A Good Scone
apricot-vanilla scone recipe
I’m probably one of the last people to learn about The Lost Kitchen, having just discovered it last November while browsing through HBO Max. I realize producers shoot, and editors cut in a way that makes for good television but watching the show, and listening to Erin French describe her journey in opening The Lost Kitchen is what finally gave me the incentive to take the leap on realizing a dream of my own. That’s what prompted me to finally start teaching my online cooking classes a couple of months ago.
I was so hung up on it being perfect that I lost sight of the purpose of wanting to teach classes in the first place. For me, it’s about fostering a sense of community and showing people that cooking doesn’t have to be difficult, or even perfect. The most important part is to make it enjoyable because that energy infuses everything you make, be it a batch of cookies, weeknight dinner or a celebratory meal. I may not have a huge kitchen or swanky appliances, but neither of those are necessary to cook a great meal.
While watching an episode from the current season, I saw French making scones in a manner I’ve never seen done before. The dough technique was pretty straight forward but her method for shaping them intrigued me. Rather than make circles and cut into triangles, or stamping them out with a cutter, she rolls the dough into a log, then cuts & manipulates them into cylinders. It’s a hard technique to put into words, so I decided to see if she had any recipes online explaining it since I had a hunch that without proper explanation, the scones will not bake up successfully. I noticed she doesn’t include mention of this rather important step, and there are quite a few comments in this Food & Wine recipe about flat cookie-like scones.
I really like this method mainly because it ensures every bit of dough is used up if you like round scones which I prefer over triangular ones. French’s scone recipe is more of a shortcake in my opinion. They’re heavy on the butter, and use more sugar than scones should, according to a friend from New Zealand who dislikes how sweet American scones tend to be.
I’ve tried my best to incorporate French’s shaping technique in the steps, but if you’re worried about that bit, just roll the dough 1-inch thick, and stamp out circles using a 2 ½-inch round cutter.
I’ve made them plain, just using the lemon zest for flavoring. They are lovely this way. Then I felt inspired to capture the flavor of my apricot vanilla jam in scone form, and had some dried apricots that needed using up. Don’t skimp on the vanilla sugar sprinkling before baking. The scones aren't very sweet, so this bit of sugar seals the deal on that apricot-vanilla combo. Treat yourself to a good quality butter here. I prefer a European high-fat one with 82% butter fat.
I’m marking my calendar for the first day of Spring when reservation details will be available for The Lost Kitchen’s next serving season. It’s probably a long shot since it’s a postcard lottery but I suppose crazier things have happened.
Hope the weekend is filled with pockets of peace. Be well, and remember to be kind. –xo, j.
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