Meyer Lemon Scones with Meyer Lemon Curd

Meyer Lemon Scones with Meyer Lemon Curd | The Baker's Pantry
Meyer Lemon Scones with Meyer Lemon Curd | The Baker’s Pantry

Spring is in the air…I can feel it.  At least that’s what I keep telling myself.  As I daydream out the window through the 30 degree bitter skies, I have desperate visions of it off in the distance.  I embrace each and every one of the seasons but am nevertheless always eager to transition to the next.  It has been dry, cold and barren in Denver now for over five long months and the warm Spring weather on the horizon teases us.  Even the bulbs are anxiously waiting as they sprout back to life eager for their offering to the season.  Inevitably, more snow will descend upon us covering the young flowering buds like a stifling blanket.  During this vacillating time, the weather imposes patience and fortitude onto us causing much time for daydreaming.  After all, the leafless trees allow you to see and dream quite far.  This daydreaming is what led me to this Spring-filled post; Meyer Lemon Scones with Meyer Lemon curd.  Oh my.  It might not officially be Spring yet, but my taste buds are telling me otherwise!

Meyer Lemon Scones with Meyer Lemon Curd | The Baker's Pantry
Meyer Lemon Scones with Meyer Lemon Curd | The Baker’s Pantry

Meyer lemons are a native fruit of China and are a perfect hybrid between a lemon and a mandarin.  This fruit exhibits itself in the shape of a lemon but tastes sweet like a mandarin.  Meyer lemons are seasonal typically from November through the end of March and admittedly can be difficult to find.  I have found that most Whole Foods Stores stock them.  If you can’t find them, you can always substitute either lemons or mandarins for this recipe.

Meyer Lemon Scones with Meyer Lemon Curd | The Baker's Pantry
Meyer Lemon Scones with Meyer Lemon Curd | The Baker’s Pantry
Meyer Lemon Scones with Meyer Lemon Curd | The Baker's Pantry
Meyer Lemon Scones with Meyer Lemon Curd | The Baker’s Pantry

These scones are outrageously good!  Light, fluffy and biscuit-like in texture with a wonderful crunch on top from the turbinado sugar, these scones project just the right amount of sweetness.  The tart citrus notes are subtle and balance the sweetness perfectly.  Every now and then your taste buds receive a burst of amazingly sweet, tart chewiness from the candied lemon peel.  Don’t even get me started on the Meyer lemon curd…utterly ethereal.

Meyer Lemon Scones with Meyer Lemon Curd | The Baker's Pantry
Meyer Lemon Scones with Meyer Lemon Curd | The Baker’s Pantry

My suggestion is to make the curd and candied peel a day in advance.  The scones come together quickly.  The scones can also be frozen before baking if you don’t want to bake the entire batch.  Simply place the wedges on a cookie sheet and freeze for an hour or so.  Then transfer the frozen scones to a freezer bag for longer storage.  When you’re ready to bake, remove the scones from the freezer, preheat your oven and bake the scones from frozen!  Just add a couple of minutes to the baking time.   This recipe requires some extra steps but I assure you it is well worth it!

Meyer Lemon Scones with Meyer Lemon Curd | The Baker's Pantry
Meyer Lemon Scones with Meyer Lemon Curd | The Baker’s Pantry

 

Meyer Lemon Scones          {Print Recipe}

For the candied Meyer lemon peel:

4 Meyer lemons

¾ cup granulated sugar

Wash your lemons thoroughly.  Using a sharp knife, slice both ends off of the lemon.  Carefully cut off the peel in strips with a sharp knife or a peeler along the lemon and remove as much pith as possible.  Slice the peels into ¼ inch slices.

Place the peels in a heavy-bottomed pot and add just enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil over high heat and boil the peels for 5 minutes.  Drain the peels, put back in the pot and cover with fresh cold water.  Bring to a boil and blanch again for 5 minutes.  Repeat this process for a total of 3 times.

In the same, but now empty saucepan, place the sugar and ½ cup of cold water.  Bring to a boil over high heat and stir to dissolve the sugar.  Add the peels and reduce the heat to low (you want to simmer them gently).  Simmer for about 20 minutes until they turn translucent.  Stir occasionally to make sure that they don’t burn.

Pour peels along with the syrup into an airtight glass container and store at room temperature.  You will use this entire batch for the scones.

 

For the lemon curd:

Yield: 2 ½ cups

3 large eggs

3 large egg yolks

1 cup minus 1 Tbsp granulated sugar

¾ cup freshly squeezed/strained Meyer lemon juice (about 6 lemons)

6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

Fill a large bowl approximately halfway with ice and water and set aside.  Fill the bottom of a double boiler with water at least 2 inches, but not full enough to touch the underside of the top double boiler and bring to a boil.

Place the eggs, egg yolks and sugar into the top of the double boiler (off of the heat) and whisk until blended.  Add the lemon juice and mix well.  Reduce the heat to medium low until the water comes to a gentle boil.  Place the egg mixture over the water and heat, whisking constantly and scraping the edges frequently with a spatula (so that the eggs don’t scramble) until the curd is very thick, about 7-10 minutes.  The curd should coat the back of a spoon when ready or hold a distinct shape on the surface when the curd is lifted and falls back into the bowl.

Push the curd through a fine strainer with a spatula into a medium sized bowl.  Add the cold pieces of butter, letting it sit for a minute and then mix gently until combined.  Once all of the butter is melted and incorporated, place the medium sized bowl over the large bowl filled with ice water and let sit until the curd is completely cool.  Once cooled, place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight.

 

For the scones:

Yields: 16 scones

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

½ cup granulated sugar

1 Tbsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp kosher salt

3 sticks unsalted butter, cubed and COLD

1 large egg

1 cup buttermilk, divided

¼ cup grated Meyer lemon zest (from about 4 lemons)

½ cup diced candied Meyer lemon peel (see recipe above)

2 Tbsp turbinado or raw sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the oven rack in the center of the oven.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Whisk to combine.

Add the cubed butter and with your fingertips and rub into the flour mixture until the butter is approximately pea sized.

In a separate bowl, combine the egg, ¾ cup of the buttermilk and the zest.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently combine the dough with your fingertips.  Gently knead until the dough just comes together.  Add the candied lemon peel and knead to incorporate.  Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape the dough into two discs about 1 1/2“thick.  Try not to overwork the dough.

Cut each disk into 8 wedges and place onto the baking sheets spacing wedges about 2” apart.  Brush the remaining ¼ cup of buttermilk onto the tops of the scones and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar (be generous).  Bake scones for 25-30 minutes (rotating halfway through baking) or until they are golden brown.

Transfer the scones to a cooling rack.  They can be served warm or at room temperature and can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for two days.

Recipe: Slightly adapted from Baked New Frontiers in Baking, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

 

Espresso Coffee Cake Muffins

Espresso Coffee Cake Muffins | The Baker's Pantry
Espresso Coffee Cake Muffins | The Baker’s Pantry

On any given morning, I struggle to extract myself from the warm covers only to emerge into the frigid unforgiving air. Chilled to the bone, it takes everything in me to slowly guide myself along the path to the kitchen where I face my beloved coffee maker and come head to head with my fuel for the day. In only a moment, the entire house is entwined within an alluring aroma that in itself, gives me an instant jolt and purpose to my day. Not a single day transpires that I abandon this habit. On the contrary, mid-morning most days inevitably presents itself with hunger rumblings as I realize I’ve completely forgotten to eat breakfast. How can I consistently lose sight of such an important introduction to my day? After all, the thought of neglecting my caffeine ritual is unimaginable! If only I could behold breakfast as much I do my coffee. This consequently is how this amazing muffin came to life. Espresso, cinnamon and walnuts intertwined harmoniously into a muffin…surely I can get on board with that…right? Yes I can and yes I have.

Espresso Coffee Cake Muffins | The Baker's Pantry
Espresso Coffee Cake Muffins | The Baker’s Pantry

Imagine my surprise when I found out that the month of March is “Caffeine” month (shouldn’t every month be deemed this?)! An entire guilt-free month dedicated to my most prized addiction. What better time to embrace this new caffeine-induced breakfast tradition?

Espresso Coffee Cake Muffins | The Baker's Pantry
Espresso Coffee Cake Muffins | The Baker’s Pantry

Honestly, this might just be the best muffin I’ve ever eaten. First of all, the texture is sublime. It is so incredibly moist and the crumble on top provides an unexpected crunch that is down-right addictive. The almond and coconut flour in combination with the almond butter creates this fabulous texture as well as a notable nutty flavor. Second, it is Paleo and Gluten-Free which means that it contains no refined sugars or flours and uses no dairy. They’re practically good for you. Third and perhaps most importantly, this is a perfectly sweet, but not overly sweet muffin so you can enjoy it anytime of the day without guilt. It pairs perfectly with a cup of coffee and even better enjoyed with that cup of coffee in a nice quiet house (one can dream).

Espresso Coffee Cake Muffins | The Baker's Pantry
Espresso Coffee Cake Muffins | The Baker’s Pantry

 

Espresso Coffee Cake Muffins (Paleo, GF)          {Print Recipe}
Yields: 12 standard sized muffins
For the filling:

¼ cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp cinnamon
½ tsp natural cocoa powder
¼ cup walnuts, chopped

For the crumb topping:

½ cup almond flour (not almond meal)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp coconut butter
2 Tbsp maple syrup
¼ cup walnuts, chopped

For the muffins:

¾ cup almond flour (not almond meal)
½ cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda (-1/8 tsp for high altitude)
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 large eggs
½ cup honey
1 Tbsp vanilla
½ cup coconut cream
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 ½ tsp espresso powder
1 ½ Tbsp warm water
¾ cup almond butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for high altitude). Line a 12 cupcake pan with paper liners. Note: At high altitude, you don’t want to fill the muffin cups more than halfway full as the batter expands more quickly and tends to collapse if the cup is filled too full. To help combat this, I use tall muffin liners (Paper Chef brand Tulip cups) as they allow the batter more room to expand.
To make the filling:
Mix the maple syrup, cinnamon and cocoa powder in a small bowl with a whisk. Set aside.

To make the crumb topping:
Mix the almond flour, cinnamon, coconut butter and maple syrup with a fork in a medium bowl to make a coarse crumb texture and then mix in the chopped walnuts. Set this mixture aside.
To make the muffins:
In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon with a whisk. Set the bowl aside. In a small bowl, combine the espresso powder and warm water. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the eggs, honey, vanilla, espresso, coconut cream, and melted coconut oil and mix on medium speed until just combined. Add the almond butter to the bowl and mix until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Spoon 2 Tbsp. of the batter into each muffin cup. Sprinkle about a Tbsp. of chopped walnuts onto the batter. Next spoon 1 tsp of the filling on top of the walnuts into each of the muffin cups. Lastly, spoon 1 Tbsp. of the remaining batter on top of the filling in each muffin cup. Add a heaping Tbsp. of the crumble on top of the batter in each muffin cup. I suggest being liberal with the crumb topping…it is delicious.
Bake muffins for 25-30 minutes. Cool muffins in pan for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
Store these muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days (they won’t last that long…trust me) or they can be double wrapped and frozen for up to 6 months.