Cranberry Lemon Scones

Having a fresh scone with your morning coffee just would brighten anyone’s mood.  If you are like us the scones at Starbucks, the grocery bakery, and other tempting locations always seem great and still often lack something.   They tend to be dry, or tough and not delicate and often either too sweet or not sweet enough.  This recipe however is perfection slight delicateness, moisture, sweetness, everything a scone should be, the flavor is perfect balance.  I hope you give these a try, you maybe surprised at exactly how easy they are to make and not intimidating as most people think or fear.

Cranberry Lemon Scones

  • 2 tbsp. freshly grated lemon zest (two whole lemons)
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 6 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 1 cups dried cranberries, chopped coarse
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 400° F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

Whisk the lemon zest, flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl until combined.  Using a dough blender cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal.  (We don’t have a food processor so we used a dough blender to mix, the trick to scones is handle as little as possible!  Melting the butter with your body heat makes the scone tough.)

In a small bowl, toss together fresh cranberries and 2 tablespoons sugar, and stir into flour mixture.

In another small bowl, lightly beat egg and yolk.  Stir in cream.  Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and fold in until just combined and all dry ingredients are moistened.  The dough will be tacky and sticky but try to handle it as little as possible.

Place a piece of parchment paper on your work surface.  Lightly dust the parchment with flour.  Turn your scone dough onto the parchment and with a silicone spatula, using your hands when needed, press into a large disk about 1″ thick.    Using a round biscuit cutter cut out the scone shapes and place on your baking sheet, about two inches apart.  When you get down to the little scrap bits of dough don’t repress into a disk.  Place your biscuit cutter on the baking sheet and press the dough into the cutter to form the scone, forming a 1″ thick scone.  Repeat this until all the dough is used.

Makes around 12 scones.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven about 15-20 minutes or until a pale golden color.

If desired: Brush scone lightly with milk and sprinkle with sugar before baking.

To Freeze: After you have shaped the scones on the baking sheet, place in the sheet into the freezer until frozen.  Once dough is frozen place in a freezer bag.    Add 5-8 min baking time if baking scones directly from the freezer.

Adapted: Smitten Kitchen

Lemon Chiffon Cake

Going to a friends for dinner I offered to bring a dessert.  The need to bake something different was calling me and this recipe was something I have wanted to do for a while now.   The snow is melting and spring is so close women are starting to break out the skirts and flipflops.  We are in Minnesota, and as soon as the tempature is above 40°F to us locals that is spring weather.

Today spring comes in the form of a Lemon Chiffon Cake.   This cake is so light and soft, sweet yet sour, and the smell coming from the kitchen while it bakes just makes you think of spring.  Fresh lemons with that tangy citrus smell wafting through the apartment and the building made this hard to resist till dinner tonight.   The glaze is sweet but not overpowering and is the just the perfect accompaniment to this cake.  you may be tempted to not add it, but you will be hard pressed to find another to complement the cake so well.

Lemon Chiffon Cake

  • 2 c Cake Flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 c Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 c Vegetable Oil
  • 8 eggs, separated
  • Juice of two large Lemons
  • 1/4 c Water
  • Zest of two large Lemons
  • 1/2 tsp. Cream of Tarter

Mascarpone Lemon Glaze

  • 6 tbsp. Mascarpone Cheese, softened
  • 2 c Frosting Sugar
  • Zest of half a Lemon
  • Juice of Half a Lemon
  • 1 tbsp. Milk

Preheat oven to 325°F. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into large bowl whisk to combine.   Whisk vegetable oil, egg yolks, lemon juice, water and lemon peel into flour mixture.  Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl of a stand mixer. Using clean dry beaters, beat until stiff but not dry.   It should still look moist but have very stiff peaks.  Fold 1/4 of whites into batter to lighten. Gently fold in remaining whites.

Pour cake batter into ungreased 10-inch-diameter tube pan. Tap pan on counter or run rubber spatula through cake batter to release air pockets. Bake cake until springy to touch, about 60  minutes. Immediately invert cake in pan over neck of bottle. Cool cake completely. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake.   Transfer to a cake plate, and drizzle with the glaze.

To make the Glaze:

Whisk the cheese,  lemon zest, lemon juice, and milk until well combined and thick. Slowly 1/2 cup at a time add the frosting sugar. If it is too thick thin out with additional milk.  Only add 1 tsp. of milk at a time.   When at desired consistency drizzle over the cooled cake.
Adapted: Epicurious.com

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

For those lucky enough to live in the twin cities, there is this amazing restaurant called, Hell’s Kitchen, it’s downtown Minneapolis.   We had been there quite a few times now.  It has amazing food, comfortable atmosphere one of my favorite places to go have brunch with friends.   Last year when my brother was visiting we took them there as a treat, and I recommended my nephew get the pancakes.   I think we actually all had a bite and ‘helped’ him finish them off.

I have been wanting these pancakes for a very very long time, we had plans to go there for brunch today but plans changes so I went digging and brought brunch to us!  These lemon ricotta pancakes are light, sweet, filling, and just oh so amazing, only complaint is after preparing the batter letting it rest in the fridge for an hour? argh! hard to resist not making them early.  The acid in the berries make this go from great to amazing!  These pancakes are so moist and light you will not need syrup just a little dust of powdered sugar and its the best thing to add to your brunch menu since mimosas!

 

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

  • 6 Egg Whites
  • 9 Egg Yolks
  • 1/3 c Unsalted Butter, Melted
  • 1/2 c Sugar
  • 1 c Whole Milk Ricotta
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • Zest of 3 whole lemons
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2/3 c Cake Flour, sifted

In a mixer beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.   While your egg whites are working in a bowl combine and whisk by hand until well blended, egg yolks, melted butter, sugar, ricotta, salt, lemon zest and lemon juice.   Once your egg whites are formed, slowly on medium speed add the egg yolk mixture, once all in stop and scrape down sides, and mix for one(1) minute.  Slowly add in the cake flour a few tablespoons at a time.  Once all in, stop and scrape down the sides again and mix for another minute making sure it is very well blended.

Seal the bowl and transfer to the refrigerator for at least one hour, this will give the butter time to firm up so when you cook your batter it will not thin out as much.   Cook over medium heat on skillet, turn when bubbles begin to break through the batter, about 3-5 minutes, they will be very soft so be VERY careful when turning.  Cook for 2 min on flip side.  Serve with fresh berries and lightly dust with powdered sugar.  Makes 10-12, 8″ pancakes.

Adapted from: Hell’s Kitchen Cookbook