Friday, February 5, 2016

Midweek Roundup: "Delicious and Ultra-Easy"

Photo By Catherine
PhyllisCaroline Blog

I'll repeat Catherine's assessment:  "Delicious and ultra-easy to make."  I think that was a pretty unanimous view--I'll find out as I re-read each blog.  And not just "easy by Rose's standards," but flat-out easy, even if you've never made a scone before.  That's because there's no worry about working the butter into pea-size pieces because there's no butter to mix in.  Butterless scones, you say?  A bad idea, you say?  Read on.

Because these scones use all cream instead of butter, Catherine "just threw it all into the bowl and mixed it with my trusty bone-handled knife which reminds me of my grandmother."  It "came together very easily."  Despite my warnings not to miss the raspberry caramel sauce, Catherine missed it, although she admitted it sounded delicious because, to her, "the whole attraction of scones ... is the maximum 20 minutes from getting out the bowl to putting scones on the baking rack."  She's fast, isn't she?

Katya called these scones a "miracle of simplicity."  "Just a quick batter, a quick rest, and a quick bake."  Although she didn't exactly make the raspberry caramel drizzle, she "used a bit of a Thanksgiving leftover ... a bag of chunky bits from [a] cranberry ginger jelly experiment."  A person has to clean out her refrigerator somehow, right?

Vicki "never thought the day would come" when she could "make a decent scone."  Despite her British roots, the skill had somehow "eluded" her--until now, when she made a scone "better than any tea room scone I have ever had."  And a wonderful topping to boot!  But next time, she will at least double the sauce because it is "amazing."  Can you tell that Vicki is one happy baker?

Although Jay (the raisin hater) was not happy, Kristina was.  Cream scones = "less fuss, less muss, and just as good of a finished product."  She ate three scones over the weekend, and planned to bring the rest of them to work, to serve to her lucky colleagues with some apple butter and grape jelly she'd brought to work earlier.  She only wished she had been able to locate some "fancy pants" local cream, to see if it really did make a difference.

These scones would have been a lot easier for Kim if she hadn't run out of bread flour.  Rather than making do with all-purpose flour, she ran to the grocery store to pick up more bread flour.  This unplanned excursion put her enough off her game that she then forgot to add the baking powder!  (And she'd been hoping for extra high-rising scones!)  I have to say--and maybe it's just due to her skill as a photographer--that her scones look great.  And, "sliced in half, dropped in the toaster," and buttered, they were "perfect."  So apparently you can make a great scone even without an essential ingredient!

Orin also ran out of bread flour, but she opted to substitute all-purpose flour, knowing her scones wouldn't reach maximum height.  But, also like Kim, her scones came out beautifully:  "a pleasure to make and a delight to serve."  Orin's big discovery came in the making of the raspberry topping.  She had frozen raspberries, but had not defrosted them.  It suddenly occurred to her to use her dehydrator, set at 105 degrees F.  In just 15 minutes, her raspberries were thawed and ready to go.  I wonder if my bread-rising gadget would do the same thing?

Aimee loved that these were quick and easy enough to make in the morning and take to work,  even if she had to substitute sour cream for part of the heavy cream (and currants for the raisins, but that was a planned substitution).  And thus was born a new holiday:  Take Your Scones to Work.  And how her office mates loved her for it!  Can't you do this every day, they begged?  Well, that might be a little excessive, even in a workplace that houses a toaster oven large enough to bake these scones fresh in the break room.

Jenn says that she is "beginning to realize that the easier the recipe, the more disorganized I become." Is it disorganized just because you don't have any lemons or honey on hand and are a few ounces short of cream?  Well, you can't have everything on hand, and it's true that honey always seems to appear as a hard, crystallized mass just when you need it.  (To distract us from her lack of honey, Jenn also included pictures of some of her latest knitting projects--amazing!).  And as for the scones, they turned out well anyway.  "Okay, let's count how many mistakes Jenn has made this time....  6 mistakes.  And yet this recipe still comes out good and was wolfed down by my knitting group."  And Jenn, if you're disorganized for the easy recipes, it stands to reason that you're super-organized for the hard ones.  In that case, have I got a recipe for you!  Be sure to make the Pink Pearl Lady Cake, coming up in less than two weeks!

Before we get to the Pink Lady cake, we have Pizza Rustica--not a traditional "pizza," but a meat-and-cheese rich pie, and the only recipe in this book that will serve as a main course (for several meals, by the way.  Jim and I were both sorry when we finally ate the last slices).  Rose told us on the Facebook page that the dough should be rolled out to one-eighth inch, not one-fourth inch.  I made the pie before seeing this note, and mine was probably somewhat thicker than 1/8 inch, but the crust is so delicious that you really don't care.

And the week after that, the project that, along with the meringue twigs, has caused me the most angst.  I have already made the fondant, which can, conveniently, hang around on your counter for a month, giving you ample opportunities to put off baking and assembling the cake itself.  Read the recipe carefully!  You will need glycerine, glucose, white chocolate, luster dust and other, more ordinary, things.  If you love cake decorating (I don't), please try this recipe.  I can see that it has the potential to be show-stopping in appearance, and I hope that some of you skilled decorators will pull out all the stops--I'd love to see pictures of this cake done right!


  1. Nice round up! It seemed to successful all around--sort of.

  2. Very entertaining, Marie! Love Catherine's scone picture. It captures the quintessential scone to me. Plus I'm always in a good mood after reading one of her posts. I bought some "fancy pants" organic cream to see if it doesn make a difference with a second batch. These scones disappeared very quickly the first time 'round.

  3. Well Marie, if you're gonna bring up homemade fondant! :). I'm actually gonna miss that weekend. I've made Pizza Rustica last week and helped test the 1/8 inch thickness for Rose. It's a really good dish and freeze well. I "thawed" some today by heating it up in the oven, covered with foil.