Saturday, February 26, 2011

Empty Pocket, Full Stomach, Happy Tastebuds!

It happens to everyone, every now and then when its close to payday we all find ourselves "financial challenged". For me this is one of those times, so I decided that this week I would make something for which I had all or most of the ingredients already. I've always wanted to try scones, I decided to make two kinds: one sweet and one savoury. I started with the savoury, "Cheddar and Pepper Scones"

The recipe calls for all-purpose flour but I had self-rising flour. One cup self-rising flour is equivalent to 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. So I used the self-rising flour and adjusted the quantities of baking powder and salt. I sifted the dry ingredients together, grated some tasty cheddar cheese and cut the butter into pieces. Buttermilk is impossible to find in the grocery store in Jamaica so I made my own by adding 1 tablespoon vinegar to my measuring cup, topped it up with milk to the one cup mark and letting it stand for 10 minutes.

I got the helpful tips on flour substitution and making buttermilk from Joy of Baking

I used my fingers to incorporate the butter and cheese into the dry ingredients until it was crumbly, then I added the pepper. I thought it could use more cheesy goodness so I added half a cup of grated parmesan cheese. Then I put it in the fridge for 1/2 hr.

I removed it from the fridge and added the entire cup of buttermilk to mixture, formed the sticky dough and spread it out on a big cutting board I coated with flour. Then I cut it the dough into 16 rectangles, brushed them with milk and put them in the oven for 15 minutes. I then removed them from the oven and set them to cool and after just a little while I took a taste. I loved the peppery taste and mmmmmm cheesy. I love cheese, nothing can ever be too cheesy for me. Next time I think I will add a dash of onion powder to the mix and I'll use a glass to cut the scones into rounds so they can be uniform.

Afterwards I got started on some Lemon and Dried Blueberry Scones These were made in pretty much the same way as the savoury scones with flour, butter, sugar, lemon zest and dried blueberries. I cut the batter into triangles and sprinkled sugar on top before putting them in the oven. These were done after 22 minutes in the oven.

When I took a bite, mmmmm, these were good too. Out of the all the ingredients I needed for these recipes the only one I had to buy was the dried blueberries and boy were they worth it. The combination of the blueberry and lemon, the crisp outside with the light fluffy inside and just the right amount of sweetness was sublime. With this recipe, I wouldn't change a thing and I can definitely see why its one of the top rated recipes on Epicurious.

So there you have it, 2 great batches of scones and all I had to buy was dried blueberries. Everything else used was already here, whether from previous recipes or just regular pantry items. A delicious and  budget friendly morning in the kitchen and a wonderful introduction to scones.

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