Inspiration

Irish Style Scones

Irish Style Scone

I have this rather complex family heritage that includes: Irish, English, Australian, American Indian, Welsh, and U. S. A. Southern! My grandfather was a Georgia boy; and that honestly counts for heritage line itself! If he were alive today, he would insist that Southern came before all my other credits. If I had to choose a food item that represented my heritage I would choose the traditional British scone. My topping of choice for that lovely scone? Icy cold, thick, luxurious  double Devonshire cream! I could smother it on almost everything I eat….

I would participate in teatime at my grandmother Kathleen’s home. The formal living room and dining room were “off-limits’’ to children’s play. However this rule was null and void when it was “tea time.” A tray with the pink or yellow Chinese hand-painted teapot, Spode Queen’s Bird teacups, saucers and dessert plates set perfectly on her marble coffee table. I was allowed to sit wherever I chose, whether it was one of her Victorian chairs or the antique pale pink and gold raw silk covered setae.  This was teatime at Grandmother Kathleen’s home where the ceremony was rarely broken__ well, there were a few times usually when she had worked in the garden then tea time was held in the kitchen.

 Earl Gray or Orange Pekoe ** was steeped to perfection, you then had the choice of lemon, sugar or milk. However, if you chose Earl Grey, please do not add milk to this lovely, uplifting citrus perfumed black tea. Cookies, tea biscuits and upon special occasion scones were on the dessert platter! I always chose the scone. They had a light texture and a slight nuttiness from the flour; there was a good acidity from the baking powder; and, a rich, and tender feel in my mouth due to the butter, cream and double Devonshire cream piled a mile high!

A few years after her passing, I found her recipe card and there was the secret ingredient “OATMEAL” get out!! Are you kidding me? My proper British Grandmother, the red headed look a like version of Queen Elizabeth II was a scone-making rule breaking badass. I knew I loved her so!

Her 85th Birthday
Her 85th Birthday

Weeks before my bakery and café opened, I knew these scones would steal the show; and, oh boy did they ever. Newspaper articles were written about them; and, customers called into reserve them early in the morning! I did a cooking faux pas. I only made three-dozen a day and that was it, that’s all! My customers knew to get to my Café early in the morning; and, the scones would still be hot out of the oven with beautiful plump raisins at bursting point waiting for them.

photograph by Troy Overman
photograph by Troy Overman

Each batch makes six perfect triangles; however, I recommend doubling the recipe. The dough freezes well for up to a month. But I doubt you will ever keep these scones waiting in the freezer for that long. This is a huge leap of faith on my part to share this recipe with you. I am no longer in the world of retail; I’m not scared about my competition stealing my secret. Go ahead and make a batch, pour yourself a cuppa, load on the double Devonshire cream and just take a timeout to be quiet.

Cheers!

 

iphone4 photo
Grandmothers yellow Chinese teapot iphone4 photo

Kathleen’s Scones

Yields 6
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Total Time: 45 min
 
Ingredients
  1. 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  2. ½ c oat oatmeal
  3. 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  5. 4 ounces cubed cold salted butter
  6. ¾ cup heavy cream
  7. ¼ cup half and half
  8. ½ cup raisins
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a food processor grind the oatmeal for 1 minute then add the flour, sugar and baking powder. Pulse for 30 seconds, and then while the food processor is on slowly add your cold cubed butter. Process until the dough no longer spins around the bowl it will just stick to the sides. Remove dough from the food processor and place it in a large bowl, add raisins mix well and add the heavy cream. Mix until soft dough comes together but is not too sticky. Add half and half if needed. Then turn out onto your counter and softly knead until the dough comes together. Next, pat the dough out the shape of a circle until it is about 1” thick. Cut dough into 6 triangles; do not worry about being precise. Place scones on a parchment-lined pan and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the tops are golden. Once done, remove from oven cool for 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy.
Notes
  1. I have used the zest of blood oranges and candied ginger, chocolate chips, blueberries, fresh raspberries, pumpkin pie spice, lemon zest and lemon zest with candies ginger. The additions are countless, I’ve even made these scones savory with the addition of fresh herbs, peppercorns and spices.

** Orange Peko tea does not taste of orange- it is referring to the black tea leaves grading; OP, BOP and FOP are the basic grading labels. OP- Orange Pekoe, BOP Broken Orange Pekoe and FOP Fancy Orange Pekoe.

Welcome to Kate’s Curious Kitchen!

 

Kate's Curious Kitchen
Whitney Hartmann Photography

Hi, I’m Kate, welcome to Kate’s Curious Kitchen. Here you are going to explore adventures in the heart of my home! I love food, I love feeding my friends and family, I loved feeding my customers when I owned my café and now I get to share my love of food, recipes and stories with you. I believe that a kitchen is where stories start and where stories are retold over and over through out the years. Creativity creates memories and curiosity gives you the freedom to explore with no boundaries or walls to hold you back.

Food not only feeds you and your soul, it feeds conversations. Stories come alive if you can smell, see, touch and taste the very ingredient that started the conversation or sparked the memory. A recipe to me is a collection of ingredients and measurements that tell you what to gather, prepare and in what order to care for those ingredients. The story starts to develop as you take your time and put your energy into your dish. The flavors become infused with love, hope, pride, accomplishment, and sometimes-sheer luck!

I’m a self taught Chef I choose to build my professional career in the fabulous world of desserts. I was that girl who was 9 times out of 10 bored in school when I was growing up. Repetitive lessons and sitting still in a chair all day long was not at all creative and it truly did not feed my lust for learning. But my small hometown grocery store did, Lynn Noren owned and operated Noren’s Market and if he were alive today I would love to thank him for all of his inspiration. Within those walls, I was allowed to wander back into the coolers and watch vegetables being washed and sorted before being places in their displays. I watched mixers as big as me whip butter into a silky form. I would crane my neck around the butchers display case to just see what breaking down a side of beef took. Still to this day it truly amazes me, I consider it a true art form. I had FUN, I was learning, tasting, seeing, feeling and appreciating a craft. I just never put it together that this was my path; this world of food makes me truly happy.

I was always told if you have a strong foundation it can support you no matter what, all you have to do is believe in yourself. I am a believer now! I made a 4’ tall multi tier carrot cake for my cousins wedding with traditional cream cheese frosting. If I didn’t create a level and supportive foundation that cake would have toppled under its sheer weight (60lbs). But I trusted myself, I remembered the lessons my husband showed me (he delivered wedding cakes long ago) and above all else I believed in my craft, my recipe, my business, my creativity, my curiosity and I believed in me! Just like I believe that you can and will be able to recreate the recipes I publish.

I do have the amazing lineage of being a member in a farming family that for over 130 years has grown fruit and vegetables still on its original land. I was schooled in the art of eating seasonally I was brought up knowing oranges were the Christmas fruit. All I had to do was walk out of my home pick one from the back yard, Mom would cut it up and I could eat it up. Sundays were and still are for Sunday supper that wonderfully cared for meal shared by family members and friends where stories are the focus and flavors trap the memory.

My Blog is a bit unconventional, just like me. Stories, people, food, experiences and truth will be shared. I can tell you this blog will not be a quick read. This is a time for you to pour yourself a cup of tea, coffee, a glass of wine and sometimes a martini. Sit back and read about my inquisitive adventures with beautiful ingredients and meals. Come along and meet my family members, friends and colleagues. Hopefully my stories will jog your memory of a dish, ingredient or friend long ago forgotten, let me help you create new memories that stay with you for a long time. I am truly excited about this adventure. I hope you will share your recipes and stories with me and possibly find similar comfort in mine. I love when food helps the story come alive, I love it when I wake up curious about an herb or spice; and, go find the answer of where it is from, what does it taste like, what is its history and how can I use it in a recipe? Thank you for being curious about me. Now lets go start this new adventure!

Cheers!