Monday, January 9, 2012

Poppy seed and cherry scones

I've never had scones before coming to the US. On the other hand, I ate many desserts with poppy seeds. In fact, we grew our own poppy seeds in Hungary (and we did not use the pods). In the US all the dishes that contained poppy seeds used them whole. This nearly completely prevents the strong flavor of the seeds to escape. Which pretty much amounts to wasted poppy seeds.

In this dish I combined ground poppy seeds with one of my New England favorites: scones. We usually offset the deeper, heavy flavor of the poppy with brighter, tangy fruits, such as lemons and sour cherries. Here I chose sour cherries, but grated lemon zest would have worked equally well.

2 cups flour
0.25 cup poppy seeds
1 stick butter
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
5 tbsp sugar
0.25 tsp salt
1.5 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp baking soda
0.25 cup sour cherries

Grind the poppy seeds in a food processor or coffee grinder. Mix the flour with the poppy seeds, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

Mix the buttermilk with the vanilla.

Cut the butter into the flour mix. Pour in the buttermilk mix and the sour cherries, bring together to form a ball. Spread out onto a well-floured surface and roll into a 0.75-inch-thick rectangle. Cut into eight pieces.

Transfer onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in a 375F preheated oven for ~15 minutes. Cool on a cookie rack. Serve with lemon curd. The lemony flavor complements the poppy extremely well.

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