Saturday, December 24, 2011

English Scones and Raspberry Jam

So for Christmas, Mary and I were brainstorming some books or authors to do on the blog. One of the author's we thought of was good ol' Charles Dickens. I had a hard time finding food quotes among his works, they seem to drink a lot of alcohol though. I did find this one though in a short story of his called "Holiday Romance" I haven't been able to find that much information about it either, but it is a collection of four short stories, written through four different point of views (points of view?). Okay here's the quotation:

"THERE is a country, which I will show you when I get into maps, where the children have everything their own way. It is a most delightful country to live in. The grown-up people are obliged to obey the children, and are never allowed to sit up to supper, except on their birthdays. The children order them to make jam and jelly and marmalade, and tarts and pies and puddings, and all manner of pastry. If they say they won't, they are put in the corner till they do. They are sometimes allowed to have some; but when they have some, they generally have powders given them afterwards." -Charles Dickens

So today, we are making scones and freezer jam. I could make another post with some of the other foods they mentioned, but these ones tickled my fancy the most.

Raspberry Freezer Jam
I hate to just direct you to a how-to page, but they spell everything out that you'd need to know for any type, they also have lots of hints on how to do it too.

The basic ratios for each packet of powdered pectin are:

3 cups mashed fruit
5 cups sugar, and
1 cup water in which to dissolve and boil the pectin.

The process itself is simple:

  • Wash and stem the fruit (and peel it, if applicable).
  • Place it in a wide-bottomed pan and crush with a potato masher to a smooth consistency, leaving some chunks of fruit if you like.
  • Stir in the sugar and let the mixture sit for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • In the meantime, mix together the pectin and water in a small saucepan until the powder is dissolved; bring it to a boil over high heat, and let it boil for a full minute.
  • Pour it into the fruit and stir for a couple of minutes.
  • Pour the jam into your containers, leaving a half-inch of "headspace" at the top.
  • Cover the containers and let them sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
  • The jam should thicken significantly overnight, but the jelling process can take up to two weeks to complete. If it's too thick, stirring it will soften it up. If it's still too runny after two weeks, pour it into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. It will get thicker as it cools, and you can re-bottle as before.

It'll set up overnight and like it's named it will keep in the freezer or the fridge.

Why can't I untab?

Now, what you've all been waiting for scones!

English Scones

I made 16 little scones, but you can make 8 large scones if you'd like

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/2 cup craisins, dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of orange zest
  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Take your craisins, chop them up if you like, and soak them in water, we chose to soak ours in orange juice, just put in enough to cover them.
  3. In a food processor, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Chop butter into smaller pieces and feed in through food processor into flour mixture.
  4. Add sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form, they will look coarse. Add craisins, save the orange juice if that's what you used.
  5. Pat dough into a plastic wrap lined cake pan and sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. of sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 (or 16) triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.
  6. Orange juice glaze: Mix together 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 Tbsp orange juice, 1 pinch of orange zest (I believe that is about a 1/16th of a tsp). Mix together and drizzle on top of the scones.

pictures to come!

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