Sunday, June 14, 2009

Throwing Scones in Glass Houses

Scones. Scones are probably the baked treat my family most often expects of me. My mom always loved scones, and at a young age, I made it my mission to make her the perfect version. At least twelve or thirteen years later, I don’t ever even look at a recipe. Very loosely, here are the proportions:

3 cups flour
1/3 – 2/3 cups sugar
Salt
1 ½ tbl baking powder
1 stick butter, cold
3 eggs
3 oz. evaporated milk

Combine the dry ingredients, and cut in the butter, as for pie crust. I keep the butter pea-sized. Use the amount of sugar to taste—sometimes I like it sweeter, sometimes less so. Whisk the eggs and milk, and add to the dry ingredients, being careful not to overwork. Pat it into whatever shape you want, and cut into whatever size you want. See how precise I am? Usually, I’ll pat the dough into a square about ¾ inch thick, and cut into nine squares, then cut the squares into triangles. Like this:

Bake in the oven, usually around 325, for 15 minutes or so. This really varies, depending on your oven, and how many you are making. They are done when they smell fantastic, and are a golden brown.

This recipe is very versatile. When making it for my family, or to freeze, I’ll actually quadruple it. I like doing that, because then it uses a dozen eggs, a full pound of butter, and a full 12 ounce can of evaporated milk. It seems strangely satisfying to me when that happens, but it makes A LOT of scones.
Changes to this recipe are simple to make. For example, last night, I only made 1/3 of the recipe, to make nine scones for breakfast. I used a moderate amount of sugar, used cream in place of the evaporated milk, added blueberries to the dry ingredients, vanilla to the eggs mixture, and patted together VERY carefully so as to not crush the berries. I then stuck it in the fridge over night, cut them this morning, brushed them with cream, and added sanding sugar to make them sparkle, and put them in the oven cold.

I sometimes will top them with cinnamon streusel, use chocolate chips, or fill a layer with a little jam. The recipe also does well in more savory adaptations; reduce the sugar, add garlic powder and cheddar, and you have a pretty tasty cheddar garlic scone. Add some rosemary, sea salt and asiago or parmesan, and it goes great with soup. You can also replace the evaporated milk with not only cream, but buttermilk or regular milk, to make slightly healthier.

Enjoy, and be creative!

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

Today's blueberry scones were especially tasty, but my favorite is still a cinnamon swirl.