Sunday, May 10, 2009

currant scones and citrus curd

One of my roommates dropped a bunch eggs today, and they needed to be used up, so I started baking. I remembered licking the spatula when I made my lemon curd pie a while ago, so I decided to make some for its usual purpose: spreading on scones. Currants were the only thing I could find in my cupboard that seemed like a good idea, so I found this recipe and started mixing. Unfortunately I had to run out to buy milk halfway through, because I never remember to check the fridge before I start. The scones were near perfect, soft inside and a little crunchy outside. The currants puffed up and softened nicely as well.

Currant Scones This recipe makes about nine big scones or a dozen smaller ones.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup dried currants
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk, plus more for brushing

- Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the currants.
- Add the egg and 1/2 cup of milk and stir with a fork just until the dough comes together. Do not overmix.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently pat the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick slab. Cut out circles of dough with a glass or cookie cutter.
- Lightly dust a baking sheet with flour. Transfer the scones to the sheet and lightly brush the tops with milk. Bake the scones for 15 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Lemon Curd
Originally from this entry. I used an orange instead of a second lemon for the juice this time, but the lemon flavor definitely predominated.

1/2 cup lemon juice
zest from 1 lemon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup and 2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp butter

- in a heavy pot or in a double boiler, whisk together all of the ingredients except for the butter, and stir them over medium/medium-high (depending on how impatient you are) heat until the mixture thickens to the texture of sour cream
- cut the butter into small pieces and, removing the pot from the burner, whisk until all of the butter is absorbed. the curd can be re-heated over low heat.

Break open the scones and spoon the citrus curd in. The scones last about a day and a half in an airtight container.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

delicious stuffed shells

Laura and I made these last year, and I'm really pleased I remembered them long enough to make them again and post the recipe. We ate them with corn on the cob and fried, breaded sausage medallions Kyle invented after finding that his chicken had gone bad.

- 25 pasta shells
- 8 ounces Havarti cheese, shredded
- 1/2 small jar sundried tomatoes in oil
- two tablespoons chopped basil
- 1 can artichoke hearts, diced
- 1 cup spaghetti sauce

- Cook the shells according to the package directions, drain and cool.
- Mix the Havarti, sundried tomatoes, basil, and artichoke hearts in bowl.
- Fill the bottom of a baking pan with spaghetti sauce.
- Stuff the shells with the cheese mixture, overfilling a little, and arrange them in rows on top of the sauce.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 Farenheit for 30 minutes.

These are pretty filling, and really easy to make. One batch (plus the corn and sausage, of which we only had a few bits each) fed all five 2342 residents, four of whom are ravenous boys.