Sweet Cream Scones
I think there’s only one way to describe this recipe’s origin, and that’s “Okay, how about this?”
It started while I was reading The Homesick Texan Cookbook, by Lisa Fain. First of all, I want to recommend this book. I’ll be writing a review of it, but that will be another entry. As I was looking through the book, one recipe that caught my eye was a recipe for scones, which really doesn’t come to mind when you think of Texas cuisine. Ms. Fain explains the recipe this way:
“When I was young, my mom went through an Anglophile phase, and one of the results was her replacing our usual biscuits with the English scone. People say that a scone is simply a biscuit with an egg added to the dough, though I find that scones do lend themselves more to embellishment.”
Ms. Fain also has a recipe for biscuits in her book (you were thinking otherwise?), so I decided to compare the two. The scone recipe did indeed have quite a bit in the way of the aforementioned embellishments, but when you compare the basic recipe to her biscuit recipe, the two are quite similar. Except, of course, that the scone recipe calls for an egg.
Once I saw that, one very simple question zipped through my mind at warp speed: Would this hold true for any biscuit recipe? Could it be that easy for me to turn a biscuit recipe into a scone recipe?
As it happens, I had at hand a very simple recipe for biscuits, which, believe it or not, I acquired at a World Science Fiction Convention. To be specific, it was Chicon 2000, the 2000 Worldcon. The Guest Of Honor book for Chicon 2000 was The Chicon Sampler, a two-sided book reminiscent of the old Ace Doubles. One side was featured sketches from Artist Guest Of Honor Bob Eggleton (and I’m surprised that there was only one Godzilla sketch in the batch). On the other side were contributions from all of the other GOHs — an ad for Baen Books for Jim Baen (the Editor Guest Of Honor), short stories from Ben Bova (the Guest Of Honor) and Harry Turtledove (the Toastmaster), and a collection of recipes from Bob and Anne Passovoy, the Fan Guests Of Honor.
According to The Chicon Sampler, these recipes were excerpts from “Bob And Anne’s Fannish All-Star Cookbook.” If there is a full version of this cookbook, I would love to get my hands on a copy, because the recipes that appeared in The Chicon Sampler all looked great. But I digress . . .
The recipe that is of particular interest here is one called “Sweet Cream Biscuits.” I’ve made them several times, and it is a very simple biscuit recipe. If I’m remembering correctly (I don’t have the recipe with me at the moment), the recipe was described as being foolproof.
As I looked over both the scone and biscuit recipes, I decided that I wanted to see what the results would be if I Frankensteined the recipe for Sweet Cream Biscuits into one for Sweet Cream Scones. And after a trip to Kroger (I don’t normally have cream in my refrigerator), I entered my laboratory.
SWEET CREAM SCONES
2 cups Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Sugar
1 T. Baking Powder
3/4 cup Heavy Cream (or Whipping Cream)
1. Preheat oven to 451 degrees Fahrenheit (or 233 degrees Celsius).
2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder.
3. In a small bowl, beat the egg, then add the cream.*
4. Add the egg/cream mixture to the dry ingredients, mix well. If dough is too dry, add up to 1/4 cup additional cream.
5. With floured hands, pull off golf ball-size balls of dough. Flatten balls into rounds, and place on ungreased baking sheet.
6. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with butter (or whatever else you like).
YIELD: 12 scones
*I combined the egg and cream because I thought it was easier than adding the two ingredients separately. If for some reason you feel the need to add the egg, and then the cream, feel free to do so.
The scones had a fairly dense texture. I probably could have eaten the whole batch in one sitting, but I managed to exercise a modicum of self-control.
I’m guessing that these scones would lend themselves as well to embellishment as those in Ms. Fain’s recipe. That, however, will be the subject for another venture into my laboratory.