Sunday, December 8, 2013

Spicy Persimmon & Ginger Beef Stir-fry




Ingredients for Spicy Persimmon & Ginger Beef Stir-Fry
 

Searing the beef
 

Colorful, mildly sweet and spicy beef



Most of you know that I have been making jam for a little while now.  This is something I learned from my awesome sister-in-law, Jeanne while visiting her up in Northern California.  After getting down the basics, I decided to try making jam with uncommon fruits.  Uncommon to jam-making , that is.    Since my mother loves persimmons I chose that to be my first step in canning outside of the box. 
I have gone beyond persimmons since then and I’ll share my adventures in future posts.  This Spicy Persimmon & Ginger Beef Stir Fry is one of the first recipes my son, Toby, and I have collaborated on.  Most of the ingredients as well as the technique are basic, but the addition of chile pepper flakes and persimmon jam gives this dish an updated exciting taste.
 
Spicy Persimmon & Ginger Beef Stir Fry
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, mince
½  teaspoon chile pepper flakes, or more to taste
2 lbs London broil or other lean cut of beef
3 medium carrots peeled, sliced diagonally
½ cup rice wine
1 leek, white and light green parts sliced ¼” horizontally
1 cup sliced green onions
8 tablespoons Hummingbird Hill Persimmon Jam
 
On high heat sauteé garlic, ginger and chile pepper flakes until fragrant.  Add beef and let cook until just a little bit pink.  Allow juices to evaporate, or remove with a spoon, leaving no more than 1 tablespoon.  Add carrots and 1 ½ tablespoons rice wine.  Stir fry until all the liquid has been absorbed.  Add leeks and scallions.  Add more rice wine if meat and vegetables begin sticking to pan.  Add 8 tablespoons Hummingbird Hill Persimmon Jam and stir to coat beef slices.  Cook another 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.
 
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I used a cut of beef called London Broil because it is lean and uniform in size but any other lean cut will work.  Placing the beef in the freezer for about 30 minutes prior to slicing and using a very sharp knife aids in achieving thin slices.  The essence of stir frying is to cook food very quickly over high heat.  Thus it is imperative to have all the ingredients ready and prepped beforehand, and have them lined up close to the wok.  As soon as the wok is very hot, pour a thin line of room temperature oil down the side of the wok.  Sautéeing the dry aromatic ingredients like garlic, ginger and chile pepper flakes first infuses the oil which will later flavor the meat.  Toby, in his artistic and perhaps Le Cordon Bleu-trained way laid the beef slices one by one flat against the wall of wok to sear them.  Chinese cooks would probably toss the whole lot into the wok!  When Toby saw that there seemed to be a lot of juice from the beef accumulating at the bottom of the wok, he removed most of it to prevent the meat from steaming.  We want them seared after all! 
You will notice that my carrots are crinkly.  I use a crinkle cutter to add dimension and texture to my vegetables.  The crevices are also a good place for the yummy sauce to cling to.  Although this is a stir-fry, liquid is added to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the wok.  Rather than using water, I use alcohol or broth to add flavor.  And finally, the jam is added last to prevent it from caramelizing too much and burning in the hot wok. 
None of the flavors overpowered each other; everything came together well.  The persimmon jam’s sweetness is the first to hit your taste buds, followed by rich beefy flavor tempered by the sweet leeks, and then you get little (or a lot!) explosions from the chile pepper flakes.  You calm your mouth down with steamed white rice, and then it craves more of that scrumptious flavor, and the cycle starts all over again. 
Stay tuned to more recipes using our extraordinary jams. 
What would you use Hummingbird Hill Persimmon Jam for?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hummingbird Hill Kitchen Artisanal Jams

Hummingbird Hill - a virtual French cafe



Our delicacies in front of the Louvre.

                                                                                 

                                                                                

                                                                                 

                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                     English Scones

       Macadamia Mango Cheesecake
                                                                                                    
                                                                                                               Macadamia Persimmon Bars

Macadamia Mango Cheesecake with Toasted Coconut
                                                                                
                                                                                   Passion Fruit, Plum Sage, Meyer Lemon Curd, Persimmon




I want to share something very special with all of you: the debut of Hummingbird Hill Jams. As you may know I’ve been making jams for about a year now thanks to my awesome sister-in-law and culinary creator, Jeanne.  Right away I decided to make unusual jams; flavors you don’t normally see in grocery stores.  The first unconventional flavor I made was persimmon because my mom loves persimmons.  By having persimmon jam, she could enjoy this flavor throughout the year, not just November through January. 

There were so many fruits to try!  I was making so much jam I couldn’t give them away fast enough!  Around the middle of the year several of my college friends and I had a get-together.  We usually get together about once a year or whenever someone is in town.  So anyway, I gave them jars of jam, too.  A few weeks later one of my BFFs, Ray, called to tell me he’s gained a lot of weight because of the jams.  My question was, “But did you like them?”  His response was an overwhelming YES!  He was delighted about the unusual flavors, and in particular about the jackfruit jam.  Jackfruit, or langka as it is known in the Philippines, is a tropical fruit native to South and Southeast Asia.  It is also found in parts of Africa and the Caribbean.  The jam captures the jackfruit’s essence so completely that you will be transported to the tropics!  We talked about the potential of these jams and he encouraged me to keep experimenting. 

In August my son, Toby and I met with Ray to kick ideas around about jams and food in general.  Ray told me to read food blogs.  I asked, “What is a blog?”  After his explanation, Ray suggested I look into writing one myself.  After “looking” into it, I realized the only way to learn it is to jump in feet first.  My other sister-in-law who is equally awesome and creative in other ways, Marie, told me all about her blog.  The next day I had a blog called KitchenCanDo.  So I took pictures and wrote posts.  Along the way, we decided on Hummingbird Hill as our name, and the blog changed accordingly.  It looked like we were going to go into business.  Another of my BFFs, Rose Mary, told me about Cottage Food Operations, a newly passed bill in California where people can legally make food in their home kitchens to sell to the public.  It may be legal but it is by no means easy.  In the meantime, I played around with more flavors and recipes, and Ray, Toby and I honed the look of our jams.

This past weekend we had the opportunity to participate in my parish’s Christmas Market.  This was going to be a litmus test for our products.  We went into it without any expectations. Ray’s car was packed to the hilt with props, and it took us a few hours to set up our booth.  As you can see from the pictures, we had a virtual French café complete with bistro tables and chairs.  My jams were on a pedestal in their handsome new jars and sleek (and chic) labels!  Some of Ray’s world famous decadent desserts were served, this time infused with our jams.  The table was laden with our goodies, and set in front of a painting of the Louvre done by Toby. 

So how was the response you ask?  Well, it was simply wonderful!!  People grazed on our samples and drank our tea.  They were bowled over by our display!  Many commented they felt like they were in Europe!  People sat at the tables eating their goodies, chatting amiably with other parishioners.  Others asked about our products and remarked at how delicious they were.  A few people even asked if we cater.  Yes, we do!  We can bring our display to your party, we told them.  We can do just a dessert table, a tea party, a luncheon, or whatever you want.  We are caterers and party planners.   

Our current lineup of preserves is: Jackfruit Jam, Kiwi Jam, Mango Jam, Meyer Lemon Curd, Passion Fruit Jam, Persimmon Jam, and Plum Sage Jam.  And as you can see in the pictures, we have delectable cakes and pastries. 

We wish to thank everyone that believes in us, supports our vision, and has helped us in any way.  I urge you to tune in frequently to see our progress, and hopefully someday soon we will meet at Hummingbird Hill. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hui Guo Rou (Stir-fried Pork Belly with Chinese Chives)

Sliced cooked pork with other ingredients

Paste, black bean sauce and sweet bean sauce in hong you.

Hui Guo Rou



A couple of months ago (September 3, 2013) I posted a piece about Hong You, or Sichuan Red Chile Oil.  While spicy, it isn’t really a condiment by itself.  Rather, it is a key ingredient in many Sichuan dishes like Lu Rou (Triple-Cooked Spareribs with Chiles) and Mapo Tofu (Sichuan Tofu and Ground Beef in Red Chile Sauce).  You are probably familiar with Mapo Tofu as it is a staple in most Chinese restaurants.  The question is, do they use Hong You? 
I decided to make the following dish because spicy crispy pork belly sounded divine!  I also had an extra slab of pork belly from when I made bacon.  This is adapted from a recipe in Saveur (March 2013).
Hui Guo Rou (Stir-fried Pork Belly with Chinese Chives)
Ingredients:       1 ½ lbs skin-on pork belly
                                2 cups cooking oil
                                1/3 cup hong you (Sichuan red chile oil)
                                2 tablespoons douban jiang (Chinese red chile bean paste)
                                2 tablespoons dou chi (Chinese fermented black soybeans)
                                4 teaspoons tian mian jiang (Chinese sweet bean paste)
                                1 teaspoon sugar
                                10 suan miao (Chinese chives, blossoms discarded) or scallions, sliced into 1”  pieces
 
1.        Bring pork and 12 cups water to a boil in a 6-qt. saucepan over high heat.  Reduce to medium-low heat and cover.  Cook until pork is tender when pierced with a fork, 1 – 1 ½ hours.  Transfer pork to an ice bath.  Drain and dry completely with paper towels.  Slice very thinly crosswise into ¼” pieces and set aside. 
2.       Heat cooking oil in a wok or large pot.  The same 6-qt. sauce pan may be used.  When temperature reaches 350°F, add pork slices.  Be ready with the saucepan cover as oil will splatter.  Cook the pork until slightly crisp, 5-10 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer pork to a bowl lined with a paper towel.  Set aside.
3.       Discard cooking oil.  Add red chile oil to wok and heat over medium-high heat.  Add paste, beans, sauce and sugar.  Be ready with the pan lid as oil will splatter.  Cook, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute.  Add reserved pork and chives.  Cook, stirring constantly until chives have wilted, about 3 minutes.  Serve with rice.
 
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I cooked the pork up to step 1 then froze it as I didn’t have the other ingredients on hand.  When I finally got everything together, I thawed the pork and dried each slice with a paper towel.  Then I started cooking the rice.  The house smelled heavenly as the pork was frying!  I almost couldn’t wait.  Then the smell became pungent when I added the paste, beans and sauce.  The moment was fast approaching!  In went the pork and chives.  It only took a couple of minutes for the chives to wilt and the pork to be coated with the spicy mixture.  The rice was already waiting expectantly on the plate.  While I was turning off the heat with one hand, my other hand was spooning several pork slices onto the rice.  Then oooohhhh, mmmmm, yummmmm! 
The pork provided a satisfying crunch, the sauce was piquant, salty and a little sweet, while the rice was the perfect vehicle for the whole taste experience.   Remember what I wrote last time about Sichuan peppercorns which are present in most Sichuan food?  Compounds in Sichuan peppercorns activate the nerves in our mouth and produce a tingling sensation.  That is the ma effect.  The capsaicin in chiles then kicks in with the spiciness which is the la effect.  Thus Sichuan dishes have that one-two punch. 
Although this dish had a lot of heat I was seeking, I found it a little on the salty side.  So for those of you who are a bit sensitive to salt, cut the bean paste and fermented soy beans to 1 ½ tablespoons each.  And do keep that saucepan lid handy.  You don’t have to clamp the lid down, just lay it on the pan slightly askew.  Otherwise you’re going to have oil all over the place.  You’re going to want to eat this as soon as it is cooked, not be cleaning up a greasy mess. 
I thought it was so good I had it 2 meals in a row!  While the rest of my family was eating pork chops and mac ‘n cheese, I was savoring my Hui GuoRou!
So what is one of the most anticipated dishes you ever made?


 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Steak Au Poivre

Steaks coated with ground pepper

Steaks sauteeing in butter

Flambeeing with Cognac
Steak Au Poivre

 
 
 
 
Steak au Poivre
Ingredients:
 4 7-oz fillet steaks
2 tablespoons oil
6 tablespoons black peppercorns, crushed
1 ½ oz butter
3 tablespoons Cognac
¼ cup white wine
½ cup heavy cream
 
1.        Rub steaks on both sides with the oil and press the crushed peppercorns into the meat.  Melt the butter in a large frying pan and cook the steaks for 2-4 minutes on each side, or to desired doneness.
2.       Add the Cognac and flambé by lighting the pan with a match.  Stand back when you do this and have a pan lid in case of a flare up.  Put the steaks on a hot plate.  Add the wine to the pan and boil, stirring, for 1 minute to deglaze the pan.  Add the cream and stir for 1-2 minutes.  Season and pour over the steaks.
 
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In 1983 my parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary by taking our entire family to a fancy restaurant for dinner.  As I was enamored with the French language at the time I decided to practice by ordering the Steak au Poivre.  I don’t know whether it was the waiter’s ignorance or the background chatter going on but what I got wasn’t Steak au Poivre.  So when I saw this recipe I had to make it.  I’ve waited 30 years to taste this dish!
I thought that the steaks were merely coated with crushed/ground pepper.  I was surprised to read that they are fried in butter and flambéed.  Oh goody, another chance to flambé something!! 
Oh, it was delicious!  Frying crushed peppercorns on the meat mellowed out its spicy bite.  The steaks were tender, and the creamy sauce was velvety.  Definitely something to have again!



Friday, October 25, 2013

Luau

One recent evening, our son Toby and his girlfriend came over for dinner.  Jen suggested that we have a surprise party for Toby’s 30th birthday.  What a great idea!  So we came up with Hawaiian as a theme.  I refined the menu over the course of the next week, shopped and prepped. 
 
Lilikoi Cheesecake


Spam Musubi
Macaronic Salad


Banana Leaf Roasted Pork
Jen's Hawaiian Coleslaw

Poi


Tofu Poke

Seafood Poke


 
Fried Rice

 
 
 
Lilikoi Cheesecake – The cheesecake was purchased from Costco, and then I topped it with my Passion Fruit Jam.
Spam Musubi – This is a ubiquitous snack available all over Hawaii.  It is composed of rice and Spam wrapped together by a strip of nori.  Spam was introduced to the islands during the Second World War when it was brought over by the military.  Since then, Spam has become part of numerous dishes in Hawaii.
Macaroni Salad – Macaroni Salad or sometimes, Potato-Macaroni Salad is an integral part of a “Plate Lunch”.  A Plate Lunch consists of a meat dish (such as teriyaki, laulau, fried shrimp tempura, chicken adobo, etc.), 2 scoops of rice, and a scoop of macaroni or potato-mac salad. 
Banana Leaf Roasted Pork – I debated with myself for several days on a pork dish and finally I came up with this.  The concept was borrowed from Kalua Pork and Pork Laulau.  I used 2 boneless pork picnic shoulders and seasoned them with patis (Filipino fish sauce) and Hawaiian sea salt, and wrapped them with fresh banana leaves.  Then I baked them in a 300°F oven for 6 hours.  Everyone raved that the meat was moist and tender!
Jen’s Hawaiian Coleslaw – Jen made this dish.  She added Mandarin orange segments for flavor and color.
Poi – Poi is the traditional Hawaiian staple made from taro root.  It is boiled or steamed and pounded to form a paste.  Oftentimes it is allowed to ferment slightly to develop a sour taste.  This poi came from Hawaii!
Tofu PokePoke is popularly known as a dish of seafood cut into blocks and seasoned with salt, seaweed, soy sauce and sesame oil.  I made this one with firm tofu, sesame oil, chile pepper flakes, sliced scallions, Alaea red Hawaiian sea salt and fresh ogo.  Ogo is a thin purplish-brown seaweed from Hawaii.
Seafood Poke – I used the same seasonings but on baby octopus tentacles and fresh salmon.
Fried Rice – This is a Filipino version of fried rice.  To steamed white rice I added: minced garlic, diced pork, diced chicken, sliced Chinese sausage, peas and carrots, soy sauce, ground white pepper, and strips of egg omelet.
Not pictured are: Shoyu Chicken, Chuka Salad (seaweed and sesame seeds), and sliced carved fresh pineapples.
I love planning for a party, particularly if there is a theme.  It is exciting to research dishes and traditions and put together a menu!  This is a great way to get to know someone else’s culture.  In this case Hawaiian culture as we know it today is a mélange of different ethnicities.  First of course are the Polynesians who came to the islands from the Marquesas, and later from Tahiti.  Then Captain James Cook discovered Kauai in 1778 and a succession of Europeans and Americans followed him.  The next wave of immigrants followed about 100 years later comprised of Chinese, Japanese, Okinawans, Koreans, Puerto Ricans, Portuguese from the Atlantic islands, and Filipinos.  This mixture is reflected in the luaus or feasts where you may find Okinawan Konbu Maki right next to a Portuguese Vinha d’Alhos.  The majority of people living in Hawaii are haole, or mixed. 
 
As I mentioned above, some of the ingredients I used came from Hawaii.  Being a bit of a purist, I strive to be as authentic as I can.  And obtaining authentic ingredients is part of the fun; it’s like a treasure hunt!  To obtain these ingredients often means having to go into ethnic grocery stores which is an adventure in itself because you’re sure to find new foods and ingredients, and then learn how to use them!  It’s a never-ending journey!
So, how far do you go to obtain authentic ingredients?
 
 



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Gratin Dauphinois

Milk, heavy cream, garlic, grated Gruyere, nutmeg, potatoes

Sliced potatoes using a mandolin

Assembled dish

                                                                               
                                                                                                                Gratin Dauphinois



There are several versions of this dish from the Dauphine region of southeastern France.  Sometimes they omit topping it with cheese.  But actually, gratin originally referred to the crispy bits at the bottom of the pan.  A gratin is usually prepared in a shallow oven-proof dish, and is baked or broiled, and is served in its baking dish.  This is commonly called Potato Gratin or Scalloped Potatoes.

Gratin Dauphinois

Ingredients:

2 ¼ lbs russet potatoes

2 garlic cloves, crushed

½ cup grated Gruyère cheese

Pinch of nutmeg

1 ¼ cups heavy cream

½ cup milk

1.       Preheat the oven to 325°F.  Thinly slice the potatoes with a mandolin or sharp knife.  Butter a 9 x 6 ½ inch ovenproof dish and layer the potatoes, sprinkling the garlic, grated cheese, nutmeg and seasoning between the layers and leaving a bit of cheese for the top.  Pour the cream and milk over the top and sprinkle the cheese.

2.       Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the potatoes are completely cooked and the liquid absorbed.  If the top browns too much, cover loosely with foil.  Leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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Prior to making this dish I had made Pommes Anna which is like a simplified version of Gratin Dauphinois.  All it is is sliced potatoes and melted butter – so simple but so good.  So when I came to the recipe for Gratin Dauphinois, I thought, “This must be better!”

Making this was very easy.  First I sprayed my ovenproof dish with a cooking spray for easy cleanup later.  Then I used a mandolin to slice the potatoes which is a huge time saver.  However I grated the cheese and nutmeg myself because then I know that my ingredients are fresh.  Note:  always buy your spices whole and grind them yourself.  You not only save money this way, but are ensured that they are flavorful.  I used a microplane to grate the nutmeg.  Layering and baking is the easy part.

The finished dish was thoroughly enjoyed by my family, and my daughter in particular.  It was creamy and cheesy.  Yummm!  However, I found the potatoes to be a bit less tender than I would like.  The next time I make this dish I will cover it with foil, and then put it under the broiler the last 5 minutes to brown the top. 

How do you make your scalloped potatoes?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Afritada

Ingredients for Pork Afritada

Fried pork and fried onions

Meat and vegetables simmering in the pot

                                                                                
                                                                                                         Pork Afritada



This dish is an ode to my Filipino heritage. 

The Philippines was ruled by Spain for over 400 years from 1521 through 1898. Another Spanish colony was Mexico, and the Galleon Trade flourished between Acapulco and Manila for 250 years.  The galleons brought Chinese silk, porcelain, ivory and other luxury items bound for Spain.  Upon return, they brought foodstuffs such as olive oil, potatoes, flour, chorizo (sausage), and saffron.  Dishes made with these ingredients were once only for the elite.  Now they are more commonly served specially during birthdays, fiestas and other important occasions. 

 

Pork Afritada

Ingredients:

3 large onions, cut into eighths

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

6 large potatoes cut into eighths

5 lbs pork, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes

1 head garlic, cloves crushed

2 mild chiles

4 bay leaves

5 cups diced tomatoes or about 15 plum tomatoes chopped coarsely

½ cup soy sauce

2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1” squares

 

1.        Toss potato slices in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Bake in 350°F oven on a single layer until golden brown.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt.

2.       Heat remaining olive oil in a large pot or wok.  Fry onions until translucent.  Using a slotted spoon, remove onions and drain.  Return drained oil to pot.

3.       Brown pork pieces on all sides.  Transfer to a warm plate.

4.       In same pot, sautée garlic and bay leaves for about 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and mild chiles and let cook about 5 minutes.  Add reserved pork and soy sauce.  Cook until tender.  Stir in red bell pepper, reserved onions and baked potatoes.  Season with salt and pepper.

 

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Lately I have been making a lot of French dishes, before that Italian and other cuisines.  So yes, it’s about time to go back to my roots.  My maternal grandfather served with the US Air Force during World War II and upon his return he wanted good home-cooked meals.  My mom told me that she used to make this dish almost every Sunday, thus she became good at it. 

Afritada means fried.  Frying the meat seals the juices in, helps to develop a beautiful brown color, and creates the basis for fond – the brown bits at the bottom of the pan.  This dish is also popularly made with chicken.

Unlike most sautéed Filipino food, the onions are fried first and then removed.  Frying the onions infuses the oil which flavors the meat.  By removing the onions they keep their shape and consistency.  In the Philippines the potatoes are fried but I baked them to reduce the oil content.  Why do I use fresh tomatoes instead of tomato sauce?  For authenticity’s sake.  Back then people didn’t just pop open a can of tomato sauce!  What kind of tomatoes?  Plum tomatoes would be ideal because they are more meaty, but whatever you have will do.  I used what was left over from my summer garden: grapes, Champions, Queen Ann, Black Russian, etc.  Most versions of this recipe calls for some water to be added.  I almost never add water to a dish because it will only dilute flavors from the meat and vegetables.  Besides, the tomatoes will provide a lot of juice.  The outcome will be a rich, thick gravy as befits a proper stew, not a watery soup.

Did you notice how the soy sauce snuck in there?  Remember, this is a Philippine dish where Spanish and Chinese influences constantly marry.

I was asked by one reader why my garlic looks like they came in chunks.  It is because I buy the peeled cloves in bulk, run them through the food processor and freeze them in little resealable snack bags.  That way, whenever I need garlic, I just get the little bag from the freezer and cut off what I approximate to be the amount called for.  I do the same thing with ginger.

When we had it for dinner, one finicky family member remarked that the onions were sweet.  That family member also ate the stew with only the potatoes which I served on the side instead of mixing them in.  When I eat this or other Spanish-influenced Filipino dish I usually don’t eat the potatoes because I would rather let white steamed rice soak up the rich gravy.  How could anyone not like this dish which is redolent with garlic and tomatoes, and studded with sweet onions and bell peppers?  The best part about this dish as with most stews is that it gets better after the first serving.  The meat absorbs more of the flavor as time passes and with each heating.  Even after all the meat is gone, you’ll still be left with that glorious gravy!

What favorite recipe has been handed down in your family?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Scones






Ingredients for Scones




Butter cut into the flour.
 


Egg and milk mixed in the flour mixture


Kneaded dough



Dough cut into wedges




Scones with Passion Fruit Jam




Whenever I make my jams the first thing that comes to mind is having them with scones.  A scone is a quick bread, not a pastry, and is leavened with baking powder, not yeast.  It is most often associated with the cream tea or Devonshire tea. 


Scones

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup white sugar

5 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup butter, cut into ½ inch squares, frozen

1 egg, beaten

1 cup milk

1.        Preheat oven to 400°F.  Lightly grease a baking sheet.

2.       In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.   Cut in frozen butter.  Mix the egg and milk in a small bowl, and stir into flour mixture until moistened.

3.       Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and kneed briefly.  Roll dough out into a ½ inch thick round.  Cut into 8 wedges, and place on the prepared baking sheet.

4.       Bake 1 minute in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

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I freeze the butter so that when mixed into the dough and baked it retains its form.   As the dough bakes, the butter melts and creates little air pockets which keep the scones from becoming too dense.  When kneading the dough be gentle for tender scones.

I like this basic recipe for my jams and other creations because it is a good background for the fruit flavors.  Of course you may add dried currants or raisins, orange or lemon zest, or even some herbs for a more savory flavor. 

Once you bite into this crumbly buttery cake, you’ll always want to have scones with your butter, jam or Meyer Lemon Curd.  So when are you going to join me for breakfast…or tea?