Monday, November 15, 2010

Class I Homework ~ Part II ~

Truffled poached eggs rounded out our scone and orange-ricotta pancake brunch.  So delicious.

My friends and I decided to put together a brunch since I was in the mood to eat pancakes.  I love ricotta pancakes and they're so fool proof yet better than anything you can get at a restaurant, no matter how famous it may be.  And since this would be the perfect opportunity to have any baking projects consumed, I decided to practice making scones.

First, I remade the scones we did in class, with currants, except I left out the orange zest.  I wanted to see how the batter tasted plain.  I was a little under the weather this day though, so wasn't fully there and I ended up using salted butter instead of unsalted, and I forgot to add the sugar.  I baked them anyway and surprisingly, everyone loved them.  Seriously.  They were a smidgen salty for my tastes, but I don't like a lot of salt.  Everyone else just thought they tasted like the most amazing biscuits, albeit studded with currants.  Who knew?
Next came Claire Clark's Cream Scones.  I'd made these once before, way before, and while they turned out okay, I didn't really know how to make scones at the time.  This time turned out much better!  These scones don't use any egg, which I think makes them a little more crumbly than if you added an egg, but until I make a few more batches to really be sure, this may just be conjecture.  Regardless, they turned out great, and I love the look of the egg wash.  Scones definitely need an egg wash, not just cream.

Last came the fresh strawberry scones.  Teacher had told us in class that you can't just add fresh fruit to a regular scone recipe because it won't work.  There's too much liquid in fresh fruit.  She put a recipe for fresh strawberry scones on her blog and told us to check it out if we were interested, so I did.  The batter came out really runny and impossible to shape.  In hindsight, I guess I could've added more flour but oh well.  I just scooped out dough into little mounds and baked them.  I should've known to use far less dough per scone than I did, but of course, being slightly sick, I wasn't thinking and just went ahead with the giant blobs.  So I shouldn't have been surprised when out came these huge flying saucers, but I was.

Good thing they tasted great!  I've found that quite a few people don't really like scones because they can be on the dry side, but these blobs were really moist and flavorful and you could really taste the strawberry.  They aren't the most shapely scone, but they were the first to be gobbled up by the brunch table.

Last but not least comes my clotted cream making experiment.  I forgot to take this to the brunch so I ate them with the leftover scones later that day.  Sorry friends!

I'd always heard that you could make your own clotted cream since it's so expensive to buy them from those specialty gourmet grocery stores.  I found a recipe that said all you needed was unpasturized or pasturized cream (it would work as long as it wasn't ultra-pasturized).  I found some pasturized cream at Trader Joe's, so I dumped a pint sized bottle of it into an 8 by 8 Pyrex baking dish.  I set my oven to the warm setting and left it in there, covered with aluminum foil, overnight.  I left it there for approximately 10 hours.  Then I let it cool, scooped off the stuff on top, put that in the fridge, and voila--clotted cream!

It definitely wasn't as sweet and flavorful as real clotted cream made from fresh unpasturized cream, but it was still quite tasty on the reheated scones.  It doesn't make a lot though, so it actually might be worth it to pay the price tag on the expensive glass jarred stuff.  But it's a fun little experiment, and if you can't find any where you live, this is a great alternative for your next afternoon tea party!


  1. yumm! i like those saucer sized scones... more to inhale! Everything looks so good, I wish I was there are the brunch. I never knew that that was how to make clotted cream. Quite interesting.
    can't wait for more updates!

  2. More to come soon! I can't wait to start making yeasted breads in class :)