Tuesday, April 12, 2016

apricot, oat, and spelt scones.

Scones don't get a lot of love in the US.   America is the land of the muffin and while muffins are great, they just don't exude elegance quite the way a scone does.  A scone begs for tea, china plates, hushed voices and soft music.     

I like scones a lot but it was only recently that I became re-enamored with them.  Tandem Bakery up in Portland, Maine (do you think I talk about this place enough?) does a lot of really terrific varieties - most recently I had an Apple and Feta scone that just killed me.  I like the fact that a scone can be savory and sweet - it opens up the doors of possibilities.   

But while a lot of scones are good, many of them lack substance - the stuff that keeps you full to lunch time.  Which is why this scone recipe caught my attention.  Chock-full of that healthy and trendy grain spelt, a boat load of oats, and just enough sugar to make if feel as if you aren't eating "health food" these are everything I want at breakfast.   And sure there is a decent amount of butter but with all of these articles coming out praising full-fat everything, I like to think a little butter in my morning meal isn't a bad thing  I haven't been this enamored with a breakfast item in a long time and I can't begin to stress enough that you should go and make these immediately.    

Apricot, Oat, and Spelt Scones 
Adapted slightly from Lootie and Doof

Can be halved (though having done that, I realize it was a foolish mistake).   

1/4 cup hot water
10 ounces (300g) dried apricots, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups (200g) rolled oats, plus more for topping
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons (375 g) whole grain spelt flour
1/2 cup (80g) light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/3 cups (300g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 egg yolks
2 eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup (250g) plain yogurt 
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons milk, for egg wash

Butter a 1/4 sheet pan and line with parchment paper.

Put the apricots in a small bowl and pour the hot water over them. Toss to coat, and then set aside.

In a bowl, combine the oats, spelt flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and whisk together. Use a pastry cutter to cut the cubes of butter into the dry ingredients. continue until it resembles coarse meal.

In another bowl, whisk together the yolks, eggs, maple syrup, and yogurt. Pour this into the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and spread it out. 

Take the soaked prunes and dot on top. Push the apricots into the dough.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

When ready to cook, preheat your oven to 390°F. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.

Pop the chilled scone mixture out of the pan and cut into 12 triangles. Do this buy cutting the block in half lengthwise. Cut each half into three squares and then cut each square into two triangles. (This is when you can freeze any scones you do not want to bake right now. They can be baked from frozen.) Place the scones you want to bake on the lined baking sheet(s) about 2 inches apart. Brush the tops with egg wash, sprinkle with the remaining oats, and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden.

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