Last week we looked at savoury scones, and this week follows up with two sweet versions. Thanks to Janet Meads, who has done some research into the history of scones and offers a recipe for classic miniature cream tea scones, and to Pat Cesmystruk of Pilot Mound, who sent in a recipe for berry scones she's been using for many years. Thanks also to Carole Bonnee and Charlotte Redekopp.
Carole Bonnee also added a request for the seven-grain salad that is sold at many gorcery store delis. And with barbecue season in full swing, Cheryl Davis has requested a recipe that she recalls seeing in the Free Press for a beer-can chicken rub that includes chili powder, paprika and oregano.
If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax it to 204-697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.
Miniature Cream Tea Scones
500 ml (2 cups) all-purpose flour
15 ml (1 tbsp) granulated sugar
15 ml (1 tbsp) baking powder
2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
60 ml (1/4 cup) butter, chilled
60 ml (1/4 cup) shortening
125 ml (1/2 cup) sour cream
125 ml (1/2 cup) whole milk
2 ml (1/2 tsp) baking soda
For egg wash: 1 egg yolk beaten with 15 ml (1 tbsp) cream or milk
Preheat oven to 220 C (425 F). In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter and shortening until the size of rice grains. Combine sour cream, milk and baking soda and add to dry ingredients. Mix just until dry ingredients are wet and form a ball. Turn onto a floured surface and knead gently 4 or 5 times. Pat gently to about 2 cm (3/4 in) thick. Cut out scones with a well-floured shaped cutter. Place on a baking sheet and brush with egg wash. Bake 10-15 minutes, depending on size. Serve with homemade jam and creme fraiche.
Tester's notes: These are very good -- and very rich, so it's probably best to keep them small rather than going for Starbucks-style gigantism. I used a 5 cm (2 in) biscuit cutter, which yielded 15 scones. A real biscuit cutter, which is designed to cut sharply through thick dough, is handy here. Using a glass or cup can compress the edges of the dough and keep the scones from rising. And be sure to apply the egg wash only to the top of the scones: An egg wash "sealing" the sides can also inhibit rising.
Janet also includes a recipe for homemade crème fraîche: Combine equal amounts of whipping cream and sour cream in a glass or ceramic bowl, cover with a clean dry cloth and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 2-3 days, depending on weather. Refrigerate after the cream has thickened. Mixture will keep up to a week.
Homebasics Berry Scones
500 ml (2 cups) all-purpose flour
60 ml (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
20 ml (4 tsp) baking powder
125 ml (1/2 cup) hard margarine
175 ml (2/3 cup) fresh or frozen berries (blueberries, Saskatoon berries or dried cranberries work well)
250 ml (1 cup) whole milk
Preheat oven to 230 C (450 F). In large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar and baking powder. Cut in margarine with a pastry cutter or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in berries. Add milk, and stir with a fork until mixture forms a soft dough. On a lightly floured surface, gently knead dough 8-10 times. Roll out to 2 cm (3/4 in) thick. Cut into triangular scones with a floured knife, and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool a few minutes and serve.
Tester’s notes: This is a good basic sweet scone recipe that could be adapted to your favourite flavours (dried apricots and almonds, or blueberries and a little grated lemon peel). You can replace the margarine with chilled butter, if desired, but don’t use soft margarine, which will affect the texture. I made my scones about 7.5-10 cm (3-4 in) long. (You don’t want to go too big, or the bottoms will brown before the middle is baked through.) I also added an egg wash and a dusting of plantation sugar on the tops of my scones.