Monday, October 10, 2011

blueberry citrus scones

I'm not saying that I planned our entire California trip around where we were going to eat, but I may have made reservations at Zuni Cafe before we had a place to sleep in San Francisco

And I had certainly decided what I was eating there before our plane ever even left New York. "By the way," I said turning to the non-vegetarian of the two friends I was traveling with. "I made us reservations at Zuni Cafe in San Francisco and you and I will be sharing the roast chicken for two." 

If she was taken aback, she didn't let on (by now most of my friends are used to my culinary craziness). And if she harbored any lingering disappointment at being denied the opportunity to chose her own entree, I'm pretty sure it disappeared as soon as the chicken arrived at our table. Zuni's chicken is legendary for being crispy, juicy and flavorful, and it more than lived up to the hype. And the bread salad it was served with? I still think about that bread salad at least three times a week. I obviously bought the cookbook (for those who are keeping count, that's three on this trip so far) and plan on trying to recreate both the chicken and the salad soon. 

But first, I wanted to make something we didn't have a chance to sample at Zuni--their scones. The Zuni Cafe scones are made with orange zest and currants, but I substituted some citrus sugar that I had on hand, which was made with lemon, lime and orange zest. I also used dried blueberries instead of currants. I rolled my dough a little too thin, so my scones were more like a biscuity cookie than a proper scone,  but they were still rich, flaky and satisfying. Besides, who doesn't love an excuse to eat a cookie for breakfast?

Blueberry Currant Scones
Adapted from Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup citrus sugar*
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/2 extra large beaten egg**
1/4 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350.  Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine. Cut the butter into very small pieces, and, using your fingers, rub the butter into the flower until the mixture forms small clumps the size of peas. Add the blueberries and stir to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and the milk. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and roll into a circle about an inch thick. You can either cut the circle into 6 wedges, or use a fluted biscuit cutter to cut out rounds, as I did. As I mentioned, I rolled my dough too thin and ended up with 8 rather flat (but still delicious) scones. Transfer the scones to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until firm and golden. 

*To make citrus sugar, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar and a generous pinch of lemon zest, lime zest and orange zest in a jar with a tight fitting lid. 
**I halved the original recipe, which called for one large egg. I used an extra large egg, cracked it into a small bowl, and beat it lightly with a fork. Then I measured out half of the beaten egg and combined it with the milk. I discarded the other 1/2 egg.