Friday, May 2, 2008

Meyer Lemon and Cherry Scones

I finally get what all the fuss is about regarding Meyer Lemons. I saw a bin at our local gourmet grocery store and having never tried one, I was instantly intrigued. Would I make meyer lemon bars? Meyer lemon pudding? Meyer Lemon aioli? There have been hundreds of meyer lemon recipes on various food blogs recently so I figured now was the time to experiment with this exalted hybrid of humble orange and lemon. But could I really pay $1.49 cents for ONE lemon? My father diligently taught me to bargain shop, to clip coupons, and to never become emotionally attached to any object, because emotional attachment forces any rational decision making to be thrown completely out the window. Well, I've failed in all three tenets of his tutelege. My first dereliction was browsing in a gourmet grocery store. Naturally, he equates "gourmet" with "overpriced." Secondly, nary a coupon was in my possession. Thirdly, I sniffed the Meyer lemon, and an instanteous emotional attachment was born.

Anyhow, what to do with this gorgeous specimen? I wanted my new acquisition to manifest in something not overly tart (so my husband would enjoy it) and not overly sweet, (I've been eating entirely too much sugar lately). Since I love scones with jam and a cup of tea or coffee, I decided to try incorporating my prized lemon's juice and zest into scones. I also added dried sour cherries. These scones were adapted from here, and they were perfect. This recipe is nice because the base is flexible to allow for infinite possibilities: any other dried fruit, chocolate, nuts, brown sugar, vanilla bean, and so on. Topped with jam and alongside a cup of tea; I can't think of a better way to spend my afternoon. I'll just skip the part about paying $1.49 for one lemon when I tell my father how good these scones were.

Meyer Lemon and Cherry Scones
Bon Appetit, December 2001

2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons grated Meyer lemon peel
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup dried sour cherries
1/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
3 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 large egg
2 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons raw sugar

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk flour, 1/3 cup sugar, peel, baking powder, and salt in bowl to blend. Add 1/2 cup chilled butter. Using fingertips, rub in until mixture resembles coarse meal. Mix in cherries.
Whisk crème fraîche or sour cream, lemon juice, and egg in medium bowl to blend. Gradually add to flour mixture, using fork to toss until moist clumps form. Knead dough briefly on lightly floured surface until smooth. Pat dough into 8-inch round. Cut into 8 equal wedges. Transfer to prepared baking sheet, spacing apart. Brush with melted butter; sprinkle with raw sugar.

Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Can be made up to 1 month ahead. Cool completely. Wrap in aluminum foil; freeze. Serve at room temperature.)


Rebecca said...

OK, I'd been on the fence about Meyer lemons, but you've sold me. These scones sound soooo good.

Anonymous said...

When given affluent lemons...make WASSPI lemonade!

They look so tasty, why can't you live near me so I can taste your amazing creations?