On a lazy weekend morning, nothing makes us happier than a big cup of coffee and something freshly baked. The problem with this equation is that, in your pre-pastry haze, you have to actually “freshly bake” something. Enter scones - the easiest thing ever to make, a catch-all for aging pantry staples, and the perfect not-too-sweet-not-too-savory vessel for butter, cream and jam. Seriously, you could make these in your sleep – which is basically what we did last weekend.
The morning (ok, ok, afternoon) after a rousing game of Pictionary (ok, ok, we’re waaaay cooler than we sound), Silka rolled out of bed desperate for our favorite scones. And as she slowly flipped rummaged through the pantry, we realized that we’d been holding on to just a handful of raisins, almonds and walnuts. The nuts went into a pan to roast and the raisins into a hot water/left-over whiskey to plump up. After an easy mix of simple ingredients and a quick cooking time we were back on the couch contentedly snacking away and watching bad movies On Demand. Who could ask for more?!
From The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri
+ 2 1/4 cups All Purpose flour
+ 1/3 cup sugar
+ 1 tbsp baking powder
+ 1 tsp cream of tartar
+ 1/2 tsp salt
+ 8 tbsp (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter cut into 12 pieces
+ 1 large egg
+ 1/2 cup milk
+ 1/2 cup of raisins, soaked in a mix of hot water and whiskey for 30 minutes
+ 1/2 cup nuts, roasted and coarsely chopped
1. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.
2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is mealy but dry and powdery.
3. Invert the bowl of the food processor over a mixing bowl and carefully remove the blade. If you are adding raisins, nuts or both, gently stir them in now.
4. Quickly whisk the egg and milk together and use a fork to toss the egg mixture into the flour mixture, continuing to toss until all the flour mixture is evenly moistened.
5. Gently knead the dough 3 to 4 times, until it is smooth. Divide the dough in half and pres and pat each half into a disk about 6 inches in diameter. Place the two disks of dough a couple of inches apart on the prepared pan.
6. Use a floured bench scraper or knife to mark each disk of dough into 8 wedges, pressing straight down, and cutting no farther than halfway into the dough disk.
7. Bake the scones until they are very deep golden and firm, 12-15 minutes.
8. Slide each disk of baked scones onto a platter and use a knife to cut them completely along the markings into wedges.
9. Serve with butter, whipped cream and jam!