Saturday, September 10, 2011

Summer's last hurrah

Come Labor Day weekend, and it struck me that summer was almost over, and, thanks to all the summer travel, I hadn't made ice cream in the longest time! So off to the farmers' market I dashed, in search of peaches, which will (sigh) be over soon as well.
I made peach ice cream from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop, but decided to jazz it up with a swirl of raspberry. Like most of his other recipes, this ice cream recipe is perfect, not too sweet and really allowing the flavor of the fruit to come through. The raspberry swirl adds a burst of bright berry flavor and a beautiful color contrast as well.
Since I love peaches so much, I wanted to also try my hand at preserving them for just a bit longer, but having no experience at jam-making, settled on a simple peach butter instead. Most commercial fruit butters are too sweet and spice-laden for my taste, so I made mine with about half the quantity called for by most recipes, and added only half a vanilla bean to the peach mixture for a subtle vanilla scent. I thought about adding some bourbon, but decided against it, preferring to let the pure peach flavor come through instead.

Is that the limit to how much of a domestic goddess I can be, you ask? Well, the peach butter was crying out for some scones to go with it. What's a scone without clotted cream, though? Rather than dashing out to hunt for a gourmet store that sells it, I thought - why not make my own? I buy lovely cream from Amish farmers to make ice cream, and had a pint of it left over. The solution: Bake it in a low oven (180F) for 5-6 hours, chill overnight, et voila! You have deliciously thick clotted cream, ready to be spread lavishly on your scones :) It isn't as divinely smooth as the store-bought kind, but tastes just as good.

Scones + Clotted Cream + Peach Butter = Weekend brunch heaven!

Recipe: Dried fruit scones (Makes 8)
Adapted from Delia Smith's recipe
1 3/4 c white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
2 t baking powder
3T sugar
1/4 t sea salt
6T cold butter, cubed
3T buttermilk
1 large egg
Small handful mixed dried cranberries and golden raisins, chopped
Cream & coarse sugar for topping (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425F (220C).
In a food processor, pulse the first four ingredients briefly to combine. Add the butter and pulse a few times till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Scatter the fruit over the top, then beat the buttermilk and egg together and add to the processor bowl. Pulse 3-4 times till the mixture comes together. Turn the mixture out on to a floured surface and knead briefly to combine. Do not overwork the dough or the scones will be tough. Pat the dough 1" thick and then cut into rounds using a cookie cutter, re-rolling and cutting out more scones from the scraps. Or, if you're lazy like me, pat the dough into a round and then just cut it into wedges. Transfer the scones to a parchment-lined sheet, brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. Serve warm with clotted cream and preserves. These are best the day they are made, but any leftovers freeze very well.


Dhivya said...

Hi Maya,
Just happened to hit you in google plus. Very glad to see your blog. Will try your recipes and yet you know abt it.

Sara said...

Totally in love with that ice cream! The photo has me craving some. :) The idea to add raspberries is a great one! Sort of like peach melba. :)

Lemon said...

This looks totally delicious, yum.