There is a lemon scone recipe in this post, I promise, and an answer to the question, what can you do with lemon curd?. But first...
I had the most wonderful cream tea yesterday. All by myself, sitting in a corner with my pretty tea tray, laid with the good china, sipping a cup of my favorite tea - Yunnan Gold - and nibbling on a freshly baked lemon scone, smothered in real Devonshire clotted cream and lemon curd. With the dogs sleeping at my feet, and the wild lovebirds filling the tree outside my window with color, everything was toasty warm and for a moment, perfectly perfect. It was truly one of those magical moments that seem to hang suspended in time.
I had been planning this special afternoon tea for a while, and I was afraid that, like most overly planned moments, it wouldn't be as enjoyable as anticipated. But this one blossomed full, in so many ways, taste, smell, sound, sight... and heart. The only thing that could have made it any better was having my mom here to enjoy it with me.
From the Complaint Department
Before I move on to the scone recipe (I'm getting there!), I want to mention the clotted cream. I ordered several small jars from British Delights at the beginning of October. By mid-October, having received no email confirmation or notification of shipping, I got worried and tried to check my order. This website has the most awful, out-dated, hard to use shopping system I've ever used. I could find no way to check the status of my order, so I finally emailed them directly. The terse reply I received said my order had been flagged "Christmas" and would ship in "early November". I was a little miffed, to say the least, and emailed again to say if they couldn't get my order shipped sooner than that I wanted to cancel it. I waited, but got no reply. No word at all, not a sausage. After fuming for a while on incompetence, I forgot about it. And then, in the middle of December, the package arrived. What kind of stupid system are they running there???
In spite of all that, the clotted cream was delicious. I got a 6 oz jar of English Double Devon cream made by The Devon Cream Company. I would buy this again, if I could find a better place to order from.
Ok, on to the recipe! This recipe originally came from OChef.com, who got it from The Best Quick Breads, by Beth Hensperger. I modified it some, so it's not really "Old-Fashioned Lemon Cream Scones" anymore. It's ...
Christine's Yogurt Lemon Scones
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
Grated zest of 3 lemons
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp lemon yogurt
Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt. Cut in the butter with a fork or a heavy-duty electric mixer until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (At this point I usually have to get my fingers into the mix to help break up the butter. Or is that just the child in me...)
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt and cream. Add to the dry mixture and stir until a sticky dough is formed.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently just until the dough holds together, about 6 times. There are many different ways to cut the scones. Some folx use the "round" method - patting the dough into a 1-inch thick round, and cutting like a pie. I prefer the "log" method. Roll out the dough into a long log and pat down to about 1 inch thick. Cut as shown in the picture here.
Place the scones about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops with sugar, if desired. Bake in the center of the oven until crusty and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately with butter, clotted cream and lemon curd or your favorite jam. Or you can let them cool on a rack and freeze in heavy-duty freezer bags for up to a month.
Yield: Makes about 8 scones
Coming up next, the Queen of Tarts, in parts.