We had some friends over for brunch this morning. Not only a treat because they live in Colorado but I never make brunch. Hmmm…what to make? I opted for simple. Oatmeal dried cherry scones with potted cream on the side, slowly cooked scrambled eggs with goat cheese, sauteed quartered mushrooms with thyme, cherry tomatoes on the vine slightly sauteed in olive oil until they pop and sliced figs sprinkled with raspberries and blueberries.
I made the scones in the morning. Never made scones before so I used a cookbook that has never steered me wrong, Stars Desserts by Emily Luchetti. Someone gave this to me years ago who had gone to college with Emily. A winner. I have never bought any of her other books but the one I have is falling apart. It was the first of her many books. She was the original pastry Chef at Star's in San Francisco. Stars, owned by Jeremiah Tower, was one of the original gourmet restaurants that we all now come to expect. Incredible history in that restaurant.
Here is the recipe for the scones. They had to cook longer than she recommended but I couldn't have baked them a little less. They got a tad try but for the first time, they were really good.
3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar plus 2 Tbsp
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
10 ounces cold sweet butter (unsalted made with sweet cream is what I used)
2 cups oats (use the old fashioned kind)
1 cup currants (I used whole dried cherries but they should have been cut up)
2 tbsp. orange zest
3/4 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and butter (cut up the butter in to little pieces while cold before adding it to the bowl) in an electric mixer. Use the paddle attachment and turn on low. Let this mix until the butter is the size of small peas. It takes some time but don't worry. Just let it keep going. Then, add the oats, dried fruit and orange zest. Slowly pour the buttermilk in ( all while the mixer is still going ) until the dough just comes together.
Take the dough and put it on a lightly floured board and roll it out into a 3/4 inch circle. I used my hands to make this happen. Cut into 10 scones. The pieces are quite large but they should be about 3 plus inches in diameter. Put the scones on parchment paper and bake until they are golden.
The recipe called for 20 minutes. I let them back 45. My oven can get weird too so perhaps that was the problem. Regardless, they were good but a tad dry. Easy to make and a good basic that you can add any dried fruit too.