Friday, October 21, 2011

50 Women Game-Changers (in Food): #20 Molly Wizenberg - Scottish Scones w/ Ginger & Lemon

In May '11, Gourmet posted a list of 50 Women Game-Changers (in Food) that runs the gamut from food writers to cookbook authors to television personalities to restauranteurs to chefs to food bloggers.  Some are a given.  Some are controversial.  Speaking the names of some brings fond childhood memories.  Speaking the names of others will make some readers cringe.  And of course, some of our favorites were not even included.  We food-lovers are a passionate bunch of people and whether we agree or disagree, every woman on this list has earned her place for a reason.  Being a woman who is passionate about food (cooking, eating, talking about, writing about, photographing), when I caught wind of Mary from One Perfect Bite's idea of cooking/blogging her way through each of these 50 women...one per week...I knew I wanted to join her.  Many of these women paved the way for us in culinary school, in the kitchen, in cookbooks, in food writing, and on television and I think it is a fabulous way to pay tribute to their efforts.  Some of the women on the list have been tops with me for years.  Some I have heard of (perhaps even seen, read, or cooked from) before.  And there are even a handful that I am not familiar with at all.  I excited to educate myself on each of these women game-changers and hope you look forward to reading along.  We are going in order from 1 to 50.
the "Gourmet" prompt...
20. Molly Wizenberg- Orangette, a blog circa 2004, has great, accessible recipes, and Wizenberg famously spun a book deal (A Homemade Life), a restaurant (Seattle’s Delancey), and a husband (Brandon) out of the blog. Not in that order—and, as she winningly relates, unintentionally.

Not long ago, I made Molly's Stewed Prunes w/ Citrus & Cinnamon.   And now I've gone and made some of her extremely tender, flavorful, to-die-for scones.  What is it about Molly that makes me want breakfast?

Well, this is lame, because I've read her book and I enjoy her blog, but I'm not doing a write-up about her today.  Because I have cramps.  And...well...I have cramps.  Sorry.  But for a glimpse at her, her personality, and her writing, check this out.  And then go read her blog.  Or her book.  Or go eat at her restaurant.  Or talk to me next week.  When I no longer feel like death.
Scottish Scones w/ Lemon & Ginger
adapted from A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
yield: 5 large round scones (or 8 medium triangles)

2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
4 Tbs. (2 oz.) cold unsalted butter, cut into smallish cubes
3 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
¼ c. finely copped crystallized ginger
½ c. heavy cream, plus more for glazing
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 425° F.  Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture, squeezing and pinching until the mixture resembles a coarse meal with chunks no bigger than the size of a pea.  Add sugar, lemon zest and ginger; whisk to combine.

Pour the half cup of cream and egg in a small dish and beat with a fork.  Pour this into the flour mixture and combine gently.  The dough will look pretty dry and shaggy.  Turn out onto work surface and quickly pull the dough together into a rough mass.  Press and knead until it just comes together.  To keep the scones tender, try to do this in as few kneads as possible...preferably no more than 12.  Don't worry about the excess flour, not all of it will be absorbed.  Pat into a rough circle, ~1" thick.  At this point, you can cut fat circles (I was totally in the mood for fat circles) or simply cut into 8 wedges.  Place on a lined baking sheet.

Pour a splash of cream in a bowl and lightly brush the top of the scones.  Slide into preheated oven and bake for 10-14 minutes, until pale golden.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.  Best served warm with butter.  I also added a shmear of Ginger Preserve- and it was perfection.
Who is cooking along with these 50 Women Game-Changers?

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