Monday, June 6

Apricot Scones

Lately I've been seriously conflicted about what to eat for breakfast.  Do I want oatmeal?  But then there are so many options.  There are steel-cut oats and instant oats, cinnamon powder and honey, cut up fresh fruit (like bananas and apples and dates) and dried fruit (like apricots and figs).

Toast?  Then I have to face the variety of cheeses in the house.  (Please do not in any way interpret this as complaining.  I am in NO WAY complaining about all the cheese.) We're running out of cheddar, so there are all the soft cheeses that really seem more appropriate for hors d'oeuvres.  Plus we only have the butts of bread left.  There is always the cereal that costs about as much as crossing the Golden Gate Bridge (it's SO EXPENSIVE).  The take home message from all these may be for me to just go grocery shopping.

Point is, I made scones.  Fantastic scones that were just sweet enough and not the sour-ish scones that are also good, but not exactly what I was craving.  I think these scones are buttermilk...?

Apricot Scones
from The Art of Simple Food

2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 sugar
1 1/3 cups cream
2 tbs melted butter
1 1/2 tbs sugar
1/2 cup chopped dried apricot

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/4 cup of the sugar.  Stir in the cream.  (We ran out of heavy cream, so I added as much cream as I could - maybe 1 cup - and added milk for the rest.)  Add the chopped apricots.

The dough is going to be really sticky, so stir the mixture together as much as possible and then knead on a floured surface just enough to bring the dough together.  Pat it into a circle/disc thing that is about 8 in. in diameter.  Brush the melted butter on the dough and sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 tbs sugar on the top.  (I don't know why the cookbook used this measurement.  A tablespoon is equal to three teaspoons, so basically you are adding one tablespoon, one teaspoon, and one-half teaspoon of sugar or 4 1/2 teaspoons but anyway...)  Cut the disc into eight wedges and place each wedge on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  They should be at least 1 in. apart.  Bake for 17 minutes or until golden brown.  Brew some tea and serve.

Making the dough takes a shockingly small amount of time and they really were perfect with hot tea because when is summer coming?!  Regardless, scones are a British thing, apparently with a Scottish origin.  But more interestingly, although maybe I'm the only person who doesn't know this, the proper pronunciation of the word "scone" is such a point of controversy for the English that there have been academic studies concerning the etymology and modern Brits' pronunciation preferences.  Most civilized folk pronounce "scone"with a short "o" so that it rhymes with "fawn."  The sentence, "She fawns over scones" could then practically pass for a couplet.  The rest of the population rhymes "scone" with "grown" as in, "With the help of the oven, the scone has grown."  There is actual poetry devoted to exploiting this issue, so I'm not alone in my rhyming.

Other than my quest for the perfect breakfast, I'm also continuing my attempt to move from simply owning a guitar to being able to play a guitar.  To that end, I am in the process of learning the rest of The Beatle's "Blackbird."  So here it is, folks:

Waters, Alice, Patricia Curtan, Kelsie Kerr, and Fritz Steiff. "Scones." The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution. New York: Clarkson Potter, 2007. 275. Print.

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