Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Scones, A Best of the Best Recipe plus Homemade Clotted Cream and Clotted Cream Fudge

When I write a recipe that's referred to as The Best of the Best, it's because I've researched many recipes, found something in all of them and adapted them to become what I consider the Best. For example, my Original Sangria, Bread Pudding,  Original Salsa, Banana Pudding, and the list goes on. This is just another adaptation of a recipe from Ina Garten that Anne customized and perfected using Ina's base recipe for the dough. After testing many Scone Recipes, these have become A Best of the Best!
One other recommendation would be Dried Cranberries and the Zest of 1 Orange, to make for Christmas. With the Basic Dough Recipe you can be creative by adding your favorite ingredients to the Dough. (Any Dried Fruit, Any Roughly Chopped Nuts and the Zest of any Citrus Fruit.) The combinations are endless. Here are some suggestions:

Blueberries/Almonds/Lime Zest
Apricots/Grapefruit Zest

In this adaptation, the Dough was divided in half with one half  using (3/4 C Dried Cherries + 3/4 C roughly chopped Walnuts.)
The other half was (1 C Dried Blueberries and Zest of 1 Lemon.)
Mix the Dried Fruit and Nuts with 1 TBS of Flour.  Do the same with the Dried Fruit and Zest. Toss them together in small bowls.


You can serve them with Fruit Jam and Clotted Cream. I've included my recipe for Homemade Clotted Cream and I decided to add my recipe for Clotted Cream Fudge, just incase you'd like to make that too. Make ahead and keep refrigerated until served with the Scones.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the Oven to 400 degrees.
Cookie Sheet Pans lined with Parchment Paper.
1 - 4" Plain or Fluted Biscuit Cutter.

4 C + TBS Flour, additional for the Dried Fruit and Nuts.
2 TBS Granulated + additional for Sprinkling .
2 TBS Baking Powder
2 tsp Salt
3 Sticks of Butter (24 TBS), Cold and Diced into small cubes.
5 Extra Large Eggs (make sure they're Extra Large) , Divided.
1 C Heavy Cream
2 TBS Whole Milk

1 of the Eggs is mixed in a small bowl with the 2 TBS of Milk for an Egg Wash.

In a Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment:
Baking Powder
Mix just until combined.

On Low Speed:
Gradually add pieces of Butter until it's combined and resembles a Pea Sized Mixture.
In a Small Mixing Bowl:
Heavy Cream
Whisk well.
Immediately add this to the Flour in the Stand Mixture just until well combined.
At this point you would divide the Dough in half and place each half in a medium mixing bowl.
Fold in the Dried Fruit and Nuts into Half of the Dough with a Silicone Spatula.
Fold in the Blueberries and Zest into the other Half.
The Dough may be sticky and that's OK.

Work the two halves of Dough separately on a well-floured work surface.
Roll the Dough 3/4" thick. This is an important step.
You should see some pieces of Butter in the Dough.
Cut the Dough with the Biscuit Cutter and then cut them in half, diagonally, creating triangles.

Brush the tops with the Egg Wash.
Sprinkle with additional Granulated Sugar.
Place them 2" apart on the Sheet Pan.
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes. Anne's were baked for exactly 20 minutes. The outside will be crisp and the inside completely baked.
You can test the center with a toothpick until it comes out clean.

Remove the Pan to a rack to cool completely.

Serve with Fruit Preserves (I only use Bonne Maman Fruit Preserves) and  Homemade Clotted Cream.

Peace in the Kitchen!

I've been to England several times and I've recently become interested in Clotted Cream. It's served in the afternoon for the traditional Cream Tea which consists of a Pot of Tea, Fruit Scones, (usually made with dark and golden raisins), a pot of Clotted Cream and a pot of Strawberry Jam.

Clotted Cream is referred to as a scalded, clouted Devonshire or Cornish Cream. It's a thick or "clotted" cream made by indirectly heating full cream cow's milk using steam or a water bath, or heating it overnight in an oven on a very low temperature, then leaving it in shallow pans to slowly cool.
During this process, the cream content rises to the surface and forms clots or clouts. It has become an essential part of a Cream Tea.

On a recent trip to England, my wife and I enjoyed afternoon Cream Tea at various Tea Shops in London and Windsor. I had it for the first time at the outdoor Cafe of Kensington Palace in London while my wife was walking through the gardens. I was quite impressed with the entire concept of a Cream Tea. We discovered Limes Bakery in Windsor and it became our favorite Tea Room. The best Scones and Jam and Clotted Cream. We went everyday for Cream Tea.

This was my first taste of Clotted Cream at Kensington Palace in  London.

Kensington Palace, London, England

Limes Bakery in Windsor

Limes Bakery across from Windsor Castle.

This is Lime's Tea Room in Windsor it was our favorite Cream Tea.

Limes Bakery Fruit Scones with Clotted Cream and Strawberry Jam.
Ridiculously Good!

Clotted Cream:

I prefer Promised Land Heavy Cream.

This is absolutely delicious.

Homemade Clotted Cream:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
1- 9" X 13" glass baking dish.
2 - pints (1 quart) of Heavy Cream

Pour the Heavy Cream into the 9" X 13" pan. It should be about 1" deep. Mine was perfect.

Place in the oven and allow to heat overnight. At least 10 - 12 hours. My oven turned itself off at 12 hours, I started it at 7pm.
It should reduce by about 40% and become a golden color on the top.
It was perfect!

Remove from the oven after 12 hours and allow to cool on a rack for about 15 - 20 minutes.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cooled. I think we chilled it for 4 - 5 hours.

It will become thick and buttery.
Use a large spoon and scoop it gently, (keeping the top clots of cream together) into small glass canning jars. The liquid left behind can be discarded.
Cover and keep refrigerated.

Serve on Homemade Raisin Scones with Strawberry Preserves and a Pot of Tea.

Clotted Cream Fudge

1 - 9" X 9" pan.
Line it with Parchment Paper. Cut 2 pieces and place them overlapping in the pan. Allow enough of an edge to be able to lift the fudge out of the pan when it's finished.

1 1/4 C  of Granulated Sugar
1 C of Homemade Clotted Cream
1/2 C of Lyle's Golden Syrup
1/2 tsp Vanilla

This is not a complicated process but it takes time. You'll need a heavy bottom saucepan.

Pour all of the ingredients in the pan.
Heat on low or medium low and gently stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir constantly.
Allow it to get to a soft boil for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
Check the temperature with a candy thermometer (240 degrees).
After it reaches that, remove from the heat and continue stirring for up to ten minutes.
It will begin to thicken and will take on a matte finish. The shine will go away.

Continue stirring until thick and almost difficult to stir.
Pour it into the pan and spread evenly with an offset spatula.
Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 2 minutes.

Refrigerate until completely cooled.

If you like your fudge thick, you can pull the tops sheet of paper to the opposite side until the fudge creates a second layer.

Pull it out of the pan by lifting the paper.
Unwrap it.
Use a Chef's Knife and cut into strips and then into squares.

Serve individual pieces and refrigerate and remaining in an air tight container.

If you'd like to give it as a gift, you can melt some dark chocolate and drizzle the Fudge before cutting it.
Wrap the individual pieces in waxed paper or parchment paper and put them in decorative cellophane gift bags.

Peace in the Kitchen!

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