Sunday, June 20, 2010

Currant Scones

You might be sick of recipes from Good to the Grain, but I most definitely am not. I had a froze the extra Strawberry Barley Scones I made last Sunday and had one for breakfast every day this past week, with the exception of Saturday morning at the farmer's market where I bought a whole grain carrot-raisin scone from Chris and Lori's Bakehouse. I indulge in a pastry every Saturday morning at the farmer's market; it's been a scone from Chris and Lori's Bakehouse every week for the past few months. As for the strawberry barley scones, I took one out of the freezer every morning after I finished my yoga and let it thaw while I took a shower, got dressed, and walked the dog (about an hour). I then heated them for about 5 minutes or so in a toaster oven preheated to 350 degrees. Although scones are best fresh from the oven, the scones reheat remarkably well, maintaining their flavor and texture. I plan to do the same with the extras from this week.

Spelt flour is not likely to be at your average supermarket. I found my Arrowhead Mills spelt flour at Whole Foods. Currants, on the other hand, are pretty likely to be available at most grocery stores; I got mine from the bulk bin at Whole Foods.

While they are certainly not savory scones, these scones are not terribly sweet, and that is by no means a bad thing. Spelt flour is mild with a slight hint of sweetness which pairs well with the tiny, sweet currants and adding a lot of sugar would only bury the delicious spelt and currant flavors. I think the American diet has become all too acclimated to sweetness since high fructose corn syrup is added to seemingly nearly every processed food out there.

Currant Scones
from yet again, Good to the Grain

When I was student, for a time, in Cambridge, England, I ate a currant scone every day of the semester. They were rough-dropped mounds, with crisp edges and studded with currants. When trying to recreate these scones in my kitchen, I reached for spelt flour. Its underlying hint of ripe fruit complements the sweetness of the currants. If you want more dried fruit, sprinkle a larger handful into the batter.

Butter for the baking sheets

Dry Mix:
1.25 c. spelt flour
1 c. all-purpose flour
2 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. kosher salt

Wet Mix:
2 ounces (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 c. currants
1.5 c. heavy cream

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Rub two baking sheets with butter. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back into the bowl any grains or other ingredients that may remain in the sifter.

2. Add the butter to the dry ingredients. With your hands, work the butter, pinching it until the mixture resembles fine cornmeal. Add the currants and stir to combine. Pour the cream into the bowl and stir the ingredients just until the flour is moistened throughout.

3. Separate the dough into 9 mounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 4 inches between the mounds. Use your hands to break up any large heaps of dough and to tuck in the crumbs.

4. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. You'll know these scones  are done when the tops and bottoms turn golden brown. The scones are best eaten warm from the oven or later the same day.

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