Monday, April 21, 2014

Tartine's Fruit Scones and Some Technical Difficulties

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I'm gonna level with you here. These are without a doubt, the most complicated scones I've ever made. They require you to have loved and cared for a sourdough starter long enough that you can make a leaven the night before you even think about making the scone dough. The recipe calls for three types of flour and homemade creme fraiche or kefir although, I took the shortcut and just bought mine at the grocery store. Then there is the mixing, chilling, folding, chilling, loving, and whispering of gentle sweet nothings (that last one isn't written in the recipe, but I imagine it would probably help) that is required to make all of the flaky layers that make these scones great. That said, they are quite delicious and super tangy from the lemon zest and leaven and the combination of flours gives these a really nice complex flavor. I imagine that a couple of you out there are crazy like me and might like make a classic treat in a new way so I've provided the lengthy recipe below. If you try the it please let me know what you think in the comments!

A little programing note: I know things have been quieter than usual around here and it's because my well-loved film cameras are feeling a little under the weather. One has a crazy light leak and the other is leaving lovely stripes on all of my photos (which you can see in this post) so they are heading to Nippon Photo Clinic for a thorough cleaning and check up. Hopefully they will be back in action for when my favorite fruits and veggies start to hit the markets.

In the meantime you can keep up with me on instagram @yossyarefi where I post daily and Food52 where I write a column called Project Dessert every other week.

Thanks and Happy Spring!

Tartine's Fruit Scones
from Tartine No. 3
yield, 12 large or 24 small scones

As printed in the book, this recipe require an obscene amount of lemon zest (10 lemons worth!) which I kind of assumed was a misprint, so I used 2 lemons worth and found the scones plenty zingy. I also added a Tablespoon of vanilla extract to the recipe, but in the end I think the sourdough and lemon zest masked the vanilla flavor so feel free to leave it out.

306 g/ 1 cup plus 5T cold unsalted butter
312 g/ 1 1/3 cups kefir or creme fraiche
306 g/ 1 1/2 cups leaven*
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract (optional)
306 g/ 1 pint berries
341 g/ 2 1/3 cups pastry flour (I used all purpose)
204 g/ 1 3/4 cups oat flour
136 g/ 1 cup plus 1T whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon baking powder
102 g/ 1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt
zest of 10 (or a couple) lemons
1 large egg
crunchy sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 400ºF and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper

1. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch sized pieces and place in the freezer to chill. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, combine the leaven, vanilla and kefir until well mixed and place into the freezer to chill while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2. Wash, hull and roughly chop the berries (only chop if you are using strawberries).
3. In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, lemon zest and salt. Dump the flour mixture onto a work surface or countertop and spread it into a rectangle about 1/3-inch deep. Scatter the butter cubes over the flour and toss gently to coat the butter with flour. Flour a rolling pin and begin rolling the butter into the flour. When the butter starts flattening into long, thin pieces use a bench scraper to fold the mixture back over itself into a rectangle so that is the same size that you started with. Repeat the rolling and scraping three or four times. Work quickly so the butter stays as cold as possible.
4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the kefir-leaven mixture all at once. Use a bench scraper to gently fold the flour into the liquid. Keep folding the mixture until it is a shaggy mass, then shape it into a rectangle about 15-inches x 21-inches. Fold the dough in thirds, then roll it back into a rectangle. Repeat the folding and rolling process then transfer the dough to a baking sheet and chill for 15 minutes.
5. Roll the dough back into a rectangle and scatter the berries on top. Use a bench scraper to fold the top, bottom, and sides of the dough over itself then roll it into an 18-inch x 15-inch rectangle about 1 1/2-inches thick. Cut the dough into 12 rectangles or 24 smaller shapes and place the cut scones onto the prepared baking sheets. Move the baking sheets to the oven and chill for 20 minutes or until firm.
6. While the scones are chilling beat the egg with a tiny pinch of salt. When the scones are chilled and ready to bake, remove them from the fridge, brush the tops with egg wash, and sprinkle with crunchy sugar. Bake until the tops are lightly browned, 25-35 minutes. Serve warm.

*to make the leaven combine 100 grams all purpose flour, 100 grams whole wheat flour, 200 grams warm water and 1 Tablespoon mature sourdough starter in a bowl, cover and let sit overnight.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

White Pine Infused Frozen Treats and Happy New Year

white pine ice cream (yossy arefi) meyer lemon and white pine (yossy arefi) meyer lemon and pine sorbet  

In Iran the new year, Nowruz or Norooz or many other spellings, is celebrated on the first day of Spring which is a tradition that hails partly from ancient ZoroastrianismIt is a celebration of renewal and fresh starts much like the Jan. 1 New Year celebrations, but with a heavy dose of cosmic energy, lots of feasting, and some wonderful cultural celebrations. If you are curious about the celebration, check out this link and man, those Zoroastrians were super fascinating people. Now what does this have to do with white pine ice cream? Not much really, except hopefully the first day of spring will bring us all warmer temperatures, more sunlight and the first edible signs of spring: asparagus, peas, greens, and my very favorite rhubarb so we don't have to make ice cream out of trees. I kid, these ice cream and sorbet recipes are actually pretty great.

White pine has a surprisingly citrusy flavor, bright and earthy at the same time, but I can't say that I ever thought of white pine as a food before I started foraging with my friend Tama who shared the white pine and rosemary ice cream recipe on her blog. I loved the flavor of this ice cream so much that I went ahead made a tart meyer lemon sorbet infused with a hefty dose of white pine. It made for a fresh and crisp counterpoint to the rich ice cream. Check out both recipes below and for more pine info check out this great article on Serious Eats by Tama Matsuoka, forager extraordinaire.

Happy Nowruz!

White Pine and Rosemary Ice Cream
yield about 1 quart

1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 ounce rosemary stalks (about 2 large stalks)
3/4 ounce white pine sprigs (needles and small branches)
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

4 egg yolks

Combine milk, cream, rosemary sprigs and pine sprigs in a large pot. Bring to a boil then turn off the heat. Let the mixture infuse for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Strain the infused cream into a clean pot and press gently on the solids to squeeze any additional liquid. Whisk in the sugar, salt and lemon zest.

Whisk the egg yolks together in a medium bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer then ladle about 1 cup of the mixture into the egg yolks to temper. Pour the egg and cream mixture back into the pot and whisk well to combine.

Cook the mixture on medium low heat while stirring constantly until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and cool completely. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Remove the soft ice cream to a freezer safe container and freeze four hours or until firm.

White Pine and Meyer Lemon Sorbet

yield about 1 quart

This recipe includes one tablespoon of an obscure liqueur that I happen to love and keep stocked in my bar, but feel free to substitute a tablespoon of vodka in it's place.

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed meyer lemon juice
3/4 ounce white pine sprigs (needles and small branches)
1 tablespoon finely grated meyer lemon zest
1 tablespoon Douglas Fir Eaux de Vie or vodka

In a small saucepan bring the sugar and water to a simmer. Add the pine sprigs and turn off the heat. Let the syrup infuse for at least 4 hours and up to overnight. After the mixture has infused strain the pine needles.

Whisk the pine infused syrup with with lemon juice, zest and vodka. Cool completely then freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Remove the soft sorbet to a freezer safe container and freeze for four hours or until firm.

p.s. I've been taking pottery classes for the last couple of months and it is my new favorite thing! I even made the bowls used in this post. Some more of my handiwork can be found below.

pottery (yossy arefi)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Citrus Party!

Citrus Party
blood orange-1-2
pavlova with pink grapefruit and pomegranate (yossy arefi)

With spring just around the corner I thought I would pay homage to the best thing about winter: sunny citrus fruit!  Here are some ways, from this site and others, to use all of the glorious citrus fruit that won't be available much longer. If you have any favorite citrus recipes, please share them in the comments below.

Party on, Citrus!

Pavlova with Grapefruit and Pomegranate
Meyer Lemon and Grapefruit Bundt
Grapefruit and Bergamot Jam
Grapefruit Roasted Beets with White Beans and Pistachio Butter
White Chocolate Grapefruit Cake
Pink Guava and Pink Grapefruit Smash

Rangpur Lime Bars
Rangpur Lime Marmalade
Key Lime Pie
Blackberry Lime Cheesecake Tart
Pisco Sour

Blood Orangecello
Orange Almond Upside Down Cake
Orange Chocolate Tart
Rice Pudding with Old Fashioned Oranges
Seville Orange Marmalade
Shaker Orange Tarts
Blood Orange Chocolate Tartlets
Orange Polenta Cake with Honey and Rosewater Syrup
Marmalade Pull Apart Bread

Meyer Lemon and Grapefruit Bundt
Lemon Meringue Pie
Preserved Lemons
Meyer Lemon Eclairs
Quince and Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie
Lemon Polenta Cake
Meyer Lemon Syrup
Lemon Coconut Macaroons with Candied Kumquats

Mixed and Specialty Citrus
Tangerine Almond Cake
Citrus Salt
Kumquat and Poppyseed Dressing
Rhubarb and Kumquat Jam
Chocolate and Bergamot Cookie Sandwiches
Mixed Citrus Marmalade
Yuzu Maple Leaf Cocktail

Citrus Party
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Citrus Party Citrus Party