Tea-Time in Style: British Barberry Scones with Rum Peach Jam

British-Style Scones with Rum Peach Jam

British-Style Scones with Rum Peach Jam

After Sophie at dinnersforwinners mentioned Yotam Ottolenghi’s cardamom chicken quite a few times in her posts and comments, I decided to finally give it a try several weeks ago. The most time consuming task was finding barberries! I was almost ready to give up and just use currants (not that I could see any at the stores I went to), when I remembered a new mediterranean grocery store in our neighborhood. Thanks to wikipedia’s insightful knowledge, I was able to readily spot a box of barberries under their Persian name of zereshk. I don’t know how people used to find some of the trickier ethnic ingredients before wikipedia :-) I’ve made the cardamom chicken a few times now, but I barely made a dent in my supply of barberries. That’s when I decided I should try to find something to bake with them. As it happens, the March-April ’14 Cook’s Illustrated issue has a recipe for British-Style Currant Scones. Since currants were offered as an alternative to barberries in the chicken dish, I figured barberries could just as well replace currants in the scones. The barberries are quite tart, so the scones are best served with some sweet jam and/or butter. I decided to use some rum peach jam I made this past fall after we went fruit picking. These scones were amazing with a nice cup of tea ;-) I highly recommend the Japan Genmaicha tea from TeaGschwendner!

Ingredients (makes 7 scones):

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tb baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbs unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1 Tb chunks
  • 1/4 cup barberries
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (I always use whole milk when baking, but the recipe suggests low-fat milk can also be used)
  • 1 egg
  • jam for serving (8 peaches, 3/4-1 cup sugar, pinch of salt, 1 tsp lemon zest, 1 1/2 Tb lemon juice, 1 Tb rum – makes ~ 1 pint)

Place oven rack in the upper-middle position. Preheat oven to 500F. In a food processor pulse flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until combined (a few pulses). Add butter and pulse until mix looks like fine crumbs (15-20 pulses). Place mix in a bowl and add your barberries.

barberries

barberries

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Save ~1 Tb of the mix to brush the scones later.

egg-milk mix

egg-milk mix

Fold egg-milk mix into the flour-barberry mix using a spatula. Knead until a crack-free ball can be formed (20-30 times). Press onto a floured surface into a disk shape. Roll until it is about 1 inch thick (9-10 inches in diameter). I was able to press mine into a 1 inch disk without using a rolling pin.

scone dough

scone dough

Using a 2 1/2 inch floured round cutter, or in my case a beer glass :-), cut out 4 scones. Gather the dough, press into a disk, and cut 2 more rounds. Use your hands to knead the remaining dough into a round scone…it won’t be as pretty, but it will still be tasty! Place scones on baking sheet rimmed with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

pretty little scones before baking

pretty little scones before baking

Brush scones with the reserved egg-milk wash and place into the oven. Reduce oven to 425F. Bake scones until risen and golden brown (recipe says 10-12 min, but it was more like 15-18 in my oven). Remove scones from oven, transfer to wire rack, and let cool.

pretty little scones baked

pretty little scones baked

Serve with jam/butter and a nice cup of tea/coffee.

If interested in making your own jam, keep reading on how to make rum peach jam. Directions adapted from here.

Peel, seed, and chop peaches. In order to make the peeling easier, I cut an X on top of the peaches, submerged them in boiling water for about a minute, then transferred them to an ice-water bath.

peeled peaches

peeled peaches

Chop peaches, combine them with ~ 1/2 cup sugar, cover and let macerate overnight in the fridge. 

peaches and sugar

peaches and sugar

Place macerated peaches in a large pan. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Cook until fruit softens.

peach jam in the making

peach jam in the making

Add lemon juice, zest, and salt, and continue cooking while breaking the peaches into smaller chunks. Cook until desired consistency. Taste and adjust sugar. Add rum and stir. 

peach jam!

peach jam!

At this point you are ready to either can it, or place it in a jar for refrigeration. I chose not to can it following the advice in this NYT column.

Spoon some on a nice barberry scone ;-)

rum peach jam on barberry scone

rum peach jam on barberry scone

These British-style scones turned out nice and flaky and they went very well with my peach jam. They will keep for a few days, or you can freeze them and then reheat them in the oven.

Now you are ready for tea time ;-)

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11 Responses to Tea-Time in Style: British Barberry Scones with Rum Peach Jam

  1. snati001 says:

    Looks like the perfect afternoon tea! Saved the recipes! Will try the rum peach jam when the peaches are back in season. :)

  2. Pingback: Tea-Time in Style: British Barberry Scones with Rum Peach Jam | homethoughtsfromabroad626

  3. I have never heard of barberries before, but they look a bit like cranberries from here.

  4. Wonderful post! Especially love the rum peach jam. We have a local farm who freeze and sell their peaches in our markets. They are every bit as good as fresh so I’m thinking I may just pick some up and try this now!

  5. Wow! More tart than cranberries! Loved learning about zereshk here and I will have to look for them under that name! I am SO pleased you enjoyed the cardamom chicken! Isn’t it the best? Gah I could eat it every day. (Sometimes when I don’t have chicken in the house I make the rice part anyway with a little oil thrown in to replace the chicken fat. YUM!)

    Your scones are way too cute! I love scones, and my husband is a baked-goods fan especially. We would love these. With currants — for now ;) The peach jam sounds just wonderful too!

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