Monday, January 11, 2010
Cranberry-Orange Cornmeal Scones
It's been ages since I've made one of my favorite things--scones. I finally resolved to do it yesterday and use up a little bit of buttermilk biding its time in the refrigerator. So within an hour of getting up this morning, I had a warm batch of cranberry-orange scones with a golden color and crunchy texture thanks to a little bit of cornmeal in the dough.
I can't believe it's well into the second week of the new year, and I haven't had anything blog-worthy to post until now. I've made Hoppin' John(no ham hock this time, but plenty of leftover baked ham added at the end), for New Year's of course, and this soup.
My favorite things I've cooked lately have been simple, but absolutely wonderful vegetable dishes, like braised red cabbage, which I'm adding to my permanent repertoire (I used this recipe, minus the bacon, plus dried thyme and chile flakes). Although I've cooked Brussels sprouts multiple ways, I hadn't done a high-heat roasted version with plenty of coarse salt before--the result was so good, it doesn't feel like you could possibly be eating a vegetable. Here are a few recipes to consider if you want to try it.
So now that I've posted these blog-worthy scones, I hope you enjoy them. They're big and satisfying, but not-too-decadent treats made with whole grains, so you can keep any New Year's resolutions you may be working on. Happy New Year and thank you for reading my blog in 2009!
Cranberry-Orange Cornmeal Scones
You can substitute all-purpose or white whole wheat flour for the whole wheat pastry flour. A topping is optional for these scones, but I like a sprinkling of coarse sugar for texture and a little extra sweetness.
1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (234 g)
3/4 cup medium stone ground cornmeal (123 g)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
Zest of 1 medium orange (preferably organic), finely grated
6 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
1/3 cup dried cranberries (40 g)
1 egg, for egg wash (optional)
Turbinado or other coarse sugar (such as sanding sugar), for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg and orange zest.
Add the chilled butter cubes to the dry ingredients, toss with your hands briefly to coat the butter and mix with a pastry blender (you can also use your hands or a fork) until the large chunks of butter are broken up and you have a sandy mixture with pea-sized chunks of butter remaining. Pour in the buttermilk mixture and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in the cranberries.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and quickly knead into a ball. Flatten slightly with your palm to form a thick disk. Sprinkle dough with flour and use a rolling pin to roll the dough into an 8-inch circle, about 1-inch thick. Dust a large knife with flour and cut the dough into 8 wedges. Transfer wedges to the prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. If using, beat the egg with 1 tablespoon water. With a pastry brush, lightly coat tops of scones with egg. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake 20 to 24 minutes or until bottoms are light golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.