Things for Afternoon Tea

Ran into someone today who was hosting a party for the royal wedding, and told them they could have my scone recipe (it’s slightly altered from the one found in Williams-Sonoma’s Essentials of Baking, lovely book). Nice guy, he’s a photographer who just moved to Manhattan, KS.

Currant Cream Scones
To ensure proper rising and flakiness, be sure the butter is cold. You might need to chill the flour and butter mixture after cutting the butter in, but before you pour in the cream. ou can substitute dried cranberries and orange zest or dried cherries and sliced almonds for the currants and lemon zest if you like.

Ingredients:

For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup dried currants
1 cup heavy cream

For the topping:
1 Tbs. granulated, Demerara or turbinado sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. milk or heavy cream

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 425°F. Get out a baking sheet (don’t grease it).

To make the dough by hand, in a bowl, stir together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Using a pastry blender, or whisk (used like a potato masher) cut in the butter until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs the size of peas. If you don’t have a pastry cutter or a whisk, use your hands in a crumbling motion to make the butter pieces pea sized and evenly incorporated, but be sure to chill the mixture for 10 mins. after this since your hands will warm up the butter too much).

Stir in the currants. Pour the cream over the flour mixture and stir with a fork or rubber spatula just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

To make the dough with a food processor, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest in the processor and pulse 2 or 3 times to mix. Add the butter and pulse 7 or 8 times, just until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs the size of peas. Scatter the currants over the dough. Pour in the cream and pulse just until moistened.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and press gently until the dough clings together in a ball. Pat out into a round about 1/2 inch thick. Cut the round into 8 wedges. Place 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.

To make the topping, in a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Brush the dough with the milk and sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar.

Bake until the scones are golden brown, 13 to 17 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Makes 8 scones.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking.

Tea Sandwiches
http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Sandwiches+royalty+serve+while+watch+wedding/4690800/story.html

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