Scones and Farls
I like this title - it seems kind of archaic ...
I was looking for some recipes to make use of all the jam I've been socking away - so I thought I'd try a real scone recipe and spent all day searching and consulting about what a scone really is - not just what we see everywhere now that they've become popular and appear in all sorts of nasty sweet variations. But since I've never really seen a scone it was a bit confusing ...
Any way I settled on this recipe - and after they were done came to the conclusion that scones are nothing but biscuits! Well, they are biscuits as in "US biscuits", not as in "UK biscuits", which are cookies ... So it seems scones/biscuits are one step down from muffins, lacking as much liquid, and one step above pie crust by virtue of having leavening. But whatever they are called they do use up large amounts of jam - and that was what I was aiming for after all. This recipe is a bit too crumbly though for everyday biscuit purposes - I should've kept to Beard's recipe for cream biscuits, which is much simpler and just as good - so while I am posting the recipe that produced these - I will also post my favorite biscuit recipe and be done with it...
0.5 cups heavy cream
1 large egg
3 tablespoons sugar
0.5 teaspoons salt
2.5 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
0.5 teaspoons baking soda
6 tablespoons butter (frozen - see Note to Self)
0.5 cups raisins (optional)
Whisk cream, egg and sugar together. In another bowl blend flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate the frozen butter into this mixture and mix until it looks like coarse meal ( I love it when recipes tell you this! Like who in the last 100 years has even seen coarse meal let alone knows what it looks like.) In other words, it should be lumpy.
Add the cream mixture and stir until dough forms. Knead lightly on floured surface - this isn't sourdough bread! Pat about 1/2 inch thick and cut with your favorite drinking glass into rounds. You can glaze the scones with cream or egg wash if you like and maybe a sprinkling of sugar.
Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake in 400F preheated oven for about 15 minutes until golden.
and here are the cream biscuits:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
0.75 to 1 cup heavy cream
Blend dry ingredients and fold in cream to form a soft dough. Knead lightly on a floured surface and pat to about 1/2 inch thick - cut with something you have lying about and dip in melted butter. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a 425F preheated oven for about 15 minutes.
I've heard stories about this method of using up leftover mashed potatoes and how my great grandmother did it - but again, I've never seen it done myself. These came out nicely - a sort of Irish pierogie/knishy taste ...
1 cup mashed potatoes
1 tablespoon butter
0.5 cups flour
pepper ( I used a spicy blend that has a bit of onion flavor in it )
Mix all of this together - I think it works better if the potatoes are warm - but I will have to experiment further as I cheated and used instant mashed potatoes.
Pat or roll out the dough into a circle about 0.25 inches thick and cut into quarters ( I found out this is what farl means), but you could cut it into eighths and no one would ever know or care ...
Fry in a bit of bacon fat or olive oil - I used both and they both seem to work fine - until they are brown and crispy.
Note to Self: This freezing the butter and grating it in thing is a great idea - much better than trying to cut it into the flour and having it get all soft - you need to try this for making pie crust someday!