Pat’s White Chocolate Scones

Pat and her husband were hosting the coffee hour after the church service one morning several years ago. On the table were some scones with a bowl of yellow pudding next to them. Pat corrected my assumption about the pudding. “It’s lemon curd,” she told me, “and it’s good on top of the scones.”

It is a wonderful combination. I asked for the recipes and Pat obliged. When I asked where she got them, she told me that she could not remember but that it was a long time ago. She said that she and some friends get together regularly and bring foods to share. Her scones and lemon curd have been enjoyed here in New Richmond, up north at Telemark and other places where she and her friends have gathered.

I can believe that Pat’s scones are popular with her friends. This is an easy recipe that you need to try.

INGREDIENTS:

For the scones:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar plus extra for sprinkling
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 large egg
1/2 cup half & half or whole milk plus a little for brushing
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 square white chocolate or a half cup of white chocolate bits
1/2 cup fresh berries (optional)

PROCEDURE:

Preheat the oven to 375º and grease a baking sheet.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Chop the butter into chunks and use a fork or pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture until you have coarse crumbs about the size of small peas. Chop the white chocolate square into small pieces or use a half cup of white chocolate bits and mix them with the flour. If you are adding berries, stir them in at this time as well.

Beat an egg and stir it into the half and half along with the almond extract, then blend the liquid into the dry ingredients until they are barely moistened.

Roll or pat the dough to about three-fourths of an inch thick and cut triangle-shaped scones or just drop the dough onto the greased baking sheet. If you are dropping the scones, use your fingers to neaten them. Brush the scones with milk and sprinkle them lightly with sugar. Bake for fifteen to twenty minutes until the scones are lightly touched with brown.

Serve with lemon curd so guests can add an extra taste sensation to their scones.

For the lemon curd:

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 T corn syrup
3/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

PROCEDURE:

Cut the butter into chunks and set it aside in a bowl.

Whisk the sugar and eggs together in a saucepan over low heat. Add the syrup, lemon juice and butter to the pan and raise the heat to medium until the butter starts to melt, then reduce the heat to low. Keep stirring until the curd has thickened and continue cooking and stirring until it begins to steam. Do not let it boil. Remove the pan from the heat and stir for a half minute, then put the curd into a bowl for serving or seal it in jars for storage in the refrigerator.

NOTES: Pat told me that she usually uses fresh raspberries or blueberries in her scones. She also said that reconstituted lemon juice tastes fine in the curd.

When Pat brings scones for the coffee hour, they are always drop scones, and they disappear as fast as she can put them on the napkins. People in our church recognize a good thing when they see that Pat is serving her scones.

Rich’s Rhubarb Crisp

Perhaps it’s enough to say, “It’s rhubarb season.” Those huge green leaves, velvety when you touch them, capture sunlight and use the energy to provide the raw material for some great desserts. We have only one rhubarb plant, but the leaves this year are nearly two feet long, the stems are thick and we have all the rhubarb we need for cakes, pies, bars and crisps.

Most rhubarb crisp recipes include rolled oats in the topping, but our friend Rich doesn’t like oatmeal. That’s why when his friend Andy introduced him to an apple crisp made without oatmeal in the topping, Rich decided to try a variation using rhubarb, which he does like.

Thus was born “Rich’s Rhubarb Crisp.” Having consumed a few hundred servings of rhubarb crisp in the past seventy years, I am confident in saying that it is one of the best rhubarb crisps I have every tasted. It’s not too sweet, and the topping provides a crunchy complement to the rhubarb. With a little vanilla ice cream you have a perfect dessert.

Crisps are among the easiest baked desserts to make. This recipe is particularly simple.

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups rhubarb
2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 large egg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
5 T butter

PROCEDURE:

Grease a nine by nine-inch baking pan and preheat the oven to 350º.

Clean and cut the rhubarb stalks into quarter inch pieces. Slice in half any stalks more than an inch in diameter before cutting the quarter inch rounds. Put four cups of the chopped rhubarb into a mixing bowl. Add one cup of sugar and mix it thoroughly with the rhubarb.

In a separate bowl, blend the flour, baking powder and the second cup of sugar. Beat the egg until it is lemon colored and pour it over the dry ingredients. Use a fork to work the egg into the dry ingredients. After two or three minutes you should have a dry crumbly mixture with the consistency of coarse cornmeal.

Spread the rhubarb evenly in the baking pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the top of the rhubarb and dot with about five tablespoons of butter cut in small pieces. Spread the crumb mixture over the top and bake the crisp for about 45 minutes.
  
Serve it warm with ice cream.