February 15th, 2010

Scones and blueberry curd

I have always thought scones are the sad, dry , crumbly sibling of biscuits, but since my trip to Ireland, I’ve been enamored with scones, curd and cream. Last weekend I made Cooks Illustrated’s cream scones substituting dried cherries for the currants, this weekend I made their cakey scones, substituting fresh blueberries for the currants (why does CI love currants so much?).


I preferred the cream scones; I think the cakey ones were, well, for lack of a better word, too cakey. 



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Our afternoon tea in Ireland included an assortment of curds, not just the standard lemon, but coffee and blueberry, too. R loved the blueberry curd and as soon as we got home he started looking for it in shops to no avail. After my success with the cara cara curd, I decided to try my hand at making my own. I am pleased to report it turned out really well; it was luscious, thick and creamy. Adapting the recipe was super easy, so now I'm ready to make a slew of unconventional curds: coffee, fig, mango. Any other ideas?

Panna Cotta – quite possibly the best dessert I've ever made

R and I never go out for Valentine's day; overpriced prix fixe meals, crowded restaurants and crappy service make this holiday amateur night for diners. Ever since we had the superb panna cotta at Il Casale, R has wanted to me to make it, and what better than a dessert that when properly done should jiggle like a woman's breast to celebrate this Hallmark holiday?

I followed Cooks Illustrated's recipe to the T, and it was exquisite. The jiggle was perfect as was the sublime, smooth and creamy texture. I can not find the words to describe how heavenly this dessert was. I think it is a contender for best dessert I have ever made. The best part is that the recipe is simple; I think anyone could do it. The drawback? This recipe is not for the faint of heart when it comes to calories; there is a whopping 3 cups of cream. Maybe it is best if it is only had once a year.

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