Monday, March 28, 2011

Cream Scones with Devonshire Cream and Fresh Strawberry Jam

This is the first installment of the Arkansas Cooking Class recipes!  You are sure to LOVE these light, flaky scones. 

The Cream Scones recipe is from On Cooking, page 956.  This is the Culinary Textbook that the Research Chefs Association uses as its reference.  The recipes I've tried from the book have been wonderful-- but get ready to do some math.  Some of those recipes are written for a crowd!

The Devonshire Cream recipe was one the chef found on a website, but I'm not sure which one.  The Strawberry Jam was something we just threw together in class.  The amounts in that recipe are estimated based on my memory-- let's hope I remembered correctly.

You'll notice that the ingredients listed in the baking recipes are all weights-- not cups and teaspoons.  We did this for a reason.  Flour can weigh more or less depending on how humid it is.  Weighing the flour gives you a more accurate measure than using cups.  Also, I'm sure everyone has heard that baking is a science.  Well, IT IS!!  Every baking recipe is a careful balance of chemical leaveners, acids, bases, enzymes, salts, etc.  Mess with one part of the equation and the whole thing will go out the window-- literally!  Leave out the salt in a bread dough and it will rise too fast and taste bland.  Out the window to the birds with that one! 

Ok.  That's enough ranting.  On to the recipes.

Cream Scones
1 lb. all purpose flour
1-1/2 oz. white sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold
2 Lg egg yolks (save the whites for later)
11 fl oz. half and half

1.  Sift the dry ingredients together, making sure they are blended well. 
2.  Cut in the butter using a pastry blender (U-shaped with 3 or four blades and a handle).  The mixture should look mealy.  Be sure not to over mix. 
3.  Whisk the half and half with the egg yolks.  Add to the mealy mixture and combine just until the dough begins to hold together.
4.  Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/2 inch.  Cut into triangles.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush the tops with half and half.
5.  Bake at 400°F for about 10 minutes.
6.  Brush the tops with butter while hot.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Devonshire Cream (aka Clotted Cream)
4 oz. mascarpone cheese (Italian cream-style cheese)
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp powdered sugar or caster sugar

1.  Place all ingredients in a stand mixer with the whip attachment.  Whip until well blended and the consistency of spreadable cream cheese. 
2.  Store covered tightly with plastic wrap in the refrigerator.

Fresh Strawberry Jam
1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/3 cup sugar (approximate-- may need to add more depending on how sweet your strawberries are)
1-2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 envelope fruit glaze

1.  Place strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a pot over medium heat.  Cook until fruit is soft and the mixture is syrupy, about 20 minutes.  Mash lightly with a potato masher until it is the desired consistency.
2.  Prepare glaze according to package directions.  Cool slightly, then blend with strawberry mixture.
3.  Store covered tightly with plastic wrap in the refrigerator.


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