Monday, February 13, 2012

Toasted Coconut Scones and Lemon Curd

It's citrus season here in the valley. Almost every house seems to have some sort of tree, overloaded with delicious ripening fruit. 

I, being an apartment dweller, realized I had few options: 1) steal fruit under the cover of night, 2) knock boldly on a stranger's door and ask for permission, or 3) find a friend that had a tree or two and didn't mind sharing. 

So I turned to my friends, and asked the obvious question: "Do you like lemon curd?" Boy, was I glad I did.
I brought scones, she had the curd. It was a match made in heaven!

There was toasted coconut, coconut cream, and butter involved. Of course, things turned out well. 

She made the lemon curd. And added a bit of orange, just in case.

We ate our scones with cucumber sandwiches and tea.

They went rather quickly. It seemed like there was only one unhappy party in all of this...

We didn't drop enough crumbs!

Toasted Coconut Scones

2 c. flour
4 tbsp cornstarch
4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 c. sweetened flaked coconut, toasted and cooled
3/4 c. coconut cream
2 eggs
5 tbsp butter, cold and cubed

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, sugar and 1 c. toasted coconut. Work the butter in with your fingers, so that the mixture resembles pebbles or clumpy sand. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut cream and eggs. Add the wet mixture to the dry. Mix them together in 10 strokes or so. Be careful not to over mix! Knead the dough a few times to form a large sticky ball.

Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper. Pour the reserved 1/2 c. coconut in a large circle on the sheet. Dump out the dough on the circle of coconut. Pat out the dough, creating a 1 1/2 inch tall circle. Using a butter knife, score the circle into 12 sections. Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Lemon Curd
Adapted from Crepes of Wrath

1 whole egg
3 egg yolks
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. lemon juice
scant 1/4 c. orange juice
Zest of 2 lemons
Zest of 1 orange
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened and cubed

Leave eggs on the counter until they reach room temperature. In a medium saucepan, whisk egg and yolks. Add in sugar, lemon juice, orange juice, and zests. Whisk to incorporate. Set the stove to medium heat and cook the egg mixture for 8-10 minutes or until thickened, whisking constantly.

Pull the pot off the stove, and whisk in the butter. If you want a pure, smooth curd, you can strain the mixture through a mesh sieve. If you don't mind the zest and prefer a more rustic curd, don't strain it. 

Pour the curd in a bowl or jar and cool. You can chill it in the refrigerator for an hour or eat it warm. Totally up to you. It will keep, in a sealed container in the frig, for a week.

If it lasts that long.

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