Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Last time Khalil commented that we should make scones again sometime. He had obviously been pining for them, so I figured that another scone-baking session would be just the thing for his birthday.
I brought all the kitchen utensils and ingredients except for the lemon. Khalil's mom didn't have one, but she did have a lime, so we decided to try a batch with lime zest instead of lemon zest. She heated up the oven and we began the preparation. We measured out the dry ingredients, and I showed him how to use the edge chopper to chop the candied ginger. As we took turns cutting in the butter and mixing in the heavy cream with a fork, I once again told Khalil how important it is not to knead pastry any more than absolutely necessary: the pastry cutter and the fork mix in the wet ingredients with the least amount of kneading, which is what gives us the kind of light, flaky pastry that we want.
We zested the lime - Khalil's getting better at using the Microplane zester - and began adding the cream. Not one to pass up an opportunity for pastry preaching, I again instructed Khalil on the importance of moisture conten: in the summer I often only need eight tablespoons of water for a double pie crust, whereas in the winter I sometimes need twelve because the air is so much drier! Tonight I had to add much more heavy cream than the recipe called for before the dough was wet enough to hold together.
We mixed in the ginger, shaped the rounds, patted on a glaze of heavy cream, sprinkled on a bit of sugar, cut the rounds into wedges, buttered the baking sheet, put the wedges on the sheet, popped it in the oven, and set the timer. While the scones were baking I set up gmail and blogspot accounts for Khalil so that I could add him as a contributor to this blog. Soon I hope to instruct him in the basics of blogging.
Once the scones had reached a delicious-looking golden color, we took them out of the oven. While Khalil and his mother made tea, I made a small scone mountain on a plate and stuck in eleven candles. I lit them, and we sang happy birthday as I brought them over to the table. Khalil blew out the candles, I gave him his birthday card, and everyone enjoyed a scone. The general consensus was that the lime was excellent. Although I think I prefer lemon, I agree that the lime is delicious and perhaps even goes better with the ginger. Next time I want to try zesting two limes instead of just one, to make the flavor more noticeable.
All subtleties aside, Khalil had a great time making and eating his birthday scones.