Sunday, January 29, 2012

Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Repeat

Rose Carrarini is the reason I put so much butter and cream in scrambled eggs.

She’s the Englishwoman behind the popular Rose Bakery, in Paris, and behind a gem of a cookbook, Breakfast Lunch Tea. You might have guessed it, but the bakery and the book are full for pastries, soups, salads and puddings.  And more.

I trust her because of those afore mentioned scrambled eggs. Never before had I followed a recipe for scrambled eggs, and she admits she “feels a bit silly” giving one. But they are what she promised: creamy but well cooked. She shouldn’t feel silly. I’ve made my eggs her way since. One day, I’ll feel “silly” enough to pass it along too.

But not today. Today is a good day for blueberry and cranberry scones. In Breakfast Lunch Tea, Carrarini calls only for blueberries, so feel free to omit them. But I found they offer a fresh pop! of a counterpunch, though. 

Don’t, however, omit the wheat germ. It’s just a handful, I know, but it really makes the texture in these scones, gives them a moist crumble. They are most satisfying. If you don’t have wheat germ on hand, use cornmeal, or a handful of whole wheat flour.

Blueberry and Cranberry Scones
Adapted from Breakfast Lunch Tea, by Rose Carrarini of Rose Bakery

500 grams white all-purpose flour (about 3 1/3 cups), plus extra for dusting
A handful of wheat germ
2 very heaping tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons white sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon salt
Grated zest of a lime, lemon or orange
1 cup butter, straight out the fridge and cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
2 handfuls of fresh or frozen cranberries
1 handful of fresh or frozen blueberries
1 ¼ cups milk (or almost)

Grease a baking sheet, and preheat the oven to 400F.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, wheat germ, and baking powder. Give it a good thorough mix. Add the sugar, salt, and lime zest. Mix.

Add the cubed butter. Using your fingers, rub the mixture until it is a fine crumble. Mix in the blueberries and cranberries, and form a crater in the middle.

In a glass measuring cup, beat one of the eggs. Add milk until you reach the 1 ¼ cup mark. Poor the liquid into the crater, and gently mix with a fork. Finish mixing the dough with your hands, very gently so that you don’t burst all the berries (you will, inevitably end up with some bursts, creating a beautiful purple swirl in the dough).

On a floured surface, roll the dough out with a rolling pin or just your hands. You want it quite thick—3 cm or so. Using a round cutting tool (a glass works), cut the dough into individual scones and place on baking sheet, nearly touching each other.

Beat the second egg, and brush on the scone tops. Sprinkle each one with a pinch of sugar. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until just golden. Serve warm with butter and lots of tea.

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