delicious discourse

scones of simplicity

Posted in recipe by delicious:discourse on March 2, 2009

Dried Fruit Cream Scones

Dried Fruit Cream Scones

I had a realization this weekend after my Sunday yoga class: In the kitchen and on the mat, are two places I feel really good about myself. On the mat I am able to just let things go and concentrate on the task at hand, and still the voices and waves in my head and body. Similarly, in the kitchen, the task at hand requires focus, and if done carefully, consciously, and creatively, it guarantees results, sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always an adventure, and always a lesson. Not to mention, I love the anticipation of that first bite and recognizing something you made with your own to hands is really, really good. So, maybe this is why when things are troubling me or maybe not going my way, or I’m feeling creative, I am seek these two very different, yet very similar places.

Drawn to the kitchen on a Saturday afternoon, maybe because the gusty wind outside was mirroring what I was feeling inside, I knew I would bake scones because I had just the recipe I wanted to try. I love all things breakfast. Muffins, pancakes, eggs, french toast, granola, yogurt, omelettes, lattes, orange juice, oatmeal—these are all things I could eat all day long, and often do. It has long been drilled into my head that breakfast is the most important meal of the day—you would never start a road trip on empty (you wouldn’t get very far), why would you do that to your body at the start of every day? I honestly have never really ever considered not eating breakfast, it just isn’t an option. To this day, my sister and I both start the day off with some sort of sustenance.

When Gourmet in their March 2009 issue reviewed Marion Cunningham’s The Breakfast Book for their Cookbook Club review, I knew the book was for me. The recipe featured in the magazine, was Cunningham’s famed Raised Waffles, and this Dried Fruit Cream Scones one was available only to the members of the Cookbook Club on Gourmet’s web site (You can easily become a member, by registering at gourmet.com. By joining, you will be able to view additional recipes from the current and past Cookbook Club selections.) Long wanting to try by hand at scones, this recipe struck me as perfectly simple and easy. I also noticed cream was used in the batter instead of butter, which was only used in the glaze. Interesting. I was intrigued.

Dough formed into a disk, awaiting its glaze of butter and sprinkle of sugar.

Dough formed into a disk, awaiting its glaze of butter and sprinkle of sugar.

The batter whipped together in no time and with such ease I was sure I had missed something. Once the dough is formed into a round disk, brushed with butter, and sprinkled with sugar, all that is left to do is cut slices and bake for 15 minutes and voila, you have gorgeous scones.

Cut into wedges and ready for the oven.

Cut into wedges and ready for the oven.

Buttery and crispy on the outside and dense and creamy (you can really taste the thick cream) on the inside, these scones are not only perfect for the taste buds, but they are great for the soul.

Crispy, yet creamy & dense, with bits of sweet fruit.

Crispy, yet creamy & dense, with bits of sweet fruit.

Dried Fruit Cream Scones
Yields a dozen scones
From Marion Cunningham’s The Breakfast Book

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Use an ungreased baking sheet.

Combine:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar

Stir with a fork to mix well.

Add:

1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (apricots, prunes, or figs)*
1/4 cup golden raisins

Still using a fork, stir in 1 1/4 cups heavy cream and mix until the dough holds together in a rough mass (the dough will be quite sticky).

Lightly flour a board and transfer the dough to it. Knead the dough 8 or 9 times. Pat into a circle about 10 inches round.

For the glaze, 3 tablespoons melted butter over the top and side of the circle of dough and sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar on top. Cut the circle into 12 wedges** and place each piece on the baking sheet, allowing about an inch between pieces.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

* I used unsulphured turkish apricots, which is why they are orange-brown.

** I halved the recipe, which is why my batch yielded only six scones.

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Breakfast for dinner

Posted in recipe by delicious:discourse on August 20, 2008

Since Bon Appetit’s photography is so much better than my amateur attempts at food photography (I would assume so, they have been doing this much longer than me), I chose to use their snap of my latest favorite dish I call egg toasts and they call “Poached Eggs and Parmesan Cheese over Toasted Brioche with Pistou.” For as many times as I have eaten this in the past three weeks, it is a good thing I shortened such a name, even though the dish is more than deserving of the description.

Excited about my first Bon Appetit since I subscribed, it was about time, this dish popped out at me because of a) the short ingredient list b) easy of assembly c) I love breakfast for dinner and d) what is not to love?—eggs, bread, cheese, and pesto ( pistou, please forgive me). So, Matt and I made it for dinner one night accompanied by a salad and we were hooked. We had it again last night and I can’t tell you how many nights before that because it is embarrassing. I have made a couple of substitutions from the recipe below. I use fresh French bread instead of brioche and since we have had some difficulty with the delicacy of poaching we have just been frying the eggs. Also, on my last trip to the grocery store, there was no basil, I know, unthinkable, so I bought some hatch chile pesto that has added a nice spicy, smoky twang. Once again, the options and combinations are really quite endless. Savor and enjoy.

Egg Toasts aka. Poached Eggs and Parmesan Cheese over Toasted Brioche with Pistou

1/3 c. packed basil leaves
1 garlic clove
6 T olive oil
1 egg per toast
brioche/french bread
thin parmesan slices

Combine basil, garlic, and olive oil in a food processor. Set aside. Fry or poach eggs in a pan while toasting slices of French bread of brioche. Once toasted, spread pistou on bread slice, place a parmesan slice on top of pistou and finish off with the egg.

Yes, that easy.

Bon Appetit!

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