Blogging has enriched my life in so many ways, but probably the most rewarding is the friendships that have resulted because of it. Through blogging and social media I’ve made friends with other bloggers from all over and while some remain only online friends at this point, but others have become friends in real life. One such friend is Kelley of Mountain Mama Cooks. She’s from Park City, Utah and we’ve gotten to know each other through local food blogger gatherings.
We got together over the weekend to cook and bake, to talk blogging and food photography, and of course, to eat some great food. What was on the menu? Rich soup and cheesy biscuits, perfect for a chilly winter afternoon.
These scones are the result of a genuine pregnancy craving. For weeks leading up to them all I could think about was bacon and chocolate pancakes. I dreamed about them, daydreamed about them, and couldn’t wait for a free Saturday morning to make them a reality.
That Saturday came and suddenly I didn’t want bacon and chocolate in pancakes anymore, I wanted scones. And since scones are just about my most favorite thing to bake on a lazy morning, I went with it. Pancakes would be delicious, I’m sure. But these scones were absolutely amazing.
This week Fall has arrived in full force. Last week it was warm, hot even, and shorts and flip flops were a requirement. This week, the chilly weather has arrived. We even had snow in the mountains, which I must admit I’m not too thrilled about. But like it or not, fall is here and winter is not far behind. It’s best I get on board.
I am not a Utahn. This is not a scone.
Unfortunately, neither of those statements is true. I have lived in Utah for over ten years, ever since I came here for college. I didn’t plan to stay, in fact I couldn’t wait to graduate and get the hell out. But then I met a boy and fell in love. And so I stayed.
Turns out Salt Lake City is a really, really great city. I’ve come to love it and it has become my home. For some reason, however, I’ve still had a hard time fully embracing the fact that I am from here now, that I am no longer an outsider.
Now, about these scones. You’re probably thinking, that is not a scone. And you’d be right, and you’d be wrong. This is not the classic scone, the sweeter cousin to the biscuit, the one we’re all familiar with. This is a Utah creation, a flattened ball of dough deep-fried and topped with sweet toppings like honey and jam.
Not the healthiest treat, no, definitely not. But there’s definitely a reason why it’s so popular here. The recipe I used is a conglomeration of recipes my mother-in-law gathered for me from some local cookbooks and family recipe boxes, and scaled down to a more realistic yield for two people.
I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to make these myself. Maybe I thought it would mean that I had given in to Utah. And maybe I have. I’ve embraced the scone (okay, more than embraced, these things are fried heaven), and I think it’s time to embrace my inner Utahn.
Makes approximately 8 scones
View printable recipe
2 cups flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 – 1 cup warm water
Oil for frying
Cinnamon honey butter, recipe below
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add the melted butter and 3/4 cup warm water. Mix with a spoon until dough comes together into a ball. Dough should be moist but not sticky. Use remaining 1/4 water if needed. Cover dough and let rest for one hour.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat to 375 degrees F. Oil should be at least 2 inches deep.
Meanwhile, roll out the scones. Pinch off a tablespoon sized ball of dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin. Stretch and pull with your hands if necessary. Dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Continue with the rest of the dough.
When oil has reach 375 degrees, place first scone gently into the oil. Scone will bubble vigorously in the oil and puff up. Fry until golden brown on first side, about 2 minutes, then flip over. Once both sides are browned, remove from the oil and place on a paper bag lined sheet pan to cool slightly.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately with the cinnamon honey butter or other desired topping. Repeat with remaining scone dough.
Cinnamon Honey Butter
Makes approximately 1 cup
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth. Store in the refrigerator.
I got super excited to share this recipe with you as a way to ring in the warm summery weather. Only, I glanced outside the window just now and noticed that it is snowing. In the middle of May. It kind of killed my buzz.
But I know the sun will be back soon, probably in full force (and then I will complain about it being too hot, sheesh, I’m hard to please) and when it does, this is exactly the type of treat I want by my side. This isn’t just any old shortcake recipe. Gone are the days of yellow cake, cool whip, and strawberries— there’s a new shortcake in town!
Let’s build a shortcake, shall we? It begins with biscuits sweetened with sugar and cream and flavored with lemon zest. They’re easy, they’re rustic, and they are the perfect vehicle for what comes next.
Lemon curd! Oh, how I love lemon curd. Never made it? I’ve got a step-by-step tutorial.
You’ll also need some whipped cream and fresh berries. I used strawberries and blueberries and the combination with the lemon was incredible.
To assemble, slice a biscuit in half.
Spoon on some lemon curd.
Add a dollop of whipped cream.
Then pile on your fruit.
Put the top back on and you’ve got yourself a delicious shortcake just waiting to be devoured!
Whether they’re a sweet ending to a picnic in the park, or part of a summertime brunch spread, or you just wanted to enjoy something bright and sunny on a less than perfect day, these shortcakes are sure to hit the spot.
Lemon Shortcakes with Lemon Curd and Berries
Adapted from Bon Appetit, March 2010
Makes 8 servings
For the lemon curd:
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
For the shortcake biscuits:
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Zest of one lemon
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup cold whipping cream, plus more more for brushing
1 tablespoon coarse or raw sugar
1 cup cold whipping cream
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pint of strawberries
Pint of blueberries
To make the lemon curd, combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. When the lemon juice liquid comes to a boil, remove from heat and slowly add to the eggs while whisking continuously. Add in a small steady stream at first, and increasing and the mixtures are more combined.
Return the mixture to the saucepan and continue to cook on medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Whisk butter into the curd a few cubes at a time, allowing the butter to melt between each addition. Strain the curd through a mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.
To make the biscuits, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Add the butter and use your fingers, a fork, or a pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Add the milk and stir until just combined. Turn out onto a flour surface and lighlty knead the dough to incorporate all crumbly bits of dough. Do not overmix, stop when the dough is a uniform ball.
Press dough out to about 2 inches thick and cut into 3 inch squares Place on the prepared sheet pan, leaving 1 inch between each biscuit. Brush tops with whipping cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake until tops are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer biscuits to a wire rack and cool completely.
When ready to assemble shortcakes, prepare the berries. Hull and slice the strawberries and combine in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Stir in the blueberries. Allow to sit while preparing the whipped cream. Whip the heavy whipping cream to soft peaks. Add the sugar and vanilla an whip to medium peaks.
To assemble, slice the cooled biscuits in half. Spoon lemon curd on the bottom half of the shortcakes, followed by whipped cream and berries. Top with top half of biscuits.