Sunday, March 27, 2011

Vanity scones

Pie and ice cream? Focaccia and whipped butter? Chicken and mashed potatoes?
I dislike the word clotted and it almost ruins clotted cream for me. But not quite. I made scones this morning to serve with the clotted cream of the other day and it turns out I can get over clotted. So very delicious.

I made the scone recipe I've been working on for months. This was to be the last testing of this recipe for the book, a recipe that involves candied ginger, dried pears, whole wheat flour and heavy cream and makes a great and buttery scone, though I decided this morning that the dried pears need to go (not plump enough) and will be replaced by dried apricots. So I guess this wasn't my last testing of the recipe. And then I began doubting the whole enterprise. I'd wanted a scone recipe that was unique -- my very own! -- just like every other cooking person. But why? As I was eating my delicious vanity scone I started thinking maybe we've gone overboard with scone personalization here in the U.S. Because what I really craved with the clotted cream was a chalky white scone with currants -- a generic British scone -- and when was the last time I saw one of those?

And then my husband ate a scone and said, "Thanks for making these great muffins, honey."

But my scone is good. I'm not going to talk down my scone.


  1. Try softening and plumping the dried pears by letting them soak in scalded milk for ten minutes before adding them to the dough. My grandmother who grew up in County Mayo, Ireland taught me that trick.

  2. Don't worry about your scone. I find dried pears almost always disappoint, for the same reason (overly dry). I get that a moist dried pear would be a contradiction in terms, but you are probably on a good track with the apricot.

  3. My scone recipe is from Cook's Illustrated in 1994, I think, and includes cream of tartar. They've updated the recipe many times since, and I've tried other recipes, but this is the one that works best for me.

  4. Does this mean you'll be changing the recipe in the book> Oh no!!! LOL. This is your copy editor, and I just sent the MS back to the publisher. What fun this was to work on! You might think when you see it that I queried a lot -- well, I guess I did, but all in the service of making this the best book it can be! Good work on your part.

  5. fass -- for real? you're my copy editor? I've made a lot of changes on my hard copy in the last 3 weeks -- you had your work cut out for you!

  6. I recommend doing an entire line edit through comments on this blog!

  7. I'm definitely going to have to try the clotted cream recipe.

    On another note, whatever happened to "My Sweet Mexico".... I love to read about people cooking out of the books I have but haven't cooked from yet.

  8. Hi Jennifer. A light piece by request from GH: