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April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
Nutty scones with a sweet pop of jam
Have you ever had a baked good that was so good that you thought about it afterwards? Something that you bit into thinking it would be fine, quite nice, and then said, "Wait, how do I have that again?" These scones are my own attempt to recreate that experience, one that introduced me to the perfect walnut scone.
I don't say "perfect" lightly. There is a bakery in Columbus, Ohio -- my hometown -- that makes gorgeous bread, beautiful cakelets, amazing cinnamon buns, and ... these homely little walnut scones. I first picked one out a few years ago before a day of hiking, attracted by its glistening pool of jam on top -- its one beauty.
After a long morning hiking, I bit into the nutty scone; it wasn't too moist, but crumbly and ever so slightly sandy, the way a good buttery scone should be. There were no huge chunks of walnuts, but a fine walnut taste worked all throughout, and it was topped with a gooey bite of raspberry goodness. Maybe it was the morning of hiking (hunger is the best sauce, right?) but I thought it was one of the most amazing scones I had ever tasted.
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The sweetness of these scones comes mostly from figs whirred into the dough, and they have a fine nuttiness complemented by that sweet pop of raspberry jam. They are very easy to make in a food processor, but they can also be made by hand. My recipe doesn't exactly replicate the texture of the Omega originals, but these scones are still pretty amazing. And perhaps a long morning hiking will catapult them into your favorites, too!
JAMMY RASPBERRY AND WALNUT SCONES
Makes about 18 scones
- 2 1/2 cups whole walnuts
- Olive oil
- 2 cups flour
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup dried figs, halved
- 12 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2/3 cup raspberry jam
Heat the oven to 350 F and prepare two baking sheets by lining with parchment.
In the bowl of a large food processor pulse the walnuts with the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon for about 10 seconds, or until the walnuts are roughly crumbled into the dry mixture. Add the figs and butter and process for another 10 seconds, or until the figs are finely processed and the butter is breadcrumb texture. Add the milk and egg, and pulse just until it comes together in a cohesive dough.
(Alternatively, you can finely chop the walnuts and figs in a mini chopper and mix with the dry ingredients. Then work in the butter until it is the texture of fine breadcrumbs, using your fingers or a pastry blender, and gently mix in the wet ingredients.)
Sprinkle the counter or a board with flour, and pat the dough out about 3/4-inch thick. Cut out 3-inch rounds using a biscuit cutter or glass. Place on prepared baking sheet and make gentle indentations in the top of each scone with your thumb or the back of a spoon. Fill each indentation with a generous spoonful of jam.
Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or golden. Serve warm but not hot.
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(Faith Durand is managing editor of TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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