What's Cooking (in Yvonne's Kitchen)?

I've changed the name of this blog to What's Cooking (in Yvonne's Kitchen) because I will be getting a kitchen of my own very soon, it maybe small but will be able to produce more goodies to share with everyone!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Oatmeal and Prune Buttermilk Scones
makes 8 jumbo-sized 3" scones

Hmmmm... scones are perfect for afternoon tea.   

I am a purist when it comes to ingredient selection as I want to use the best and freshest ingredients in cooking and baking.  But I am NOT usually a purist when it comes to gadgets/equipment in food preparation.  So when it comes to the debate of making scones either by hand or by food processor, I would choose the latter.  This is also the reason why I hinted my husband for a food processor as my Christmas present few years back... and I got it, hehe.

There's nothing more luxurious and intimate than enjoying a tête-à-tête with a friend or two with freshly-baked scones and a cup of good quality English tea such as earl grey.  So, to take matter into my own hands, I opt for homemade scones instead of store-bought ones.

I have sourced for scone recipes from my good & trusty cookbooks and online recipe sites.  But the recipe that impressed me the most is this one from Epicurious.  I hope you will find the time to bond with your kitchen this weekend by making these scones.  

The ingredient list of this recipe is pretty short--buttermilk, oats, flours (baking powder+baking soda & salt), brown sugar, butter, orange zest and prune.

Most people think it's difficult to make scones, but I beg to differ.  Even if you do not have a food processor, you can also rub the cold butter cubes into dry ingredients with your hands or a pastry cutter to form coarse crumbs.

Flatten the dough into a 1" thick disc by hands, cut out the scones with a cutter, brush the top with buttermilk, sprinkle with some brown sugar before shovelling them into the oven.

These scones would be ready under 20 minutes, by then your kitchen will be filled with refreshing aroma of orange and prune.  

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar plus additional for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Finely grated zest from an orange
1 cup buttermilk (1 cup regular milk + 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice and let it sit for 5 minutes)
1/2 cup prunes (about 12 of them), quartered

Special equipment: a food processor and a 3-inch round cookie cutter

  1. Preheat oven to 220ºC. 
  2. Sieve together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt into a food processor, then add oats and pulse 15 times. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with small (pea-size) lumps, then transfer to a bowl.
  3. Stir together zest and buttermilk. Toss currants with oat mixture, then add buttermilk, stirring with a fork just until a dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead 6 times. 
  4. Pat dough into a 1-inch-thick round disc, dusting surface with more flour if necessary. Cut out as many scones as possible with cutter, dipping it in flour before each cut, and transfer scones to a lightly buttered large baking sheet. Gather scraps into a ball, then pat into a round and cut out more scones in same manner until all dough are used. 
  5. Brush tops of scones with buttermilk and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake in middle of oven until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes, and transfer to a rack to cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature with cream or cheese.

These scones are amazing!  They are so best eaten fresh or can be stored in a freezer for up to 2 weeks!

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