Growing up in Utah, I had what I thought were scones and they were such a treat!! They were light, airy, rectangle shaped, slathered with honey butter... fried dough. All good things!! But not by any means a true scone. In Utah there is a chain of restuarants called Sconecutter, their motto "Anything is better on a scone" I SO beg to differ. They are open 24 hours with a 24 hour drive through window for those times when getting out of your car for some fried dough is just too much of a hassle. You can get pretty much any sort of filling for said "scones" You gotcher turkey club scone, your french dip scone, your philly cheese steak scone and of course the navajo taco scone. (Have any of you watched "Gentlemen Bronco's" yet?) Now, I grew up going down to The Sconecutter and loving it every time. I even dated someone that would get a grilled cheese scone. The levels of wrong with that are many and varied.
It wasn't until I was in Cape Town, South Africa when I finally had a real scun. (thats how its said down there) It was first of all triangle in shape and not fried. They were light and tender with a buttery flavor and gentle sweetness. They are often served with lemon curd, clotted cream (a thick cream made from scalded milk, duh-vine!) and jam. Do I even need to mention they are usually always served with tea? I would like to think that it goes without saying.
I will never, ever, ever consider a big square piece of fried dough a scone again.
With that said, I have not and will never, forget my roots. One visit home my sister and brother-in-law and I found ourselves oddly craving something sweet and yummy and lets just say for arguments sake, it was 4:20 am.... We began our journey, down to The Sconecutter. Oddly enough we had uncontrolable fits of laughter the whole drive down. Things can be REALLY funny at 4:20. We get to the drive through and place our order, 3 "scones" with honey butter, the young gentelman taking our order then asked us if we wanted whole wheat or white scones. To which my response was "I think when you are asking for some fried dough, the whole "whole wheat" thing goes out the window and doesnt really mean much while its swimming in a vat of hot grease. Now step on it, we are ravenous!"
They were really, really yummy. In a not anything like a scone in anyway kind of way.
If you find yourself in Utah and happen across one of these chain restaurants, go ahead and try it. Just think of it more of a fried dough cutter.
Since I lived in South Africa, I went to culinary school and have worked at some of the best places in NYC and I consider myself to be a masterbaker, below is my recipe for scuns. Enjoy!
2 cups ap flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 Tbls sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced and chilled
1/2 cup currants (look it up, they are delightful in scuns, if you cant find any, cranberries work great)
1 cup heavy cream
Heat oven 425
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
Add the butter and quickly cut in the butter by rubbing it with your fingers (dont forget to wash your hands you filthy beast) till it looks like a bunch of coarse balls, random in size. Stir in heavy cream till dough begins to form. Place the dough (all of it) on a counter top and knead just till it comes together into a big sticky ball. (this is one time in your life that you want a big sticky ball on your counter top)
Form the dough into a disk shape (kinda like a frisbee) and cut the dough into 8 pieces (like a pizza)
Using a 1 inch round cookie cutter, cut a out the center of the disk. Separate the sections onto a baking sheet.
Mix together 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of sugar and brush on top of each scun.
Then sprinkle each scun with some granulated sugar. Bake till the tops are light brown, about 15 minutes.
Some people like them warm, some people prefer them at room temp, you figure out what you need and go for it.... at 4:20.
Now go masterbake yourself and let me know how it goes...