Easy Cream Scones and Fancy Lemon Curd

simple cream scones and fancy lemon curd | apt 2b baking co
simple cream scones and fancy lemon curd | apt 2b baking co
simple cream scones and fancy lemon curd | apt 2b baking co
simple cream scones and fancy lemon curd | apt 2b baking co

We are finally getting our chilly winter weather in NYC and I don’t mind it one bit, although I do wish there was some snow on the ground. Walks to the river on snowy evenings are one of my very favorite parts of this season and I can’t believe we haven’t taken one yet. I didn’t even mind when last year the river was freezing over and we were taking those walks until March...I am much better suited to bundling up in layers and braving the chill than summertime temps.

I have had a quiet start to 2016. It has taken longer than usual to get over my holiday hangover this year, and getting back into the swing of everyday life is taking a little extra effort this year. So, I have been taking it easy and spending a lot of time at home, doing the self-care thing and decluttering using the KonMari method. Admittedly, I haven't read the book so I don't know how to fold my socks like Marie Kondo, but the general idea seems simple. It feels really good to get rid of things. Lots of boxes and bags have been sent to Goodwill (how did I acquire so many f-ing photography "props"!), and I even subjected myself to a round of clothes consigning at Beacon’s Closet. I don’t know what I was thinking. 

Getting back to my own kitchen and cooking dinner most nights instead of the all too easy take-out option has helped too, but I have to fess up to ordering most of my groceries online for the last couple of weeks -  something I am a little embarrassed to tell you all considering I am such a farmer’s market cheerleader (and I know, I know, the packaging is wasteful) - but this is a safe space and I trust that you all won’t judge me too harshly for taking the easy way out for awhile.

That online ordering is what brought me the pretty pink lemons pictured in this post, along with cara cara oranges with coral colored interiors, and vibrant blood oranges too. It’s fancy citrus season and there is a grocery delivery company in NYC that always has an amazing selection. My pal Autumn also sent me the loveliest package of meyer lemons, fresh bergamot (!), and the cutest mandarinquats just before Christmas so my fridge is full of sunny citrus.

Have you ever seen a pink lemon? With their stripey green and yellow skin, they are the kind of fruit that is so cute you might think they are fake. Inside, the flesh is the loveliest shade of blush pink and every time I slice one open I hope it tastes just like Country Time Pink Lemonade. The taste is actually pretty similar to a regular ol lemon (maybe a bit less acidic, but nowhere near as sweet and floral as a meyer lemon) but what can I say, I can't resist buying a couple every time I see them. I am a sucker for fancy fruit.

I am also a sucker for breakfast pastries, especially ones that are as quick and easy as these scones. I've never made scones without butter before, but these five ingredient numbers are quick and easy to put together and don't suffer one bit from their simplicity. The texture is light and fluffy, more bread than a scone with more fat and it makes them kinda perfect for lots of toppings. You could even omit the sugar, make them savory, and add some cheese and chives. Sounds just about perfect to me.

Easy Cream Scones

makes 8 small scones

With just five ingredients, these are the easiest scones I’ve ever made. They are less rich, and a bit more bready than scones made with additional butter, but they are still a delicious base for all sorts of toppings from jam and butter to lemon curd.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)

Preheat oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Stir the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest (if using) together in a bowl to combine. Drizzle in the heavy cream while stirring gently until the mixture just holds together. It should be just barely damp, but not wet. You may not need all of the cream.

Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and pat it into a circle about 1-inch thick and 6 inches wide. Cut the circle into 8 wedges and transfer them to the baking sheet. Brush the tops with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake the scones until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with lemon curd, butter, and jam.


Lemon Bergamot Curd

adapted from David Lebovitz

makes about 3 cups

3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup freshly squeezed bergamot juice (or lemon juice)

2/3 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into cubes

4 large eggs

4 large egg yolks

Zest one lemon and one bergamot (or lemon) into a medium bowl and set a strainer over the top.

In a medium saucepan warm the lemon juice, bergamot juice, sugar, and butter over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. In the meantime, whisk the eggs and egg yolks together in a measuring cup.

Ladle about a cup of the lemon juice mixture into the eggs and whisk to combine. While whisking constantly, pour the mixture back into the pot.

Stir constantly with a rubber spatula until the mixture thickens and starts to coat the spatula, 3-5 minutes.

Strain curd into the bowl, using the spatula to help the curd pass through. Let the curd cool until just warm then pour it into jars, cover, and refrigerate.

simple cream scones and fancy lemon curd | apt 2b baking co

Easy Blueberry Spelt Scones

easy blueberry spelt scones (apt 2b baking co | yossy arefi)
easy blueberry spelt scones (apt 2b baking co | yossy arefi)

It has been a busy summer here in apartment 2b, as they always seem to be. I am finishing up my book (!), working on a couple of fun freelance projects, and also trying to eat lots of ice cream and grilled corn and tomatoes and other summery things while the getting is good. Tough life, I know...But! I want to pop in to say a quick hello and share this easy recipe for blueberry scones with a bit of spelt flour. I am liking spelt flour more and more these days, mostly because you can easily substitute it for all purpose flour in most recipes and it has a great nutty flavor (and some added nutrition if that makes you feel better about eating baked goods).

These scones are a riff on the tangerine poppyseed scones I posted a few months ago with a summery twist: a generous amount of blueberries. This is the kind of recipe I love because you can swap ingredients in and out easily to suit your own tastes: change up the lemon for lime or orange, use raspberries, blackberries or currants instead of blueberries, add a handful of chopped chocolate, use all purpose flour or part whole wheat, rye, or oat. Go for it, and have some fun!

Easy Blueberry Spelt Scones

makes 8

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

one lemon

1 cup (4 1/2oz/128g) all purpose flour

1 cup (4 1/2oz/128g) spelt flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 ounces (112g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

1/2 cup (120ml)  buttermilk

1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the sugar to a large bowl and zest the lemon into the bowl. Add the flours, baking powder, and salt to the bowl and whisk to combine. Add the butter and use your fingers to press each cube of butter into a flat shard about the size of a quarter. Keep tossing the butter in the flour mixture to ensure that it is well coated. Make a well in the center of the mixture add add the buttermilk and heavy cream. Stir gently to combine, but don't worry if there are a couple of dry spots. Add the blueberries and stir gently couple more times. It's best to not over mix this type of dough. Use your hands to knead the dough a couple of times in the bowl then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat the dough into a circle about 1-inch tall and 7- inches wide. Use a knife to cut the dough into 8 wedges. Transfer the wedges to the baking sheet, brush each one with a bit of heavy cream and sprinkle granulated sugar on top. Bake until the scones are golden brown, 18-22 minutes. Enjoy warm. These scones are best enjoyed on the day they are made.