Lemon Scones

I never really understood the point of a scone. In many ways scones are like the sweet counterpart to biscuits or Irish soda bread. When a reader first requested scones, I was hesitant. I wasn’t sure if I was willing to make “sweet biscuits”, especially since I was never really fond of them.

I can honestly say that these lemon scones changed everything. Scones are made by combining the fats with the dry ingredients and then bringing everything together using a liquid. The little bits of butter create flaky tender crumbs that lasts till the last bite. Imagine that with the enticing aroma of freshly grated lemon zest. This recipe produces scones that aren’t overly sweet, which made a lot of my friends happy. I wouldn’t have minded dunking these in some lemon flavored glaze.

Although I’m sure that these scones aren’t the best recipe out there, they were definitely a tasty treat. These scones have inspired me to make more scones in the future, and yes fellow readers, that means more scones to come!

Lemon Scones

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cut butter into tablespoon slices and then cut into small cubes.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. I prefer to rub the butter in gently using my fingertips.
  5. Add buttermilk and lemon juice, and lemon zest, stirring just until mixed.
  6. Turn onto a floured surface; knead gently six times. Shape into a ball.
  7. On a greased baking sheet, pat dough into a circle about 1/2 in thick and 8-1/2 in. in diameter. Using a sharp knife, cut wedges in the dough, being careful not to cut all the way through. Sprinkle with sugar.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Pierre Hermé’s Lemon Macaron

After making what was the best lemon dessert I’ve ever had, I didn’t want to just settle with a boring old tart.  I wanted to make macarons. Remember when I was trying to find the ultimate macaron recipe? Well I can’t say that I’ve found the recipe yet, but I can say that Pierre Hermé’s recipe comes pretty close. I didn’t come across Pierre Herme’s Lemon macaron when I was first making the comparison recipe. If I had made these macarons, I think my decision-making skills would have been severely impaired.

Here’s a secret to Pierre Hermé’s macarons: the shells aren’t flavored. After years of “research”, Pierre believes that the easiest way to infuse flavor into a macaron is by letting the entire cookie age and letting the flavor take over the shell. I don’t think he’s wrong – it’s worked for me so far.

Like his other macaron recipes, this utilizes an italian merengue. In fact, other than the food coloring, these macarons are indistinguishable from the pistachio macarons (as far as the shell is concerned). The filling is essentially the lemon cream, thickened with some extra almond flour. After aging in the fridge for 24 hours, these macarons seemed to be heaven sent.

As you can see from the pictures, I used the Trader Joe’s almond flour. If you’re interested in the difference compared to the typical Bob’s Red Mill almond flour I use, check out my recent post here. My friend/co-worker Melissa (shout out!!!)  mentioned that she would have preferred not seeing the brown specks throughout the cookie. As a designer and crafter that I regard highly, I can’t say I disagree.

Pierre Herme’s Lemon Macaron

Ingredients

Macaron Shells:

  • 300g Ground almonds
  • 300g Icing sugar
  • 110g Aged egg whites
  • yellow food coloring
  •  300g Granulated sugar
  • 75g Mineral water
  • 110g Aged egg whites

Lemon Filling:

Method

Macaron Shell

Pulse the the icing sugar and ground almonds and sift twice. Stir the coloring into the first portion of the egg whites. Pour them over the mixture of icing sugar and ground almonds but do not stir.

Bring the water and sugar to boil at 118C (244F). Start whisking on low when the water boils. When the syrup reaches 115C (239F), simultaneously start whisking the second portion of liquefied egg whites to soft peaks on a medium speed.

When the sugar reaches 118C, pour it over the egg whites. Whisk and allow the meringue to cool down to 50C. Fold meringue into the almond-sugar mixture. Spoon the batter into a piping bag and pipe rounds of batter about 3.5cm in diameter, spacing them 2cm apart on baking trays lined with baking parchment.

Rap the tray on the work surface covered with a kitchen cloth. Leave to stand for at least 30 minutes, until a skin forms on the shells.

Preheat the fan oven to 180C (356F), then put the trays in the oven. Bake for 12 minutes, quickly opening and shutting the oven door twice during cooking time. After 12 minutes, remove the macarons and slide the shells on to the work surface.

Filling

Fold almond flour into the lemon cream. Pipe onto a macaron shell and place another macaron shell on top, squeezing gently.