Saturday, April 26, 2008

Cream Scones

Cream Scone
One of the biggest events of the year here in Western Washington is the Puyallup Fair (Pew-allup not Pooyallup). For many, going to the fair is an annual tradition, but I've lived in Seattle for almost 10 years and have never gone. Steven says he can't remember ever going either and isn't particularly interested in it. I guess it's just not our thing, not to mention we have to drive nearly an hour, assuming there's no traffic, to get there. But last year I was really tempted to go, not because I felt like I was missing out on the quintessential fair experience, but for the scones. I had read an article in the Seattle Times about the Fair's most popular and famous food item, the Puyallup Fair scones. People will wait in line for almost an hour, maybe longer, for these buttered and jam smeared scones, and many buy a dozen or dozens to stock up on. So naturally, I wondered what the big fuss was all about. But Steven and I weren't gonna drive all the way down there, pay admission, and wait in line just for a scone.

In the end, we never did make it to the fair last year. Plus, Steven was skeptical, how can a scone be that good? Aren’t scones bone dry, tasteless, and usually served with tea because you need something to wash it down? Then the other day I found a half pint of heavy cream that had hit the sell by date. Don’t worry it wasn’t opened and it didn’t smell funky so I couldn't just let it go to waste. I thought why not try making some cream scones. So what’s the difference between a biscuit and a scone aside from shape (round vs. wedge) and country of origin (American vs. Scottish)? Well, to be honest, I don't really know. The lines are kinda fuzzy but for the most part a biscuit is eaten with savory foods like gravy or fried chicken (or both... mmm mm!) whereas scones are sweeter and paired with tea. Meh, technicalities don't matter, as long as it tastes good!

Oh man did the scones smell good when they were baking! When you think about it, how can something with heavy cream and butter not be delicious? After they came out of the oven, I couldn’t resist and immediately broke off a corner to taste test, you know, for quality control. They were so rich and tender and were hands down, absolutely the best scones I've ever had. After waiting anxiously for the scones to be cool enough to handle, I split one in half and smeared it with butter and homemade blackberry jam. Yummmm... Steven and I are now scone converts. Are these scones better than the ones from the fair? I can't say for sure since I've never had the ones at the fair. I'm gonna say yes because after reading the article more closely, the scones are made from a mix with water! Not heavy cream! On the other hand, the Fair Scones do come with the whole package, the mooing cows in the background or whatnot. But it's good to know I don't have to wait all year then drive an hour to get a good scone when I can make it in my kitchen.

Cream Scones

2 C all purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2 in cubes
2 Tbsp honey
1 C heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 400 deg F and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter, two forks, or your hands, rub the butter in the flour until it's pebbly (or you can use a food processor and pulse the butter in the flour a few times).

Whisk the honey with the cream and pour this into the dry ingredients. Fold the cream into the flour, at first it will be sticky, and bring the dough together with your hands without overworking it.

Lightly flour a work surface and turn the dough out. Form the dough into a round disc then roll it out until it is about 7 inches in diameter. Cut the dough into 8 pieces (first in half, then quarters, then each quarter in half into eighths). Transfer each wedge onto a baking sheet and bake for about 18 - 22 minutes, or until their tops are golden.

Let them cool for 10 minutes and spread with butter and jam. For an extra special treat, mix some honey into softened butter before smearing on your scone, just like the honey butter at the Fair.

Store in an airtight container and they're great the next day warmed in the microwave or toaster oven.

10 comments:

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Cream scones do sound delicious! And though I've never been to the fair, I do know that anything eaten outside with mooing cows in the background tastes great!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

These sound heavenly! I have a scone pan, which is round with pie-shaped dividers. I've never been inspired to use it until now. Do you think I could just press the dough in that instead of rolling it out?

Amy said...

Lydia,
Haha very true. :D

Susan,
Sure that sounds like it would work great. :)

Tartelette said...

The scones look wonderful and I bet they were so good with the cream!

Lori said...

I grew up near Seattle and remember the scones fondly. We went to the fair every year and always had to get at least one scone. I think the company was called "Fisher", and like Starbucks they probably over-commercialized and turned the final product into drek. I never stood in line for an hour, but I can sure see how that can happen with the population explosion I've seen just in my lifetime. I'll have to try your recipe - thanks for bringing back a fond childhood memory!

Bettina said...

yum scones!! hehe, funnel cake is good...i think they have those at the fair...fried delicious goodness.

Amy said...

Helen,
Oh definitely, the cream made the scones absolutely amazing.

Lori,
You're right, they are called Fisher scones. I bet they were better before the commercialization. I hope you enjoy this recipe. :)

Bettina,
Oh man there's so much deep fried food at the fair, funnel cake is relatively tamed compared to deep fried snickers or deep fried latte... yeeah...

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I'm sure yours were better than the fair scones. I am always disappointed when I get one there. Overpriced, a little overcooked, and a bit dry. They always make me think, "Dang, why did I buy this when I can just go home and make them?" So that's what I now do.

Good job on your scones. They look scrumptious!

margaretortigo said...

Scones - I do love scones. And they are so easy to make and great to enjoy with cream and jam. I will try your recipe as I am always looking for new ones. I do have some posted on my blog - please vist. www.teaandscones.blogspot com or www.teaandscones.wordpress.com. Let me know how they work for U.

margaretortigo said...

My Bad!! Seems I don't know the name of my own blog. Try http://www.aspotoftea4me.blogspot.com

Sorry!!!

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