INSPIRED BY MONSIEUR MCFRUGAL LEBOVITZ, I MADE SCONES!

“So often something like a cinnamon roll or a sticky bun is overpowering and very sweet. The subtle flavors of the scone tend to be something that our customers are really looking for.”
Jamie Golladay

I’m awfully sorry Mr Lebovitz, but the name Monsieur McFrugal still pops up in my mind each time I see your tweets, or read your posts. David Lebovitzs’ books are on my wishlist, and I was thrilled to find a recipe from another favourite author, Alice Medrich, on his blog. The White Chocolate & Sour Cherry Scones were inspired by an Alice Medrich recipe, an author I have come to love because of her innovative approach to drawing flavour & texture out of food beautifully. I find her recipes refreshing and inspirational, as I do Davids’, though sadly I don’t own either of their books. My first exposure to Alice Medrich was when I baked this Orange & Olive Oil Cake from Cafe Fernando quite a while ago.Back to the Lebovitz post. 3 things stuck in my mind about the it when I read it. The first was a handful (not very pretty at all) of milk solids. The second, David referring to himself as being Monsieur McFrugal while using a bottle of low-fat organic milk which added to his morning café au lait, curdled into a zillion tiny little bits. Ugh! The 3rd was, of course, him using that milk to make delicious looking scones. (I really enjoyed reading his post here). I made these scones on a day I was clearing the fridge. I had plenty of bits & bobs of leftover everything that occupy shelf space in this horrid heat. David posted these deliciously moreish & rustic scones way back in May 2009, and I’ve had them on my mind since.
Being pretty much frugal myself, I tend to use pantry items & clear shelves before I set off to buy more stuff. Baking is a passion for me, & I like to make the most of what I have on hand. This morning was no different. Being king on my castle, I had buttermilk on hand and the picture of scones in my mind. If he could make them with ‘claberred’ organic milk, the buttermilk would surely work too!
I substituted things as usual, with his basic recipe as my benchmark. My Ghirardeli dark chocolate chips had reached the bottom of the bag, so they weren’t enough for cookies. They needed a befitting destination, & these scones made for the likely answer. In went some dried craisins, & to make the scones merrier,some chopped walnuts too! Of course, the minute I popped the scones into the oven, I suffered a cringe of regret. Maybe I should have put in candied ginger (made from a Lebovitz recipe) instead of the walnuts. They might have tasted good in there too. However, the result with dark chocolate, craisins & walnuts was outstanding! The buttermilk worked well in there, and the scones were light & just right.
I had a field day substituting. Out of sour dried cherries, I tossed some chopped dried craisins with citric salt that I have from Ukraine. It added just the right sourness to the craisins, but if anyone has ideas of how better to use citric salt, I would be more than thankful to hear from you. I have quite a few sachets of those! I used rolled oats instead of buckwheat, which I was out of. I also did an egg white wash on top instead of an egg yolk one, & sprinkled the top generously with vanilla sugar. The sugar added a wickedly delicious taste to the scones. I have to add that they tasted best warm out of the oven. No need for clotted cream here, but that again would add luxury to these rustic bites! I might use candied ginger & white chocolate chunks next time, because next time will be here soon!
DARK CHOCOLATE, DRIED CRAISIN & WALNUT SCONES
adapted from David Lebovitz’s post here
adapted by him from Pure Dessert (Artisan) by Alice Medrich
See the Notes at the end of the recipe for tips on handling the dough.
Ingredients:
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup rolled oats (the recipe has buckwheat, which I didn’t have)
1/3 cup cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
1/3 cup vanilla sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup / 100gms unsalted butter, frozen
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely-chopped dried craisins (I tossed mine in citric salt)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon milk
Vanilla sugar (or granulated) sugar for dredging the scones

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 400F (200C) and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the egg with the buttermilk.
  • In the food processor, briefly pulse the flour, oats, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Grate in frozen butter directly into the bowl & briefly pulse again till a breadcrumb like texture is achieved. Stir in the chocolate chips, craisins & walnuts.
  • Add the wet ingredients, stirring with a spatula, until the dough is moistened.
  • On a lightly-floured surface, pat the dough into an 8-inch (20 cm) round. If it’s too wet and is very sticky, knead in a spoonful or two of flour on the countertop. (I patted it directly on the cookie sheet). In David’s words, The originally recipe called for 3/4 cup (180 ml) milk and cream, and my dough was very sticky, which may be the original intent, but I found it hard to work with. Slightly less than 1/2 cup, (115 ml) seemed right. Good thing making scones isn’t rocket science!
  • Use a pastry scraper to divide the dough into twelve wedges. Brush the tops of each wedge with the beaten egg white & generously sprinkle with vanilla sugar.
  • Bake the scones for 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Re cut the slices immediately with a pastry cutter if need be. (I needed to do it).
  • Makes 12

Notes from David Lebovitz: There’s two theories about making biscuits and scones; one says the batter should be firm enough the cut, the other says it should be wet and spoonable. If your dough is very soft, or you don’t want to get the counter dirty, you can certainly spoon it onto the prepared baking sheet in 8 mounds.
For firm, neater-looking scones, the dough should be not too sticky and you can knead a bit more flour into the dough. I’m happy to sacrifice picture-perfect scones for ones that are light and tender. If you’re looking for a sturdier scone, you might want to check out my Chocolate Cherry Scone recipe in my book, The Great Book of Chocolate.
Since the scone dough is on the soft side, this is the time to get out your metal pastry scraper. If you don’t have one, a metal spatula will make lifting the dough, and the cut scones, a little easier.

♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

Comments

  1. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    I'll take a few with a good cuppa, please ;-P! They look so good!

    Cheers and have a great week,

    Rosa

  2. Palidor says:

    I will have to try this recipe. I tried to make scones before, but they didn't look as good as yours.

  3. OysterCulture says:

    looks incredibly tasty – another reason for people to stop dieting? =)

  4. comfycook says:

    You have so many fascinating and I am sure delicious desserts here. I could bake through the year with them and I would like to.

    Maybe we should start a new blog, called baking throug Passionate about Baking. I would join up.

  5. Maria says:

    Scones are one of my favorite breakfast treats. I love that you used buttermilk! They look superb!

  6. you sure are an inspiration. i just enjoy browsing through.

  7. Donna-FFW says:

    Absolute deliciousness.. what a lovely pairing for these gorgeous scones.

  8. I'd be licking my lips too if offered these! (Love that pic). I really like the flavour of crnaberry and white chocolate too.

  9. ♥♥♥Ria♥♥♥ says:

    This is really perfect with a cuppa coffee! yumm! Lovely clicks…like the one with Rohan sticking his tongue out and Meher 'smiling' :) Cute!

  10. Divya Kudua says:

    Scones…lovely..:).I like warm scones with a cup of cold milk..yummm:)

  11. Julia @ Mélanger says:

    These look so lovely and rich. Nothing frugal at all! ;) They knock my plain fruit scones I made recently out of the water. Look so delicious! Thanks for reminding me about Alice Medrich. Saw her mentioned a while ago and completely forgot to check her books out.

  12. These scones look lovely…I love your presentation…everything looks just so perfect, including the kids !!

  13. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    I also hate seeing things go to waste and hate to throw out food. Although then a part of me will happily buy expensive ingredients if I think they'll be used. To me wastage is the worst thing. These look delicious and love that pic of your son with his tongue poking out! Your daughter is so pretty!

  14. Miakoda says:

    The scones look great, Deeba. Beautiful busy bits of food :)

  15. MeetaK says:

    alice medrich is a fave!! i have this recipe on my lists of to try! should do it now while cherries are still in season. lovely looking scones my friend!

  16. Arwen from Hoglet K says:

    I love your teapot – it's as rustic and handmade looking as your scones. Good to hear the ingredient substitution worked well.

  17. Parita says:

    Scones look delicious deeba! perfect for tea time!

  18. Bellini Valli says:

    So glad you were able to try these delicious scones Deeba. They are so worth the effort even when it is scorchingly hot outside:D

  19. Jamie says:

    Gorgeous scones and amazing photos! I have never made a scone, but I may have to now!

  20. pigpigscorner says:

    Wow, packed full of wonderful textures and falvours!

  21. the scones look absolute delish and the kids freaking out on it!!!

  22. Judy@nofearentertaining says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this my friend!!! My Mom is her next week and I am so going to make these for her!!!

  23. lisa (dandysugar) says:

    These look incredible, Deeba. I love all of your substitutions, nice flavors and great texture. I tend to bake the same way, using up odds and ends as much as I can. Love your gorgeous teapot. Great photos!

  24. Alejandra says:

    These came out so wonderfully!

  25. Manggy says:

    Dried fruit and chocolate- always a winnner. I love the look on Rohan's face! :D

  26. Miette says:

    They look absolutly perfect! So gorgeous… I'd take a good cuppa too!

    Cheers,

    Miette

  27. I would take these scones over the fanciest cake any day – my kind of treat for sure.

  28. OMG, I have been looking for a good recipe for white chocolate scones for ages! I like cherries, but love raspberries, and I have some dried raspberries I need to use, so look out for a blog about them soon! Lebovitz is definitely a baking wonder, but you are too. I bet your scones would put his to shame! As usual, I'm awed!

  29. Beautifully presented post! I make scones often and never can get enough ideas! Thanks for this enjoyable post.

  30. Steph says:

    I really enjoyed all your pictures! The scones look delicious. I love it when I get to finish up ingredients..more room for new stuff!!

  31. First of all I couldn't help to not commenting on that tea pot. It's gorgeous Deeba! Of course the star is the scones! Look absolutely delicious!

  32. Natashya says:

    First, I am madly in love with your tea service! I have quite a few tea sets and admit I generally just throw a teabag into the cup.
    Love the scones, perfect with a cup of tea.
    (I bake with retired dairy too!)

  33. Jackie at PhamFatale.com says:

    I just finished the sweet life in Paris, lebovitz's new book. I love his recipe, so easy and accessible to the homecook. Those scones are gorgeous. Love your photos

  34. These sound like the perfect scones and the pictures with the tea kettle are so cute! Makes me wanna buy one :D

  35. pigpigscorner says:

    Hi deeba, would like to pass this Kreativ Blogger award to you!http://www.pigpigscorner.com/2009/08/leftovers-risotto-award.html

  36. anudivya says:

    This sounds awesome as it is… but with that candied ginger that you wanted to add… it would have been double the awesomeness. I have a weakness for that stuff.

  37. Amanda says:

    Did I tell you how gorgeous these photos are??? Fabulous!

  38. Glenda says:

    stumbled upon your site from noble pig. those look yummy. and yes, i want a cup of tea to go with that please. =)

  39. katie says:

    I found you as a fellow kreativ blogger awardee on the pigpigscorner. wooo!

    Anyways, This is a great tutorial on scones. delicious pictures. I go with this super basic scone recipe that is so good that it has no bejewels whatsoever. Just gold ole butter and sour cream and flour.

    I know, I should probably branch out and go for pecans.

  40. Who Has Time To Cook? says:

    They look positively divine. Thanks for sharing your inspiration.

  41. Helene says:

    Oh my that looks so good. Alice & David's book are on my wish list. I always like your kitchen cups, plates etc. that you are using for your pics. They are really nice.

  42. Arabic Bites says:

    Very interesting combination.looks so incredibly beautiful.

    zainab :)

  43. Susan from Food Blogga says:

    I loved that you shared all of your substitutions with us, Deeba. I think that's part of the beauty of scones — they're so versatile. Yours look wonderful!

  44. Cynthia says:

    Not fair! Not fair for you to taunt me with scones and tea when I am here hungry!

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