Monday, April 19, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Buttermilk Oh My!

So, I baked a coconut cake for a friend who was coming to dinner… a rather lovely cake, white with this remarkable cooked frosting that ended up being sort of like marshmallow cream, then I covered the whole thing with coconut. It was quite delicious. However, (insert scary music)it had one cup of buttermilk in it and as one of life’s little mysteries, buttermilk seems to only come in quart containers, would pints be so unreasonable? You see in my world buttermilk’s only use is as a recipe ingredient. Kicking back a big cold glass of buttermilk is just preposterous! The way I usually deal with this by putting the leftover buttermilk back in the refrigerator, wait until it turns green and then, not a moment before, I throw it away. Well this time I decided I was not going to be so wasteful and I would find another recipe that called for buttermilk.

Now I have been jones’n for some scones for a while and I thought this could be the perfect vehicle for my buttermilk. And yes-sir-ee there was a cherry buttermilk scone recipe just waiting to be tried. It was a very straightforward recipe and could easily be completed before breakfast. And since I had some dried cherries in the cupboard and plenty of buttermilk, I was set...
Dried Cherry Buttermilk Scones
Gourmet Magazine – March 1990
Makes 8 scones
½ C buttermilk plus ¼ C for brushing the scones

1 large egg

3 TBS light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 ¼ C cake flour (not self rising)

1 TBS double-acting baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

¾ stick (6 TBS) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

½ C dried sour cherries (chopped)

Granulated sugar for sprinkling
In a bowl whisk together ½ C of the buttermilk, the eggs, the brown sugar, and the vanilla until the mixture is combined well. In another bowl stir together the flour, the baking powder, the bakin soda, and the salt and blend in the butter resembles coarse meal. (I use my hands for this part and rub the mixture together to break down the butter and combine it with the flour – this works better for me than a fork)Stir in the cherries and the buttermilk mixture with a fork until the mixture just forms a sticky but manageable dough. Knead the dough gently for 30 seconds on a lightly floured surface, pat it into a ¾ inch thick round, and cut it into 8 wedges. On an ungreased baking sheet brush the wedges with the remaining ¼ C buttermilk and sprinkle them with the granulated sugar. Bake the scones in the middle of a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 to 18 minutes, or until they are golden.

The scones were very light with just the right amount of moistness. I served them with some of my lemon curd and I have to say it was all we could do to not overindulge! It was the perfect way to start a busy day and a nice diversion from our usual breakfast fare…and now I only have 2 cups of buttermilk to waste!

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