Wednesday, July 13, 2011
My new friend Teresa Lust (she isn't in on the friendship yet) devoted a chapter of her book Pass The Polenta to the currant scones that a very good friend makes. She can't divulge the real recipe, only her approximation of it. And, according to Teresa's research, the scone is a Scottish invention. Maybe that's why I love them so much. As good a reason as any, n'est-ce pas? But it is difficult to go wrong with butter and cream. And red juicy cherries. I'll try currants another day.
(from Pass The Polenta and other writings from the kitchen by Teresa Lust, Random House, 1998)
makes 8 scones
2 c. all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. sugar
6 Tbsp. butter, chilled, cut in pieces
1 c. heavy cream, chilled
1 c. currants (I used fresh cherries, pitted and chopped in quarters)
1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 400˚F. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter, then toss with your fingers to coat each piece with flour. Work the mixture with your fingertips or a pastry cutter until it resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-sized lumps of butter still remaining. Drizzle in the cream, stirring the mixture with a fork, until it just comes together. Alternatively, combine the dry ingredients in the work bowl of a food processor, add the butter, and process with quick pulses until it is just incorporated. Add the cream in a thin stream, and pulse only until the mixture starts coming together. Do not over-process. Turn dough out onto a cutting board, sprinkle in the currants, and knead lightly half a dozen times or so, until the dough forms a ball. (I had to add about 1/4 c. more flour because the dough was very sticky. Sprinkle the cutting board with flour, as well as your hands, before diving into the dough.) Pat the dough into a circle 3/4-inch high. Dip a pastry brush into the lightly beaten egg and baste the dough-circle. Cut into 8 wedges. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Bon appétit, les cerises!