Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Easy Lemon Poppy Scones

So as of late, I'm totally hooked on the PBS show Downton Abbey.  I'd heard some buzz about it and decided to check it out. One episode and I was sucked in. I'm just such an easy mark for period English pieces that this show is tailor made for me. Seriously, check it out. Funny thing is that since I've started watching, my inner monologue has developed a British accent. Go figure. I've also suddenly been wanting to have tea. I'm not actually a big tea drinker but I'm enamored of the tradition of taking a relaxing break in the afternoon and enjoying a treat. So, what would be more English that scones. I usually have coffee with mine but isn't that what us Yanks do, forgo tradition.

I'm showing you a super easy, shortcut, way to make scones. Using a boxed biscuit mix eliminates the whole "cutting in" mess with the butter. It's kind of cheating, I'll admit, but I'm also not going to lose any sleep over it. It just shortens up the process a bit and you'll be eating your scones that much sooner. I decided to make Lemon Poppy Scones because my dear neighbor brought me a big old bag of lemons. Lucky me! You can flavor them with whatever you like. Replace the lemon with orange and the poppy seeds with some dried cranberries or eliminate the lemon, poppy seeds and sugar, add parmesan cheese, garlic and basil for a savory dinner scone. The possibilities are endless, so, get to sconing. . .

Here's all you need: A box of biscuit mix, sugar, poppy seeds, heavy cream, a lemon (You are going to use the zest plus you need 4 tablespoons lemon juice, one medium sized lemon should be fine.) and powdered sugar.

In a large bowl, mix with a fork, just until combined, the biscuit mix, sugar, poppy seeds, lemon zest, 3 tablespoons lemon juice and heavy cream.

Turn it out onto a floured surface. It will be a crumbly mess. Knead it as little as possible, just until it comes together. 3-4 turns max.

Then pat it into a circle that's 1/2 inch thick. The circle will be about 8 inches. Using a sharp knife cut the circle into 8 wedges. Separate the wedges and place them 1 inch apart on a Silpat lined cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 400°F until the tops just start to brown.

While the scones are baking, whisk together another tablespoon of lemon juice and 1/4 cup powdered sugar to make the glaze.

Remove the scones to a cooling rack set over some waxed paper. Let them cool about 5 minutes. These got a bit dark because I used a dark coated pan. I would suggest NOT using a dark coated pan and taking them out of the oven a bit earlier.

Spoon about 1 teaspoon of glaze over each scone and let a bit run over the sides.

And yep, it's that easy. Just one little shortcut and you can whip up a batch of scones anytime. You can use this method to make a variety of different flavored scones both sweet and savory. If you try savory, just leave out the sugar. Happy Sconing!

Easy Lemon Poppy Scones
1 8oz. box Jiffy Buttermilk Biscuit Mix*
3 T. sugar
1 T. poppy seeds
Zest of one lemon
1/2 C. heavy cream
3 T. lemon juice

1 T. lemon juice
1/4 C. powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a large mixing bowl combine biscuit mix, sugar, poppy seeds and lemon zest. Stir to combine. Add heavy cream and 3 T. lemon juice and stir with a fork until just combined.  Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 3-4 times until dough comes together. Pat into a 1/2 thick circle and cut into 8 wedges. Separate and bake on a cookie sheet 8-10 minutes until just golden brown on the tops. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
For glaze, whisk together lemon juice and powdered sugar. Spoon 1 teaspoon over each scone allowing some to run over the sides. 
Makes 8 scones

* You can use an equal amount (by weight) of Bisquick or other all purpose baking mix.

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