Monday, February 28, 2011

One thing leads to another

The cafe at the V & A, home of the best scones anywhere.
I have some scones baking in the oven. Why? Because I made marmalade over the weekend, and you have to have some scones to eat it on. It's just how it is.

For some time, I have been on a quest for the perfect scone recipe. I got on a kick with this last winter and tried a couple of different things; all of them were edible, but none of them was perfect. For me, the ne plus ultra of scones are the ones I had in the cafe at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  Now I know this sounds incredibly smug and name-dropperish, but it's the absolute truth.  Those scones were amazing:  crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, flaky, buttery, and delicious.  No other scones I have ever eaten--including those I've made myself--have approached them.  (Side note:  most British people I know pronounce "scones" to rhyme with "bronze," but the OED says that it can also rhyme with "bones" and prefers that pronunciation.  I don't care how you say it, so long as they taste good.)  I wrote to people in England asking for recipes and got several; I even wrote to the V & A cafe asking if they would share their recipe, but they never answered.  I don't blame them.  If you have the Rosetta Stone of scones, why would you give it away?

I'm trying something new today.  Should these scones turn out decent, I will offer the recipe.  I'll also let you know how I made the marmalade, but here I have a word of caution.  I made marmalade as a way of using some excess citrus fruit.  (We grow some superb oranges and grapefruit here in Arizona, and my mom has both in abundance from trees in her backyard.)  The marmalade is delicious, but it consumes more time than fruit.  I have 25 8-oz. jars of marmalade.  They took me two days to make.  I used 8 oranges, 2 grapefruits, and 1 lemon.  I still have fruit coming out my ears, but now I also have jars of marmalade coming out my ears, I used an appalling quantity of sugar, and I spent hours on the project.  So make marmalade, by all means, but only if you love it.  Don't do it as a way to use up fruit.  You're better off juicing the fruit and freezing the juice.

The timer just went off.  Time for a hot scone.  They look promising, at least...

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