Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Homemade Life...

Perfection!

Good Morning Sunshine! Yes, this is all natural light in my photos. It feels so nice to have the sun warming our morning breakfast table. Is it the sunshine that has me humming quietly in my kitchen this morning? Well, that is part of it. Another part is that I just finished reading Molly Wizenberg's book "A Homemade Life".  It will officially be released in bookstores today (gotta love amazon's pre-order). I am telling you that you should shut down your computer right now and get yourself to your nearest bookstore to pick up a copy of this book. Don't worry, I'll still be here when you get back. Once the word gets out about this book, it may not be there if you don't hurry. I can't say that you heard it here first, but I will guarantee in a matter of days every food blogger on the internet is going to tell you to go out and get a copy of this book. 
I first became interested in Molly Wizenberg's writing through an article she wrote in her Cooking Life column for Bon Appetit on the trouble with yeast. Not only did I enjoy the article, but the cinnamon roll recipe that accompanied it is now a standard that I have made several times. 
I'll admit that I was not a huge follower of Molly's blog Orangette. Yes, it is in my blogroll and I do glance at it every now and again. As with most blogs I don't sit down and read posts from day one, I have only read the posts since about last September when I was introduced to the world of food blogging. Molly only posts once a week and since I had not known the back story the present posts really didn't have much meaning to me. Yeah Yeah a pizza place, that is nice. Now that I know that Molly met Brandon through her blog, and I know the stories of her family, and growing up as an only child. Well, now I think "Wow, Brandon is opening a pizza place, that's great". Ok, just get the book. You will see what I mean. You too will want to go back and read every post since day one.
Normally I do not cook recipes from books that I read. I have a hard time with the reading/cook book combination. Do I read it or do I cook from it? The writing in this book was so warm, it was as though Molly herself was handing you these recipes in her kitchen on her own handwritten recipe cards. It just seemed natural to want to sit down and make something from this book. The desire was so great that I made these scones before reading the final chapter. The detailed description made me think that just possibly these could be "the" scones I was looking for. I had a feeling about them. As I mixed them together I could tell these were going to be different. When they came out of the oven and I took that first bite, I knew I was close, oh so very close. It took me a long time to figure out exactly what it was that made them different than my favorite Black Cat scones. I started to think that maybe if I couldn't figure how they were different then maybe this was the scone. I slowly savored each bite, and then it hit me, just a little too flaky, too biscuit like. I like my scones just a little more dense. Then I remembered a conversation I had with one of the baker's from the Black Cat a very long time ago. I was told that I really should not eat the scones every day as they were filled with heavy cream and butter. Could it be so simple? Just replace the half and half in Molly's recipe with heavy cream? So, this morning that is what I did and you guessed it, perfection! The photos below are of the scones I made Saturday morning. The photo at the top of the page is my perfect scone with the heavy cream substitute. 
The original version of this recipe calls for lemon and ginger. I think they would be delicious with any variety of combinations of fruit and citrus zest. 
Scottish Cream Scones
adapted from A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 tablespoons sugar
zest of one (meyer if possible) lemon
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more for glazing
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 425°F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture, squeezing and pinching with your fingertips until the mixture resembles a coarse meal and there are no butter lumps bigger than a pea. Add the sugar, lemon zest, an raspberries and gently stir to incorporate. 
Pour the 1/2 cup heavy cream into a small bowl and add the egg. Beat with a fork to mix well. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, and stir gently to just combine. The dough will look dry and crumbly, and there may be some unincorporated flour at the bottom of the bowl. Using your hands, squeeze and press the dough into a round mass. Turn the dough, and any excess flour, out onto a board or countertop, and press and gather and knead it until it just comes together. You do not want to overwork the dough; ideally, do not knead it more than 12 times. There may be some excess flour that is not absorbed, it does not matter. Pat dough into a round circle about 1 inch thick.
Cut circle into 8 wedges.
Place the wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pour a splash of heavy cream into a small bowl. With a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the scones with a thin coat to glaze. Bake for 10-14 minutes, or until pale golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm. 

I swear there were eight! Hmmmm...

2 comments:

  1. I have book and scone envy! I've really wanted her book since I saw on the blog she was bringing it out and can't wait to get my hands on it.

    And you know how much I love scones!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've been reading orangette a long time and was so excited to get molly's book. i fully agree, everyone should run right out and buy it.

    ReplyDelete

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