By: Danya Weiner
I had a grandmother who lacked the sense of smell. Needless to say, her cooking skills were lacking. My memories of lunch at grandmas are generally pretty negative ones. For some reason though, when I think of scones, I think of that grandma, and am reminded of the positive memories I have of her. I don’t come from a genetic heirloom of wonderful cooks and sometimes I find myself nostalgic for something I never had-my grandma’s cooking (who didn’t know how to cook). When I decided to prepare scones for the blog, I wondered why I hadn’t made them up to now. They are so easy to prepare, and they turn any Saturday morning into a classy one. For me they provide the only positive memory of my Grandmas cooking.
One of the most important things to know when preparing scones is that they are best fresh out of the oven. These are not the type of baked good to make ahead of time; they are at their best 5 minutes out of the oven and as the day goes on they are likely to turn into golf balls. You can reheat them, but it’s kind of like having a face lift 10 years too late. What I’m trying to say is make these, eat them right away with lots of butter, jam and sour creams (your preference). You can make the dough the night before and keep it refrigerated and then bake them the next day, right before serving.
A few weeks ago we did a video-interview for the Israeli lifestyle website “9rooms”. 9rooms is really innovative internet magazine founded by lifestyle guru, Iris Zohar. The site is in Hebrew, as is the video, but I recommend for even non-Hebrew speakers to have a look at the sight- there is tons of eye-candy. A big thanks to the crew at 9rooms for the fabulous experience. You can check out the video here.
Lemon Poppy Scones
Adapted from the book “Breakfast, Lunch, Tea”.
Ingredients for 15-17 scones:
3½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 heaping tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons ground poppy seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 oz.) butter, very cold, and cut into cubes
1¼ cup milk
Zest from one lemon
1 egg, beaten
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line baking trays with parchment paper.
- Sift together both flours in a large bowl. Add the baking powder, sugar, poppy seeds and salt and mix to combine. Add the cubes of butter and work into flour with your hands, until large crumbs form.
- Make a hole in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the milk and lemon zest. Use a form to gently incorporate the milk and lemon zest into the crumbs. Continue to mix just until dough is formed (making sure not to overwork the dough). If the dough feels too dry, add a bit of milk.
- Working on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1¼ inches. Using a 2-inch round cutter, cut the dough into rounds and place them on the prepared trays so that they almost touch. Brush the tops with beaten egg and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.
- Serve warm with butter/jam/sour cream.
- For orange scones-replace the lemon zest with orange zest, and use 1 cup of milk and ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice.
- Instead of the poppy seeds you can add 1 cup of raisins marinated in brandy/or 1 cup of chocolate chips.
- Omit the lemon zest and poppy and add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar to the flour mixture for a perfectly delicate scone.