Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Meyer Lemon and Cranberry Scones

What do you make for a snack for yourself when you're trying to clean out a fridge of perishables before a long trip?  If you're like me you try to make something that can use up your milk, eggs and any fruit or veggies that may be hanging out in your crisper drawer.  I wanted to make something that would keep me happy over a very long day of traveling with my very non-travel-friendly two year old.  So I scrounged up a few ingredients, raided the Meyer lemon tree in the back yard (yay!  they're finally ripe!), and scoured the internet for some inspiration.  One of my favorite bloggers, Deb over at smitten kitchen, delivered the goods.  I'm a sucker for a good scone and combining the fragrant sweetness of a Meyer lemon and the tartness of cranberries sounded like pure genius.  Sold!

Armed with my beautiful scones, I spent yesterday on a C-17 cargo plane cruising across the country with my family.  We were headed east to visit grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins for Christmas.  "Why a cargo plane?", you might ask (and rightly so, it's not your everyday mode of transportation).  Here's the deal- living across the continent from our families makes it awfully expensive endeavor to visit them.  Four plane tickets from LAX to Philly aren't cheap, especially at Christmastime.  So we decided to make traveling an adventure this year and try to fly on a military flight.  It's worth it if you can make it work for you, free travel and possibly parts of the country you may never get to see otherwise.  Luckily, after a 4 1/2 hour wait we snagged seats with several other like-minded families on a cargo plane where we could stretch out, walk around and not be crammed like sardines into tiny seats for the six hour trip across the country.  Not a bad way to go after all.
And of course, I had my scones.  I froze some of the unbaked scones for a rainy day, but a few precious ones made it into my bag for the flight.  They were just the thing to make the day bearable.  The brightness of the flavors perked me right up while waiting in a stark Marine Corps air terminal for what felt like forever and halfway through the loooong flight when it seemed like I just could't wait any longer to get off the plane.  My only regret of the day- the one poor scone that got smashed to smithereens under the laptop in my carry on.  You know how the a Marine will never leave a man behind?  Well, I had to leave this one behind as the potential for leaving crumbs all over the cargo plane was just too high for comfort.  It was a sad moment.
Scone or no scone, as I sit in my parent's warm, comfortable house tonight, I'm grateful for the opportunity to be here and the Air Force pilots and crewman who safely carried us through the skies yesterday.  And I'm thankful that I had the foresight to bring along several more of those Meyer lemons.  My mom and I have already been dreaming up ways to use them.  I forsee several more posts in the near future using those beautiful lemons.  Possibly Meyer lemon macarons with blueberry curd...or a lemon pudding cake...a tangy lemon meringue pie maybe...  I'll fall asleep tonight dreaming of the possibilities just as if I were counting sheep.

Meyer Lemon and Cranberry Scones
From smitten kitchen, with the slight modification of the addition of the lemon glaze.  I couldn't stand to look at that poor, zested, unused Meyer lemon on the counter so I made a glaze to drizzle over the top of the scones.  I was so glad I did.

1 1/2 tbs freshly grated lemon zest (If you can find Meyer lemons, use them for heaven's sake.)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 3 tbs granulated sugar
1 tbs baking powder
6 tbs butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries (You heard me, fresh ones!  The dried ones don't even compare.)
1 large egg and 1 egg yolk
1 cup plus 2 tbs heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tbs fresh lemon juice (to start, you may need more to get the glaze to the consistency that drizzles well for you)

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a non-stick liner.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, lemon zest, the 1/2 cup granulated sugar and baking powder.  With a pastry blender, two forks or your fingertips, blend the butter into the flour mixture.  You want the butter to be in small, pea-sized pieces.  Toss the cranberries with the 3 tbs sugar.  Stir the cranberries into the dry ingredients.

In a small bowl lightly beat the egg and egg yolk.  Mix in the heavy cream.  Pour the egg/cream mixture into the larger bowl with the dry ingredients.  With a wooden spoon or your hands, stir all of the ingredients together until you have a soft, wet dough. 

Place the dough onto a well floured work surface.  Gently pat it together into a ball and then carefully flatten it into a disk roughly 1 inch thick.  Using a 2 inch round cutter, cut as many scones from the dough as you can.  Place the scones 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.  You can gently re-roll the scraps of dough to make more scones.

Bake the scones for 12-15 minutes until they are very lightly golden at the edges.  Cool for 5 minutes on the pan and then transfer them to a baking rack.  Cool completely on the rack.  In the meantime mix together the powdered sugar and lemon juice for the glaze.  When the scones are cool, drizzle the glaze over them.  Let the glaze set (it takes just a few minutes) and then enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. These would make any flight sweeter! I love scones, I love fresh cranberries and who doesn't love Meyer lemons. I'm making these soon.