My annual obsession with Meyer lemons is in full swing. Maybe the dreary, wet weather is responsible for my wish to make all things lemon. I have to go at it with determination because Meyer lemon season is short. It’s not like I have a giant Meyer lemon tree in the yard spewing forth fruit faster than I can use it. This, in fact, is my Meyer lemon tree, still not properly planted, rarely watered, stuck in a corner on the porch.
As you can see, this poor little tree is giving back what’s it is given, not much. I must rectify the situation as soon as the weather permits. Until then, I have to drive all over town to get Meyer lemons. My local store doesn’t stock them so I have to drive all the way to town to get them. Town is ten miles away. Once there, I have to look for the lemons, usually finding them in one of three grocery stores I frequent.
Unlike Eureka lemons, Meyer lemons are usually very ripe and need to be used sooner. The lemon is juicier, the peel is thinner and there is less pith. In my experience, they spoil faster than a Eureka lemon which can hang around in the crisper for weeks.
But, the drive to town and the hurry up and use me factors are worth the trouble. Meyer lemons are delicious. Meyer Lemon Chicken Under a Brick was delicious and quite popular given how many times it has been pinned to Pinterest. I used Meyer lemon in Blood Orange Bourbon Barbecue Sauce. Meyer lemons kicked up the flavor in Kelly’s Meyer Lemon Pound Cake. Yesterday for lunch I had sliced English cucumber with homemade Bleu Cheese Dressing with a little Meyer lemon to cut the richness. I made Meyer Lemon Marmalade and enjoyed it all week on toast with cream cheese. I am starting to sound like the shrimp guy in Forrest Gump. 🙂
With four small bags of Meyer lemons on hand I went off in search of recipes online yesterday. I was lucky to find a recipe for Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Scones on the beautiful blog A Feast For The Eyes. If you recall, I launched a quest for perfect scones during blackberry season last year. I made the lemon scones yesterday and they were luscious. It was hard not to eat them all before I could get a picture. Michael really liked them too. I saved a few for today and one turned up missing during the night. He must have opened the foil covering very carefully to not wake me up. Luckily he left some for me to enjoy with my coffee this morning. What’s that over on the right? Oh yeah, that’s Meyer Lemon Curd!
Back to the scone recipe. I really liked Debby’s technique of freezing the butter, then grating it into the dry ingredients. I think this keeps from overworking the dough, resulting in tough scones. It also contributes to a flakier, rather than cake like texture, which I always look for in a scone. My scones came out perfect!
Here’s the recipe:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, lightly spooned into measuring cups and leveled with a knife
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon table salt (decrease or omit if using salted butter)
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- 8 tablespoons frozen unsalted butter (if using salted butter, cut down on salt)
- ½ cup buttermilk (or half and half, or heavy cream)
- 1 large egg
- ¼ tsp. Pure Lemon Oil (optional)
- Zest of 1 Meyer lemon (Eureka lemons work fine, too)
- ¼ cup strained lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoons half & half (or heavy cream)
- 1⅓ cup powdered sugar, sifted
Baking sheet with either parchment paper of Silpat Silicone Mat
Box grater or food processor, with grating disk (or pastry cutter)
Preheat the oven to 400F
For the dry ingredients:
Add the flour, sugar, poppy seeds and salt* (*if using unsalted butter), baking powder, baking soda and lemon zest— whisk together and set aside.
For the butter:
The easiest way to blend the butter with the dry ingredients is to grate it. You can cut it, but by grating the butter, you can easily combine the dough to be coarse crumbs with your fingers.
Add the grated frozen butter to the dry mixture and gentle work with your hands (or two forks) until it resemble coarse crumbs. You do NOT want to overwork the dough— you want bits of butter, which will create steam as the scones bake. That’s how you get tender scones.
For the wet ingredients:
Whisk together the buttermilk, egg and optional lemon oil*. Pour over the dry ingredients, and using two forks (I use a flat beater whisk), combine the ingredients until it is wet. You want a “shaggy” dough, but not super wet.
Lightly dust a surface (flouring parchment paper or a silicone mat works great), gently press the dough together until it “sticks”. Do not KNEAD the dough! Just press and begin shaping the dough. You can create an 8” circle, and then cut it into wedges. Or, shape the dough into a spare and cut in half, into smaller wedges. You can even use a biscuit cutter and shape them into round shapes— whatever suits your fancy.
Place the scones, evenly, on the baking sheet. Freeze the scones for at least 15 minutes, before baking, which will help them puff up as the frozen butter bits will create more steam.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.
Meanwhile, prepare the glaze:
Sift the powdered sugar (so you won’t end up with lumps in your glaze)
Whisk the cream and lemon juice into the powdered sugar. Add less liquid if you prefer a thicker glaze…more of a frosting. I prefer my glaze to be thinner, so that I can just spoon it over the scones.
If you spoon the glaze over the scones, while still very warm, it will leave a clear glaze. Otherwise, allow the scones to cool, and then spoon on the glaze, and it will remain thicker.
TIP: Balance a cooling rack over your kitchen sink, the glaze can simply be washed away, and you don’t have to waste parchment paper or wash the baking rack! Genius!
By the way, I froze half of my second batch of scones. The following Saturday, I took them from the freezer into a 400F oven, and they turned out perfectly! This is a great tip for planning ahead— or, in my case, not being tempted to eat all of them at once.
Read more: http://foodiewife-kitchen.blogspot.com/2012/03/meyer-lemon-poppy-seed-scones.html#ixzz2sqzzYYzt
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