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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Strawberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

       Unlike most scones, these are tender and moist.  The fresh strawberries make these a special breakfast treat.  To enjoy these year round, or when I have extra strawberries (or other berries)  I cut them up into a 1/4" dice and freeze them in 1 cup portions.  Take out of the freezer so they thaw just enough to break them apart before adding to the dough.
       This is a combination of two recipes; the ingredients are mostly from King Arthur's Flour, and the directions are mostly from America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book (pp. 34-5), with adjustments of my own.  Flour is best measured on a scale.  A loosely packed cup can weigh less than 4 ounces, but a heavily packed cup could equal 5 ounces.

1 cup strawberries, cut into 1/4" pieces*
2 cups all-purpose flour (10 oz)                                  
¼ cup granulated sugar                               
2 teaspoons baking powder                         
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel 
½ cup cold butter, (freeze, then grate most of it into flour)
¾ cup buttermilk 
1 large egg
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice

1.    Preheat oven to 400°.  Place a piece of parchment on a baking sheet.  Place berries on a plate then place in the freezer while you prepare rest of the dough.
2.   Before your hands are covered with dough, get a plate and sprinkle with flour.  (You will need this in step 7.)
3.   In a bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest to blend. Add frozen butter, (grate until you barely have enough to hold) and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.
4.    In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk and egg to blend. Add to flour mixture just until combined; do not overmix.
5.   Turn dough onto a floured surface and, with well-floured hands, knead gently 6-8 times until it just holds together.  Add a little more flour as needed to prevent sticking.
6.   Roll dough out into a 12” square.  Fold 1/3 toward center, then fold other end over to form a long rectangle.  Now fold 1/3 toward center with each side until you have a 4” square.
7.   Place on a floured plate and put into freezer for 5 minutes.  Do not overchill or let freeze.
8.   Remove from freezer and put onto lightly-floured board.  Roll into a 12” square again.  Spread berries evenly onto the square, leaving about 1” space at the end closest to you.  (If berries are not very sweet, sprinkle with sugar.)
9.   Roll into a tight log, sealing the ends, and place with the seam side on the bottom.  Press into a 12x4” or 15x3” rectangle.  Using a sharp, floured knife, cut into 4 or 5 rectangles.  Cut each of the rectangles on the diagonal into 2 triangles.
10. Place on baking sheet. 
11. Bake scones until tops are lightly browned, 18 to 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Let cool about 10 minutes on baking sheet.
12.Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle glaze over warm scones. Serve scones warm or let cool completely.

Yield:  Makes 8-10 scones  
* blueberries  or raspberries, [break apart raspberries after freezing]
*No berries?  Use frozen or ½ cup dried cranberries and ½ cup chopped nuts instead.

To make up to 24 hours ahead, stop at step 7.  Instead of placing in freezer, cover and place in refrigerator until ready to continue, then proceed to step 8.  If you continue, the frozen berries will bleed out.   It is better to add just before baking.)

To make up to one month ahead, complete through step 9, then freeze on a tray. Transfer to a freezer bag.  Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.