Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What a great day for SCONES!

It's a cold, blustery Snow-Day Wednesday, and it seems to be the perfect day to write about something indulgent!

My love affair with scones started many years ago.  Nineteen, in fact.

It was my junior year at Willamette University and I spent it in London with a handful of other American college students on exchange. What a semester. It was a fantastic program - we had culture coming out of our ears... I developed a love of several things British:


Tea (with milk).
I drink this every day since coffee no longer agrees with me... I prefer regular ol' Tetley British Tea. Great flavor.


My favorites are the classic British scones - not too sweet - with currants. I really don't care for the ones in stores that try to be dry, crumbly muffins. I love the classic scone flavors. I've yet to find the perfect scone here... and I try plenty.

This is the scone book I've had forever. Like most recipe books - we've settled into our favorites... and the Jam-Filled Walnut Scones have earned top-spot at the Teichrow household.

My cooking style tends to be a bit loose (dash of this, splash of that...), but not when it comes to baking. Here's the precise recipe - sorry. Too lazy to retype.

If you've never made scones - follow the photographs for tips I've found helpful for successful scones.


My pantry is stocked with most of the ingredients for these scones, except buttermilk. When that goes in the shopping cart - my boys get excited. They know what's coming in the morning!

I think one of the main techniques to get a feel for is cutting in the chilled butter. This is the dough just nearly done. You can still see some chunks of butter (real, unsalted butter - don't go healthy with margarine....). I gave this a few more turns with the pastry blender before I added the buttermilk & vanilla. NOTE: I've used 2 butter knives to cut in the butter as well... works just as well. 

Mix the dough JUST until combined. Don't over mix. This is another part where you'll just have to get a feel for it (and shoot... make a few batches YUM). Keep some flour on hand for when you press into the larger circle. Use a serrated knife to cut into equal triangles - and again, cut slits for the jam (see below).

This seems to work great for me. Two teaspoons - I scoop a bit of jam in one, then open the slit up with both and scrape the jam with the other. Pictures are so much easier to illustrate this, no?
NOTE: Some recipes call for baking the scones as you see here - together, and not separated. I think you could do either for this recipe - but personally, I like the crispy edges and tender middle, so we separate the scones. If you bake them together, you may need to bake for the longer time.... 

More for a pretty picture... here they are separated and ready to put on the cookie sheet (lightly buttered - but you could use parchment paper or a silpat). You can see the chunks of butter still intact... this makes for flaky yumminess!

Be careful to not slit the scones too far in the back (do as I say, not as I do... this one was cut a bit far back). The only issue, the jam can dribble out of the back.

Ready to bake.
Ready to EAT! See, they do puff out a bit. 

Perfectly yummy. Watch the baking time. While my husband disagreed.... I thought these cooked about 2 minutes too long. I went for 19 instead of 17.

A note on the photography: As professional photographer, of course I pride myself on my photographs. As a mom, I like to keep things simple. I've bridged the gap and have shot this particular session during a busy Sunday morning preparing breakfast for the family with my "point and shoot" camera - my Canon G12. I love this thing, and I hope you love the images.

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