Persimmon Scones

The floral sweetness and spicy undertones of persimmons really sing in these extra-tender cinnamon-scented scones, brimming with fresh pieces of the fruit. A maple syrup glaze brings an extra dose of warmth. For more ways with persimmons, pick up a copy of our November/December 2019 issue!

Persimmon Scones
 

Makes about 7 scones
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons (70 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 grams) baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon (71 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • ¾ cup (134 grams) diced Fuyu persimmons
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (210 grams) plus
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) cold heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract*
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • Maple Glaze (recipe follows)

Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, 3 tablespoons (42 grams) brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, and cardamom. Using a pastry blender, cut in cold butter until mixture is crumbly. Toss persimmons in flour mixture. Add ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (210 grams) cold cream and vanilla, stirring with a fork just until dry ingredients are moistened.
  3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently 4 to 5 times. Roll dough to 1-inch thickness. Using a 2½-inch round cutter, cut dough, rerolling scraps as necessary. Place 2 inches apart on prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and remaining 1 teaspoon (5 grams) cold cream. Using a pastry brush, brush top of scones with egg wash. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons (28 grams) brown sugar.
  6. Bake until golden brown, 16 to 18 minutes. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Drizzle with Maple Glaze. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Notes
*We used Heilala Pure Vanilla Extract.

3.5.3251

Maple Glaze
 

Makes ⅔ cup
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (120 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2½ tablespoons (53 grams) maple syrup
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon (75 grams) heavy whipping cream

Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, place confectioners’ sugar. Whisk in maple syrup; slowly whisk in cream until smooth. Use immediately.

3.5.3251

 

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Double Gingerbread Scones

Our Double Gingerbread Scones earn their double gingerbread title from the twofold dose of ground and candied ginger in the dough. We also added old-fashioned oats to these Double Gingerbread Scones to make your winter morning breakfast a little heartier. 

Double Gingerbread Scones
 

Makes 8 scones
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (60 grams) old-fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup (55 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons (3 grams) ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • ½ cup (80 grams) diced candied ginger
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) plus 2 tablespoons
  • (30 grams) heavy whipping cream, divided
  • ¼ cup (85 grams) unsulphured molasses
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
  • Scone Glaze (recipe follows)

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Using a pastry blender, cut in cold butter until mixture is crumbly. Add candied ginger, tossing to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup (60 grams) cream, molasses, and egg. Add cream mixture to flour mixture, stirring until combined.
  4. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and gently knead up to 10 times. Pat dough into a 7-inch circle, about 1 inch thick. Cut dough into 8 wedges, and place on prepared pan. Brush top of scones with remaining 2 tablespoons (30 grams) cream, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  5. Bake until dough no longer looks wet around the edges, 13 to 14 minutes. Let cool completely. Drizzle with Scone Glaze.

3.5.3251

Scone Glaze
 

Makes ⅓ cup
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (120 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) whole milk

Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and milk.

3.5.3251

 

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Chestnut, Cranberry, and Rosemary Laminated Pain d’Épi

Fresh rosemary and fragrant chestnuts lend warm savory notes to this buttery Chestnut, Cranberry, Rosemary Laminated Pain d’Épi studded with sweet cranberries.

Chestnut, Cranberry, Rosemary Laminated Pain d’Épi
 

Makes 2 loaves
Ingredients
  • 3⅔ cups (466 grams) plus 1¼ cups (159 grams) bread flour, divided
  • 1¾ cups (420 grams) plus 2 teaspoons (10 grams) warm water (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C), divided
  • 2⅛ teaspoons (4 grams) instant yeast, divided
  • 6 teaspoons (18 grams) kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1¼ cups (183 grams) Roasted Chestnuts (recipe follows), chopped
  • ¾ cup (96 grams) dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons (4 grams) chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 2 cups (480 grams) ice water
  • ¼ cup (56 grams) olive oil

Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine 1¼ cups (159 grams) flour, ½ cup
  2. (120 grams) warm water, and ⅛ teaspoon yeast. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for 16 hours.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, beat yeast mixture, 1¼ cups (300 grams) warm water, 4 teaspoons (12 grams) salt, sugar, remaining 3⅔ cups (466 grams) flour, and remaining 2 teaspoons (4 grams) yeast at medium-low speed for 6 minutes. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat for 2 minutes. Add Roasted Chestnuts and cranberries, beating just until combined, about 1 minute. Shape dough into a ball.
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, shape butter into a 10×8-inch rectangle. Sprinkle with rosemary, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to 24 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before using.
  5. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Position oven rack to lowest level, and place a large cast-iron skillet on rack. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Freeze dough for 10 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 16×10-inch rectangle. Unwrap butter block, and place in center of rectangle. Fold dough edges over to enclose butter block. Roll dough into a 24×8-inch rectangle. Fold one short side over 3 inches. Fold other short side over 9 inches, making ends meet. Fold dough in half, creating an 8×6-inch rectangle. Roll into an 18×8-inch rectangle. Fold dough into thirds, like a letter, creating an 8×6-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Roll dough into a 19×11-inch rectangle. Trim ½ inch off all sides of dough. Cut dough in half lengthwise, creating 2 (18×5-inch) rectangles. Starting at one long side, roll up 1 rectangle, pinching seam to seal. Transfer to prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough.
  8. Using kitchen scissors, make a 45-degree cut into dough 1 inch from end, leaving about ¼ inch of dough uncut. (Be careful not to cut all the way through dough.) Lay dough piece over to one side. Make another 1-inch cut, and lay to other side. Repeat process until you reach end of dough. Repeat with remaining loaf.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and remaining 2 teaspoons (10 grams) warm water. Brush egg wash onto dough. Pour 2 cups (480 grams) ice water in cast-iron skillet, and place loaves in hot oven.
  10. Bake until deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Brush with oil, and sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons (6 grams) salt. Let cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve warm. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Roasted Chestnuts
 

Makes about 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 6 cups (892 grams) whole chestnuts in shells

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Using a sharp paring knife, cut an “X” in rounded side of chestnuts. (This lets steam escape, and will prevent them from exploding.) Place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up.
  2. Roast until shells curl away from nutmeats, 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Wrap hot chestnuts in a kitchen towel, and squeeze gently to further loosen shells. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel shells from nutmeats. Use immediately, or store in a resealable plastic bag at room temperature for up to 24 hours.

 

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St Lucia Buns

Every December 13, across the snowy towns of Scandinavia, families rise early in the dark to begin preparing for a centuries-old winter solstice celebration, a festival of lights. The eldest daughter of each household wakes first. Donning a white gown with a red sash and a candle-lit wreath crown, she carries a tray of brilliant golden St Lucia buns from room to room, singing carols and serving the sweet saffron-scented buns to family and friends in honor of St. Lucia. Soon they will take to the streets for a processional, where a girl—nominated by her town as “Lucia”—carries a basket of St. Lucia buns, handing them out to the merry masses. She is accompanied by girls in white dresses and boys with star-coned hats. They twirl and sing along the streets. This is St. Lucia Day.

You can’t talk about St Lucia buns without mentioning the shapes. The soft, supple dough allows for a variety of them—from a braided wreath to the wilder prästens hår (“priest’s hair”). The classic S shape, with each end of the dough rope curling up in an opposite direction, is the most common and easy to execute. The origin of the S shape and its connection with St. Lucia is fairly unknown, but there are several theories. The most prevalent is that the S is supposed to resemble curled-up cats, hence the name lussekatter. In his new cookbook, The Nordic Baking Book (Phaidon Press, 2018), Magnus Nilsson asserts that the real lussekatt shape has four curls, and the common S shape is actually called jugalt, which means “Christmas boar.” 

No matter the shape, St Lucia buns are vibrant enough to bring warmth to even the coldest of Scandinavian winters. In the spirit of this season, do as the Swedes and take to the kitchen to bake out the dark. Rest assured, St Lucia buns will bring the light.

These Swedish ST Lucia Buns are made with sour cream and vodka. The traditional version requires the saffron to infuse in vodka overnight so it can develop an intense color, but our method is much faster. 

St Lucia Buns
 

Makes 19 buns
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) plus 1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon saffron, lightly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) vodka
  • ⅔ cup (160 grams) plus 1 tablespoon (15 grams) whole milk, divided
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) active dry yeast
  • ⅓ cup (80 grams) sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature and divided
  • 4 cups (480 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • Garnish: Swedish pearl sugar*

Instructions
  1. Using a mortar and pestle, grind together 1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar and saffron. Place in a small bowl, and add vodka. Let stand for at least 20 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat ⅔ cup (160 grams) milk and remaining ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar over low heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture registers 110°F (43°C) on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from heat. Whisk in yeast; let stand until mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes. Whisk in sour cream and 1 egg (50 grams); whisk in saffron mixture.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, place yeast mixture. With mixer on low speed, gradually add half of flour mixture, beating until incorporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Add butter, 1 tablespoon (14 grams) at a time, letting each piece incorporate before adding the next, about 5 minutes total, stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add remaining flour mixture, beating until incorporated. Continue beating until dough is smooth and elastic, about 16 minutes.
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Shape dough into a smooth round, and place in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.
  5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Punch down dough, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 19 (50-gram) pieces. (Keep dough covered while shaping so it does not dry out.) Roll each portion into a 12- to 13-inch rope, letting ends taper. Roll each end into a tight spiral in opposite directions, meeting in the middle to create an S shape. Place at least 3 inches apart on prepared pans. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) for 45 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1 egg (50 grams) and remaining 1 tablespoon (15 grams) milk. Brush top and sides of each bun with egg wash. Top with pearl sugar, if desired.
  8. Bake until golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cool on a wire rack. Buns will keep for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container.

Notes
*We used Lars Own Swedish Pearl Sugar.

 

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