3.26.2004

Currant SCONES (ala the Stacius)

Anika requested that I post the scone recipe I used. As I said before, I modified one for raisin scones I found on Epicurious - but I'm presenting this modded one for you to use or ignore, should you so choose.

4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, diced
1 cup currants

1 cup half & half
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons water
1/2 teaspoon Barenjager honey liquor

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Sift flour (that is, if you have a sifter -- I just used a whisk) sugar, baking powder and salt into large bowl. Add butter (I was a tad short on butter - I didn't have a half-stick so I used about 4 tablespoons oil instead - but there's really no excuse for not having butter. So go out and get some, dammit!) and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drain and stir in currants. Whisk milk, 2 eggs, vanilla and lemon juice in medium bowl to blend. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir just until combined. Gather dough into ball and knead lightly (Actually, I learned from Nigella, that once you can form a ball, you really don't need to knead it that much). Roll out dough on floured surface to 3/4-inch thickness. Using a typical-sized "Don't Mess With Texas" coffee cup (No fancy cookie cutters here -- We're boys!), cut out scones. Gather scraps; reroll and cut out additional scones. Place scones on prepared baking sheets, spacing apart.

Whisk remaining egg and 2 teaspoons water and 1/2 teaspoon honey liquor in small bowl to blend. Brush egg mixture over tops of scones. Bake scones until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer scones to rack and cool slightly. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cool completely. Store in airtight container at room temperature.) Serve warm with butter and jam or at room temperature.

Makes about 14 scones.

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