Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Lemon Cream Scones with Strawberry Glaze
The bad news is my blog posting schedule has gone to hell. Sorry for those of you expecting to see new content every Tuesday and Thursday. I've completely fallen off the wagon. Mabye a schedule is overrated? Or, maybe I'll just climb back up on the wagon. I can't give up that easily, right?
There is good news though......the strawberry streak continues!
I can't seem to get enough of these sweet treasures. I stocked up again this past weekend at the farmer's market and immediately started thinking of ways to use my berries. So many options....
I recently made scones for the first time and wanted to try another variation at home that would somehow incorporate strawberries. Have you ever tried the orange cranberry scones from Trader Joe's? It was TJ's scones that converted me to the pro-scone camp. In my anti-scone days, my experience with this tea time treat was a dense, dry, doughy, under-sweetened biscuit. Something that certainly wasn't worth the calories, I'll take a donut please! For some reason I picked up a package of TJ's scones a few years back and they won me over. Their scones are tender on the inside, laced with sweet orange flavor and tart cranberries. But the best part about them is the glaze or icing drizzled on top. That extra sweetness is where it's at! I love how the glaze crackles a bit when you bite into it...totally worth the calories. That got me thinking about a strawberry glazed scone...
I went in search of basic scone recipe to start with. My Cook's Illustrated Cookbook provided several options and I decided on the "Simple Cream Scone". I especially liked the "simple" part and it had potential for a variety of flavor options. I dressed up the scone dough with lemon zest and lemon juice. A nice match for a sweet strawberry glaze. Now, I had to figure how to make strawberry glaze. A faint memory brought me to my Sweet Melissa Baking Book and a fresh strawberry sauce recipe. Add a little powdered sugar and you have glaze.
The scone recipe turned out just how I had hoped, golden and slightly crunchy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside with the faint aroma of lemon. The strawberry glaze wasn't "crunchy" like the TJ's scones. I could have remedied that with adding more powdered sugar. But ultimately I went with a thinner glaze to maintain the bright, fresh strawberry flavor.
Some scone tips...don't overwork the dough. Work it just until it comes together and start forming the disc you will cut into wedges. The more you work the dough, the tougher it become. Bake until just golden without overbaking to ensure your scones stay moist. Scones are best eaten the day they are made or the next day at the latest. If you know you won't eat all the scones before they pass their peak, wrap the baked scones individually in foil and store in a ziptop bag with the air removed in the freezer. When you are ready to enjoy a scone, preheat the oven to 375, remove foil and place the scone(s) on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until warmed through (bake for 10 minutes if scones are thawed in the fridge first).
A fun twist I plan to try next time is to make mini scones and serve the strawberry glaze as a dip for the mini's.
Lemon Cream Scones with Strawberry Glaze
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated Cookbook and Sweet Melissa Baking Book
Cook's Illustrated recipe is titled Simple Cream Scones. Their recipe includes 1/2 cup of dried currants which are listed as optional. I omitted the currants and added lemon zest and lemon juice to my version to compliment the strawberry glaze.
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2 teaspoons fresh grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 cup of heavy cream
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a food processor add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and pulse a few times until combined. Add the chilled butter and lemon zest and pulse until the mixture looks like a coarse meal, about 12 pulses. Dump mixture into a large bowl. Stir lemon juice into the cream and pour into dry mixture. Stir to combine and dough begins to form.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured workspace and knead until a sticky ball forms, only 5 to 10 seconds. Pat dough into a inch round circle and cut into 8 even wedges. Place wedges onto the prepared baking sheet evenly spaced apart. Bake about 12 - 15 minutes until scones are lightly golden on top, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for each 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
For the Strawberry Glaze
The base of this recipe comes from the Strawberry Sauce recipe in the Sweet Melissa Baking Book. I added some powdered sugar to turn it from a sauce into a glaze. Note, the strawberry sauce recipe makes more than you will need for the scones. You can use the leftover sauce as a topping for ice cream or to make homemade strawberry lemonade (another recipe you can find in the Sweet Melissa Baking Book).
1 pint of dry strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons cold water
Place all the ingredients in a small food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Strain sauce through a fine mesh strainer and discard the seeds.
To make glaze:
Combine 3/4 cup powdered sugar with 1/4 cup of strawberry sauce in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Note, this makes for a very loose glaze, but it retains a nice bright red color and strong strawberry flavor. For a thicker glaze add an additional 1/4 cup or more, of powdered sugar.