Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Goat Cheese Pistachio Scones

Sometimes I like to be a fancy lady. You know... the kind who cooks in pearls with her hair done. I've got the lipstick part down, but I need to work on the rest. Confession, I frequently wear Crocs when I cook... hangs head in shame

Certain foods make me feel fancy and ladylike too. Grown up tea party stuff. I had a few friends over for brunch recently and decided to be a fancy lady. Horrendous, dishwashable shoes were put away. We used cloth napkins and sat at a table like real adults. This called for legit tea party food... enter Goat Cheese Pistachio Scones. 

These are legitimately two of my favorite things. Goat cheese is the crack of the dairy world and I could single-handedly consume a pound of pistachios in under 6 minutes if it weren't for the shell cracking to slow me down. Witnessing this would probably not help you think I was more ladylike. Thank the shells! 

Salted pistachios are great to snack on, but would have overpowered in a scone. I had trouble finding unsalted pistachios in my market, so I rinsed thoroughly under water and dried them out in the oven before I got started with the scones.

Dried, crunchy, chopped and de-salted. Scone-time!

The key to making any dough like a scone or a biscuit is to have very cold wet ingredients. When then butter grinds up into tiny pieces, as opposed to being melted, it will give off steam while baking. This creates air pockets, which gives the pastry luscious lightness with those buttery flakes we all love.

For this dough, I froze the goat cheese crumbles ahead of time and took the butter straight from the fridge.

Combine with mixed dry ingredients in a food processor just until it looks like small pebbles. Then you'll add the pistachios, combining lightly with a fork.

Make a well in the middle and add beaten egg and cream. Then use a fork to gently rake the dry ingredients into the wet.

The mixture looks weird and lumpy. The dough will be very loose. Don't freak out, this is going to be okay.

Dump onto a floured surface and use your hands to gently pat the dough together. The warmth of your hands will start bringing it together. Keep at it just until it sticks. You don't want to overwork the dough.

Form into a 1.5 inch thick disc and slice like a pie. 

By lightly working the dough, you've preserved all of those lovely buttery bits and lumps of cheese. They're like little treasures when you find them in the baked scone.

Brush with a bit of cream and top with pistachios.

There isn't a Croc in sight, 10 points to ladydom. Brunch your way to fancytown, because these scones are the real deal.

Goat Cheese Pistachio Scones
1/3 cup pistachios, shelled, plus 2 tablespoons
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus some for flouring your surface
2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles, frozen
1 egg
3/4 cup cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If starting with salted nuts, rinse pistachios under cold water. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet and cook for about 10 minutes, just until the nuts dry out.

In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt; just until combined. Add cold butter and pulse until butter pieces are about the size of peas. Turn out mixture into a bowl and lightly stir in pistachios and goat cheese. Form a well in the middle of the mixture. In a separate dish, beat egg and cream together. Pour milk into well in butter/flour mixture and use a fork to gently combine the two. When the liquids are absorbed, the mixture will be quite lumpy with dry spots.

Flour a clean surface and turn out dough onto board. Using your hands, lightly form the dough into a 1 1/2 inch disc. Cut into eight wedge shapes. Place scones on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush with a bit of cream and top with remaining chopped pistachios.

Bake for about 15 minutes, just until the edges start to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm. Scones are best enjoyed within 1-2 days. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let's chat! Add your comment here. Note, there may be a delay in posting for comment moderation.