Here is the story behind some wonderful scones I first enjoyed at the coffee hour after worship service at our church. Pat was serving scones with some sort of yellow pudding. When I asked for an explanation, she told me that what I called pudding was actually lemon curd, a topping made specifically to complement the scones. My knowledge of curds consisted of the Mother Goose rhyme about Little Miss Muffat who ate something that I assumed resembled cottage cheese.
The curd that Pat offered me was a delicate smooth sauce that contributed a wonderful flavor to the scone I was devouring.
Here is Pat’s account of how she came to acquire the recipe.
“I went to Star Prairie Elementary and had six great classmate friends. We went through the grades together and graduated together. Raising families, we were only able to keep in touch at Christmas. At age sixty this particular friend suggested we start taking long weekend getaways up north.
We loved our time together! Mornings were lounging, coffee, PJ times with great conversations. Each of us brought breakfast and snack items. This friend always brought these scones and lemon curd. She shared her recipe and I have been making them ever since.
It is an especially cherished memory as she is no longer with us.”
Pat’s story is a good example of how recipes tie us together. We share them with our neighbors, friends, relatives and children, and some of those recipes are preserved for future generations long after the people who first started the chain of a shared treasure are gone.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE SCONES:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 square white chocolate, shaved
1/2 cup cold butter
1 large egg. beaten
1/2 cup Half & Half or whole milk
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Fruit of your choice (optional)
Extra sugar for garnish
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Shave the white chocolate and stir it into the flour mixture. Beat the egg and blend it with the Half & Half or milk and almond extract.
Preheat the oven to 375º and grease a baking sheet.
Chop the butter into a quarter-inch dice and cut it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the liquid ingredients and stir until the dough is barely moistened.
If you wish, gently stir in about a half cup of fruit and lightly knead the dough for a few seconds.
Drop rounded tablespoons of batter on the baking sheet, sprinkle lightly with sugar and bake about twenty minutes until lightly browned.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE LEMON CURD:
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 T light corn syrup
3/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter cut into chunks
Cut the butter into a half-inch dice. Whisk the sugar and eggs together in a heavy saucepan. Whisk in the lemon juice and syrup and stir in the butter.
Set the pan over medium-low heat and stir constantly until the curd thickens and a few small bubbles appear. This will take eight to ten minutes. Do not bring the curd to a boil. Spoon and scrape the curd into two small jars or plastic containers. Press plastic wrap on the surface to prevent the formation of a skin on top. Cool the containers and refrigerate or freeze them. You will have enough curd for two batches of scones. You can freeze the curd and keep it for up to a year.
NOTES: Use fresh lemon juice for the curd, not lemon juice from concentrate. Pat says that if she can’t find white chocolate squares, she uses about a half cup of white chocolate chips. She also says that the curd freezes well, so you can save half for a second batch of scones. Use very low heat to avoid scorching the curd.