a greased cookie sheet ( I just used parchment paper), and bake for 12-15 minutes. The tops will turn lightly golden. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

FYI - If you look on the original website it calls for 1/4 cup of butter. 1/4 cup of butter is 4 TBS or 1/2 a stick.