Monday, March 1, 2010

Lemon Poppyseed Scones

This may be the first year that I have uttered the words "I don't think I am ready for winter to be over". It may be the Minnesotan in me, but I am pretty content with the dreary freezing weather and blustering snowy days right now. I am just not ready for spring. I have been thoroughly enjoying cold saturday mornings spent in the kitchen with some bubbling soup on the stove and a cup of coffee in my hand.

Spring means waking up and heading outside, going to the farmers market, taking a bike ride, and enjoying the warm sun. As excited as I am for all this, I won't mind the excuses to make soups, lasagnas, short ribs, and various other hearty heavy food for a little while longer at least. It is only March 1st for christ sakes.

I have been letting spring creep in slowly though. Very slowly. The citrus fruits are in season, and no matter how gray the sky outside is, a little meyer lemon zest under your nose immediately conjures visions of green grass and cherry blossoms.

Meyer lemons paired with poppyseeds and a boatload of butter creates some absolutely sublime scones. I didn't know I liked scones until I actually made them myself and realized how buttery and delicious they can be. A simple citrus juice and confectioners sugar glaze tops these scones, and seeps in to keep them impossibly moist and tender, and adding just the perfect amount of sweetness.

Meyer Lemon and Poppyseed Scones
recipe adapted from Ina Garten

I have made these by hand, in a food processor, and in a stand mixer, but my favorite by far were the scones that were made in the food processor. The sharp blades cut the butter in perfectly, without over mixing, creating moist, buttery layers similar to biscuits.

4 cups plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated meyer lemon zest
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
3/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed meyer lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of a food processor (or stand mixer fitting with the paddle attachment) combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, lemon zest, and poppy seeds. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the cold butter and pulse until the butter is cut into pea-sized pieces. Combine the eggs and cream in a small bowl. While pulsing, slowly add the cream mixture, mixing just until blended.

This will be very crumbly, but thats okay! Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead just until mixture forms a ball. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough out until it is 3/4 inch thick. At this point you can cut it into the more common triangle shapes, or use a cookie cutter of your choice. You can re-roll scraps once or twice as needed.

Place cut scones on a parchment paper or silicone mat lined baking sheet. Brush the top of each scone lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with a bit of sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes, switching the pans top to bottom and front to back halfway through the cooking time. The scones should be light golden brown on top and firm to the touch.

Let scones cool for 15 minutes on wire racks. Meanwhile whisk together lemon juice and confectioners sugar in a small bowl. Transfer to a piping bag or ziploc bag with a very small pice of corner cut off. Once scones have cooled, drizzle or pipe glaze onto scones. Let glaze dry for another 10-15 minutes (if you can wait that long).

Happy March!


Hungry Dog said...

These are so pretty. I love scones, and every Ina Garten scone recipe I have ever made always turns out perfectly. That woman can write a good recipe! Anyway, back to your scones. Gorgeous. And meyer lemons are the best.

Enjoy your last few weeks of winter, Hollow Peas! Spring is coming! :)

Stella said...

These looks absolutely wonderful. I want one with a hot cup of tea. Did you use a cookie cutter to make them? They all look so perfect...

HollowPeas said...

Hungry Dog,

I know, I think every single Ina recipe I have ever made has been delicious. I can't get enough of her. Spring is coming, its supposed to be in the 40's later this week! Better get a few more stews and braises in...


Thanks for stopping by! Yes I did use a cutter for these. I bought a large tin full of circular biscuit cutters from sur la table that range from about 1 inch to 4 inches in diameter in about 1/4 inch increments. I love them and use them all the time:

The scones were perfectly circular pre-bake, but when them came out of the oven they were all the same oval shape which I thought was a little strange. But they were still just as tasty!

My Little Space said...

Oh gosh, those scones look so gorgeous. I love scones and this sounds great. Btw, your photos are stunning! Have a great weekend.

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