Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Oatmeal-Currant Scones

One problem with this blog is that I end up with more food than I really need.  I try to cut down recipes to four or fewer portions, but my freezer is still filling up.  Techie Smurf and his family are visiting for Thanksgiving.  That's over a month away and I don't want to feed them only defrosted leftovers.

Case in point is this recipe, mostly from Martha Stewart, but with the oatmeal idea from Bon Appetit and a few alterations of my own thrown in.  You can't cut an egg in half.  Well, you can if you use egg substitute, but I don't normally have that around unless I'm baking a lot of eggy things.  When I make my usual scone recipe out of the Tea book, I can reduce it as small as I want by doing the math on the butter.  I only make a full recipe for my summer tea party.

The dough for these scones came out very moist, almost to the point of spoon batter.  It was almost impossible to use a biscuit cutter on them, and they did not hold the shape during baking.  I'm going to blame my own substitution of oatmeal for part of the flour, and am posting slightly more flour in this recipe than what I actually used.  Yours will not look exactly like mine; they'll probably look better.

Currants are easy to get in California because we're a major raisin-producing state (even mentioned in a line from The Music Man, "I hope I get my raisins from Fresno"), but I'm unsure of their availability in other areas.  If you can't find them, or they're too expensive, any other small dried fruit will do: black raisins, golden raisins, cranberries, blueberries, cherries, etc.  Using currants is a British Isles thing, and comes up a lot at Christmas.

1-3/4 C flour
1/2 C rolled oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tb sugar
1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter
*3/4 C currants
1/2 C milk
1 tsp vinegar (I used appple cider vinegar)
1 egg

1.  Stir vinegar into milk and let sit while you prepare the dry ingredients, to make sour milk.

2.  In a bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.

3.  Start preheating oven to 425º and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat.

4.  With fingers or a pastry cutter, cut butter into flour mixture until you can't tell the chunks of butter from the oatmeal.

5.  Beat the egg into the milk.  Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the liquid ingredients.  Stir just until combined.

6.  Lightly flour a flat surface and turn out dough onto it.  Lightly press into a mass 1/2" thick.  With a 2-1/2" biscuit cutter, cut rounds and transfer to baking sheet.  Try to remold and repress the scraps only once.  If desired, lightly brush tops with milk for a more glossy finish.

7.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, until somewhat risen and lightly golden brown.  Let cool on cookie sheet for a couple of minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely.  Serve warm or room temperature, with butter, jam, and whipped cream available.

Makes about 12

Difficulty rating  π

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