Monday, July 07, 2008

Dorie Greenspan's Independence Day Cream Scones

July 4, 2008
Now that I own this big fat book by Dorie Greenspan--Baking From My House to Yours--I figure I should start using it. Every 4th of July, some neighbors have a brunch to which they invite the entire neighborhood. I decided I would bring scones, even though Barb Strand, who hosts the brunch, is a professional chef, and even though she always does homemade biscuits and gravy.
It's always a good idea to have a basic scone recipe that's easy and trustworthy. I generally use one of Rose's two scone recipes in TBB, but I like to try new things. Dorie's recipe uses both cream and butter, and I'm almost always in favor of a recipe that contains both. It's a good combination. I've found that recipes that use just butter are hard to handle and recipes that use just cream aren't as flavorful or flaky, and sometimes get too soft. These, as Goldilocks said, were just right.

I don't like to write out recipes, but, fortunately, if you want to make these scones and if you don't want to buy another fat cookbook, you can just google "Dorie Greenspan" and "cream scones," and you'll find that other, more accommodating people, have already written the recipe down for you.
If you have the book, you should be aware that, although the recipe calls for 3/4 cup of currants, the recipe is missing the instruction that says "add currants." If you were feeling a little slow on the uptake, you might be left a box of currants standing alone on the counter while your cream scones were already in the oven. Not that that would be a tragedy. In my opinion, scones don't really require any fancying up, but it would be too bad, especially if you'd gone out and bought a box of currants especially for the occasion. As I had some dried cherrries on hand, I used those instead of currants.
It occurred to me later that, since I was making these for Independence Day, I should have added, perhaps, blueberries and white chocolate, along with the cherries, for the traditional red, white and blue. That that seems a little over the top, though, and the cherries alone were very nice indeed.

I love scones, especially with clotted cream, although I didn't use clotted cream, it being Independence Day and a time to celebrate our freedom from British tyranny, including, I suppose, clotted cream. But I was a little sad when I learned that I'd been mispronouncing them all these years, and that I shouldn't call them scones, but, rather, something more like scawns. Of course, when you say "scawn," nobody knows what you're talking about, but when you say "scone," with a long o, you know that you are actually incorrect. It's like forte. If you say, "that's not my forte," someone will say, you mean, "for-tay?" Which leads you to avoid the word entirely. So I may just have to make muffins instead.

11 comments:

jini said...

you are the best marie! i am laughing out loud after reading this.
my scone recipe which i got from the internet on a b&b site uses buttermilk. i know you have buttermilk angst, so this would be another leftover option. the last time i made them i used dried cherries and then added some chunks of dark chocolate. sinful and fattening i suppose, but yummy.
when we were in edinburgh, someone pronounced them as scoons. so which is the correct? i bet melinda will tell us.

Anonymous said...

Or Jeannette! I don't usually get in before Melinda but as I am British(!!) I will tell you how we pronounce the word around here, which is N.Wales. We say 'scawns' which is a good way of spelling the word to show how it is pronouced. YOu are a clever, Marie, I wouldn't have thought of that! But i have heard some ,who think they are a bit posh pronouce it as scone with a long o, but they are usually laughed at around these parts.
Actually , scones are always something which seems so easy but can be one of the most difficult to get right, they are either too flat, too dry or too something! Lots of people fight shy of making them for that reason. Yours look fine , Marie, I'm sure they were gobbled up in no time at the Independence Brunch. Jeannette.

Anonymous said...

Or Jeannette! I don't usually get in before Melinda but as I am British(!!) I will tell you how we pronounce the word around here, which is N.Wales. We say 'scawns' which is a good way of spelling the word to show how it is pronouced. YOu are a clever, Marie, I wouldn't have thought of that! But i have heard some ,who think they are a bit posh pronouce it as scone with a long o, but they are usually laughed at around these parts.
Actually , scones are always something which seems so easy but can be one of the most difficult to get right, they are either too flat, too dry or too something! Lots of people fight shy of making them for that reason. Yours look fine , Marie, I'm sure they were gobbled up in no time at the Independence Brunch. Jeannette.

Melinda said...

Since Labour government took hold it hasn't been fashionable to have a posh pronunciation of scones. It's like eating American style when you are Spying in a German camp...you get spotted right away.
I hear Scones pronounced differently all over Britain. But I say scawn, and am neither posh or British!
Your scawns look plenty yummy. And clotted cream would be delicious on them!
So Little Red Riding Hood said it was just right? In the British bedtime story books, it is Goldilocks who says it is just right. Hmmm. Little Red Riding hood or Goldilocks? I wonder which heroine is the correct one? This international thing does confuse me.

breadbasketcase said...

Jini,
The addition of dark chocolate sounds delicious--much better than white chocolate, actually, although dark chocolate doesn't work so well with the red, white and blue motif. Maybe brown could represent the flagpole?


Jeannette,
Thank you! They were gobbled up pretty quickly, and I was watching.

Eagle-Eyed Melinda,
Yes, of course it's Goldilocks. I'm going to change it so nobody else will wonder if I don't know my nursery rhymes. Maybe if Little Red Riding Hood had been carrying some delicious scones in her basket, the wolf would have just eaten the scones and left the little girl alone. But what kind of story would that be?
P.S. As Barack Obama almost said to Hillary Clinton, "You're posh enough, Melinda."

Melinda said...

Now that you have changed it, everyone will wonder what I am talking about. I have underestimated your cleverness. Outsmarted again!

evil cake lady said...

you mean forte isn't pronounced "for-tay?" BBC, you have turned my world upside down.

the scawns looks great. a good scawn is a thing to behold (or just eat). i had one that was more akin to cardboard when i was at the coast. such a shame.

Anonymous said...

Hi all-

I thought it was for-tay, too! The things I learn from the blog...

Oh, yes, I do learn about baking, too. The scawny scooones look fantastic and, when it comes to add-ins, less is more. The cream and butter combo is a must for me, too. It really seems like something is missing when just one or the other is used, which is ironic as they are essentially the same thing.

Hope everyone had a nice holiday and Marie - hope you are feeling much better.

Best,
Laura Lee

breadbasketcase said...

Melinda,
If I'd really wanted to outsmart you, I would have changed "Little Red Riding Hood" to "Goldilocks" in the blog entry, and then asked you politely what you were talking about when you mentioned Little Red Riding Hood.

ECL,
Cardboard scones are an abomination! I'm sorry that you had to suffer a cardboard scone. Here's the deal about forte: pronounced for-tay, it's Italian for loud; pronounced fort, it's French for "strong," meaning one's strong point. I have a lot of useless information like that floating around in my head. My daughter Sarah said she wishes I'd never told her that because it just makes her life more difficult. Isn't that what being a mother is all about?

Laura Lee,
I think we need a food scientist to explain why the combination of cream and butter works better than either one alone for making scones, and I definitely am not a food scientist. It's an interesting question, though, isn't it?

Doughadear said...

I love reading your clever blog and your clever blog friends' responses.
I remember watching an interview with the former Duchess of York and she mentioned something about scones and she poshly pronounced it with a long o. From now on it's "scawns" for me and yours look delicious.

breadbasketcase said...

Doughadear,
I love my blog friends' responses too! And I don't even care if they're clever, although they often are. And informative: how else would I know how the former Duchess of York pronounces scones?