Berry Almond Scones

Berry Almond SconesThis is my first selection  in the “American” scone category, not to be confused with the restrained British version. I acquired this recipe during my time at Culinary School. Our visiting chef claimed he developed them for a certain high-end store café – maybe Bloomingdale’s or Saks. I recall my previous disappointment with the final result, but decided they’d make a suitable initial recipe in the Ultimate Scone Smackdown.

With my increasing scone-savviness, I detected a few anomalies the instant I re-read the recipe. First, this recipe requires high-gluten bread flour when all recommendations suggest a low-gluten flour such as cake or pastry flour. Second, there’s no butter; it’s been replaced by heavy cream. Last, honey replaces a good portion of the sweetener. Should I doubt a trained and practicing pastry chef? Instead, I question my own competence. What’s the story?

As expected, the outcome was decent, but a tad too chewy and bread-like; not entirely my cup of tea – or should I say, “not to be served with my cup of tea.” If time allows, I’d like to revisit this recipe, switch out the bread flour for pastry flour and test the results.

So far, the British scones lead, but to be fair, I sampled them with heaps of clotted cream and strawberry jam – I’m sure a hamburger bun would have tasted delightful. Unadorned, they need a smidgen more sugar for this girl’s American palate.

Berry Almond Scones
Adapted from Chef Tom

16 oz. frozen blueberries, blackberries and chopped candied sliced almonds
1.75 lbs. (note – this is lbs. not cups) Bread flour Pastry flour?
3 oz. + 1 c. Sugar
3 T. Baking powder
1 t. Salt
1 Lemon zest, finely grated
3 c. + 1 c. Heavy Cream
4 oz. Honey

Heat oven to 425 (375 convection).

Combine flour, 3 oz. sugar, baking powder, salt and zest in a mixer with paddle. Add 3 c. cream, honey, and additions. Mix until ingredients just come together (don’t over mix).

Portion out by hand into desired size (I weighed mine at 3 oz. each).

Dip top of scone in 1 c. cream and then 1 c. sugar. Place sugar size up approximately 1.25” apart on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake approximately 15-20 minutes (10-15 convection).

Results Board

  1. British scones adapted from Cooks Illustrated
  2. Culinary school American Scones
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