Unless they're in oatmeal cookies, I'm not a raisin fan. I don't dislike them--I just find them rather uninteresting. Currants, on the other hand, are another matter entirely. Maybe it's their diminutive nature. My friend Jordan has a thing for smallness--she can't resist anything that's little. Or maybe it's because we always had an orange box of currants in the pantry growing up, and they were used for my Mom's delicious Irish soda bread or sometimes for currant scones. She was making scones in the '80's when everyone else was eating muffins.
Yesterday morning, mid-week, our family had nowhere to be and we are still at this lovely house. When we have time to eat more than yogurt and granola for breakfast (though that's definitely not suffering), my plotting often involves scones or biscuits. Part of that's because I have some recipes in my head, so I can do it quick. That's one thing about me in the kitchen--I am very fast. Normally because I'm hungry, but it's a skill I've noticed not everybody has (and one the Dinner in 30 Minutes! cookbooks don't take into account).
So I got up while everyone else was still sleeping (oh, blessed silence) and went for a run along the lake. I came back to the endearing morning sounds I'll miss one day--Loretta's little feet running down the hall, Wyatt watching PBS. I would have been disappointed if they had eaten already, and Yancey knows that. So I came home to a hungry threesome. We had bacon, these biscuits, and some stewed apricots that are still haunting me. If you want to make them, put about 10 small apricots in a saucepan wit 1/2 c. sugar and a splash of water. Cook for about 20 minutes and cool. Serve over yogurt, and you'll be springing out of bed in the morning.
I'm not quite sure the difference between scones and biscuits...anybody know? Call these what you want--they were delicious. Perfect crumb, tender but still split nicely to hold lots of butter and jam. They're an amalgam of lots of scone and biscuit recipes floating around in my head.
And I hope you have some unplanned time soon to eat them over the newspaper or some good fiction.
Currant Cream Scones
You can also add lemon or orange zest, or use practically any other kind of dried fruit. The key to using dried fruit in scones is to toss it in the flour mixture--don't wait until you've added the butter and cream. If the fruit is coated with a bit of flour, it will distribute evenly throughout the scones and not sink to the bottom.
2 c. flour
2 ts. baking powder
3 Tb. sugar
1/2 c. + 2 Tb. cold heavy cream
6 Tb. butter
1/2 c. dried currants
little more cream and sugar for tops
Preheat oven to 425.
Mix dry ingredients together. Cut in butter with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add currants. Add cream and mix until just holding together. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead a couple times. With floured hands, form dough into a disc about 6" in diameter and 3/4" thick. With a sharp knife, cut round into 8 edges and place on a baking sheet. Brush each wedge with a bit of cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden--watch carefully so they don't burn.