01 January 2014

Eating it all


You can eat it all but not all at once. Sounds like simple advice for life, right?

I'm sorry, have you had enough of the 'having it all' headline for the year and especially roll your eyes when hearing such a phrase on New Year's Day? : ) Regardless of your personal level of celebration on the first day of 2014, though, whether you make lists, go to yoga class, go running, reflect or screw it all and have a few glasses of wine (or all of the above), I'm sure you must be thinking somewhat about things you want. 

Eating it all but not all at once. The phrase made its way into my head last night as I got into bed. I'd realized that a few years ago, I judged myself for eating animal products way more. I considered it a huge deviation from how I had made myself eat for years and it was becoming more of an identity/supposed-to thing than a what do I want-to-eat-thing. Fast forward through a few life events, unexpected trials and triumphs, and while I abhor factory farming and want better lives for animals, I am not going to turn down a little meat on pizza for flavor, good poultry for solid protein and listening to the body. Restraint can be good, but only if used wisely. 

A meal that perhaps exemplifies the having it all or having a little of a few things at once, is of course, brunch. A meal where you'll find sweet and savory, two or more kinds of beverages and permission to linger. I've made these scones two days in a row for that late morning meal. The first day I added less blackberries and let the tops get just light golden, and the second I added more blackberries and kissed them under the broiler for a minute after they baked and gave them that gold top crust. They are delightful either way but hitting the tops a bit more helped dry up some of the extra blackberry juice that forms if you add a biggish handful. 

These scones are more American, aka cake-like. For even more softness, I threw in a pinch almond flour. They are a cinch to throw together, too, it's not about perfection. The dough comes together lightly, is formed into a circle, sliced in fourths, barely separated on the baking sheet and baked in a round. My trick is to, when I check on them towards the tail end of the bake time, wedge them apart a little more so the sides get cooked enough, especially since the berries here add a bit of moisture.

Then, if you're feeling adventurous, you can do the broiler thing for a few seconds for a little more top color. A little more color and less perfection, now that's how I want to begin the new year. Have a great one! xo

Lemon Blackberry Scones

Makes 4

note: you can use all all-purpose (125 g/1 c) if you don't have almond flour but it adds a nice hint.

120 grams all purpose flour (scant 1 c) plus more for dusting
6 grams blanched almond flour (1 Tbs) 
zest of half a lemon
2 slightly heaped Tbsp natural cane sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda

50 grams (scant 4 Tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
1/2 large egg (lightly beaten, measured to 26 grams)
1/4 c/ 60 ml half and half
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

heaped 1/4 c (small handful fresh blackberries, cut in half if large)
Turbinado to sprinkle

Oven to 425, rack in center.
Cut butter into pieces, and blackberries in half. Set both on flat surfaces in the freezer
Set sheet pan aside with a little parchment on it, and dust with a sprinkle flour. 
Whisk to combine flour, salt, baking powder, soda, zest in large bowl. 
Whisk to combine measured egg with half and half and vanilla in small bowl. Set in fridge.
With fingers (my choice here) or pastry blender, rub butter into dry mix to form coarse meal with pieces no larger than a pea. Work quickly to keep butter solid. Stir in blackberries gently. Make a well and pour in half and half mix, stirring from outside to moisten and stirring gently only to combine. When mix starts to hold together, flour your hands and form dough into ball. With floured hands transfer to dusted tray. Pat dough into mound a heaped inch, and with a lightly floured knife, slice in half, then in half again. Wedge the pieces apart just slightly, Sprinkle with a little turbinado. I always put the pan in the freezer for a minute while I clean a little. Bake about 20 minutes, checking towards the last 5, and wedge the scones apart on the sheet. The sides should seem soft but not raw. Run under broiler for just a second if desired/needed. Let cool on the sheet pan on a rack for at least 5-10 minutes, then for another 5-10 off the pan on a rack. Spread with a little mascarpone and fruit butter or jam!

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