The rest of the story

Hi all,

I thought I would give some closure to my last post by providing a simple scone recipe.  After all, we need a good excuse to use our delightful new discovery- Cornish (clotted) cream.

Now I grew up eating scones quite often.  Living in western Washington state, I was a frequent visitor of the Puyallup Fair (only true Washingtonians can say that name).  This fair is one of the top ten largest fairs in the nation.  And this fair happens to be famous for it’s ‘Fair Scone,’ a triangular bit of pastry served hot with a dollop of jam which drips down your hands as you visit the impressive livestock or the prize-winning pumpkins and then try to decide which nausea-inducing rides are worth waiting in line for.  Almost everyone I know out west has a ‘fair scone’ recipe in their arsenal, and don’t get me wrong- they are tasty, and would work just fine as a vehicle for your cream.

But for the sake of consistency, today I am going to share a recipe for true, English cream scones.  I am pretty sure the only real difference between the two is that the cream scone is made with- you guessed it- cream instead of milk.  Because we don’t have enough cream in this scenario.  Here’s what you need-

3 cups all purpose flour

4 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1/4 cup sugar

1 stick butter

1 1/2 cups cream (c’mon- you know you want to)

First combine your dry ingredients in a medium bowl, and then plop the whole stick of butter on top.

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Then, with a pastry cutter or your fingers, crumble the butter into the flour until it looks good and crumbly.

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Now just pour in your cream.  I am using the leftover liquid from the clotted cream recipe here, plus a little regular whipping cream.

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Gently stir together until it forms a nice lumpy mass, and plop it straight onto your baking sheet because don’t you hate cleaning up sticky, floury counter tops?

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Using floured fingers, gently press your dough into an irregular shape and get out a smallish glass or biscuit cutter.  Or you can form it into two circles and cut it into wedges if you like.

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Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and put your scones in to bake for about 15-20 minutes.  They don’t get very golden on the top, so gently lift one up and see if the bottom is browned- that means they are done!

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Now slice one in half, and get ready.

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Traditionally, these scones are served with clotted cream and either lemon curd, marmalade or jam.  I thought about posting a recipe for lemon curd, but I was too lazy, and so I am putting a link here for the easiest lemon curd recipe I have found.  But there are a ton of other recipes out there or (gasp) you can buy it in specialty stores.  If you are not familiar with lemon curd (yet another food product that deserves a better name) it is a lemony, silky, buttery custard that is the best partner (in my humble opinion) for clotted cream.

If you are like my husband, you might prefer a nice marmalade.  Perhaps I am generalizing, but I think marmalade is an acquired taste for most Americans who aren’t used to slightly bitter flavors in their food.  It has certainly taken me a while to appreciate it, but I will never like it quite so much as my hubby.  In fact, for Christmas this year, the boys and I made him a whole collection of different marmalades to enjoy with the clotted cream gift.

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(pardon the photo quality- I took these at night)

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I just loved these cute little Weck canning jars. I’m thinking of starting a collection.

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Of course, any of your favorite jams are nice as well.

So now that you have picked your poison, let’s build our scone!

Start with a generous helping of the clotted cream, and I do mean generous.  You have to be able to sink your teeth into it, or you won’t enjoy the full experience.

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And then a dollop of the fruit product of choice (or one of each)

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Of course scones are supposed to go with afternoon tea, but I have found them to be quite as delightful with my morning coffee.  I hope you all enjoy!  Cheerio!

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Crumbles and Cobblers and Crisps, Oh My!

Let’s go back in history again today.  About 18 years ago I guess.  It was the day of the church picnic, and there was a pie contest going on.  I had gotten up in the pearly dawn, skipped down the street to the nearest of the wild blackberry bushes, and filled up my bucket.  After a quick rinse, I tossed the berries in sugar, cinnamon and a little flour. I had made the crust the night before, and soon my blackberry pie, beautifully latticed, egg washed and sprinkled with glistening sugar, was ready to compete.

My mom was entering her famous potato salad in the side dish category, and what with getting eight people ready and in the car, we were in a rush.  We had to make a few stops on the way, including a quick run to the the church to spruce things up.  (we did some janitorial work at the time.)  I set my pie carefully down on the seat of the van, careful to level it because the filling looked a little runny, and sped off to do my work.  I needed to make sure my pie was at the judges table in time.

We were soon finished, and as I headed back to the van, I noticed my little sister was already sitting in the back.  As I neared my seat, a terrible sight met my eyes.  My glorious, hopefully blue ribbon pie was, for lack of a better term, squished into oblivion. I looked at my little sister as the rest of my family came up to survey the damage, and asked her as calmly as I could what had happened.  She was carefully avoiding my eye, stuttering and muttering implausible scenarios, when I caught the words

“I’m not sure, but I might have sat on your pie.”

There was no use crying about it, and we were late as it was, so we continued on our way.  I entered my poor, flattened pie in the contest anyway, and much to my surprise it still won! The judges said they were judging on taste, not looks when I tried to protest, but I have always had my suspicions that someone had told them  the story and they gave me the prize out of pity.  Either way, the story lives on in our family, and whenever anyone doesn’t want to admit to something, they pull out the now classic line-

“I might have sat on your pie.”

I could say that that experience put me off making pies forever, but it wouldn’t be true.  I still make the occasional pie, but what I make a whole lot more often is Crisps. I looked up the difference between Crisps, Crumbles and Cobblers, and the recipe I would like to share here is a Crisp because it doesn’t have oats in the topping like a crumble, or biscuits dropped on top like a Cobbler.  Now you know.  I make Crisps rather than pies for the simple reason that they are easier and I can make them in a bigger pan.  We had a barbecue yesterday and I made a big one. Some people asked me for the recipe, so here it is.

This dish is all about versatility.  I use all different kinds of fruit in it- berries, peaches, a mix of both, or because apples were on sale this week, apples.  Image

The hubby and I can’t agree on the best apple for a pie or crisp.  I prefer a nice sour granny smith, he likes a very sweet jonagold, so I used a mildly tart golden delicious this time, about ten of them.  This is for a big pan- an 11×14, but it will fit in a 9×13 as well.  I pulled out my old apple-peeler-corer-slicer for this since I had so many apples.  I don’t always use it since it tends to spray apple juice all over the kitchen, but it’s handy for big pies, and the kids love it!  So go ahead and peel your apples any way you like.Image

 I have always struggled with pie and crisp fillings being too runny, so I have tweaked a few things, and the result is pretty fool proof for any fruit.  In a bowl, combine-

1 cup of brown sugar,

4 T of butter

1 tsp cinnamon

2 T of tapioca

a grating of fresh nutmeg, a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon

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Pop this in the microwave until the butter is melted, then stir together until smooth.  The thing I have found that really holds the filling together, other than tapioca, is an egg, so go ahead and throw one in now and keep mixing.Image

Now pour this over your fruit.

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And now for the crumble.  Oh wait, pardon me, no oats here.

And now for the crisp.  The hubby always want more crisp, so I made a big batch.

In another bowl, combine

1 1/2 cups of flour

1 Stick of butter

1/2 cup of brown sugar

Cinnamon to taste

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Crumble it (or should I say crisp it? ) with your fingers or a pastry cutter until it looks like this.

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Then layer it on top.

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Bake it at 350 for about forty-five minutes.  I can always tell it’s done when the crisp is nicely browned and the fruit is bubbling underneath. It also should be smelling pretty stellar by now.

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Here is what you want in a good crisp- a cookie-esque topping with a nice syrupy edge.  My boys, big and little, fight for the edge pieces around here.

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And there you have it.  I am new to posting recipes, so let me know if anything is unclear, or if you have any other questions.  Be sure to serve this with some form of sweetened cream if you can.