These Paul Hollywood Classic Scones Impressed the Queen Mum

Paul Hollywood uses bread flour in his scones, which might seem surprising, but it’s a popular choice in professional kitchens because the high protein content gives the scones a boost. This recipe is tried and tested over many years and he says he’s never had any complaints. The Queen Mother said they were the best scones she’d ever tasted, he says. Just a couple of things to bear in mind: Don’t overwork the dough — you want it nice and light. And don’t twist the cutter when you lift it off or they won’t rise properly in the oven.

Here’s the recipe from his new cookbook, “Bake”:


Makes 11 scones


4 cups (500g) bread flour, plus extra to dust
2 tbsp (25g) baking powder
6 tbsp (80g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 large eggs
1 cup (250g) whole milk
1/3 cup (80g) superfine sugar

To glaze:

1 large egg, beaten with a pinch of salt

To serve:

Confectioners’ sugar, to dust
Preserves and Devonshire clotted cream or whipped cream


Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix the flour and baking powder together. Add the butter and rub together with your fingers for a few minutes until you have a breadcrumb-like texture.

In another bowl, beat the eggs with the milk and sugar. Add to the rubbed-in mixture and stir together until the dough comes together and forms a ball.

Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over a few times to incorporate air, but do not knead it; you want to achieve a loose, soft dough. Using a rolling pin, gently roll out to a 1¼-inch (3cm) thickness, making sure there is plenty of flour underneath to prevent sticking.

Using a biscuit cutter, about 2½ inches (6½ cm) in diameter, and pressing firmly (without twisting the cutter), cut out rounds and put on the lined baking sheets, leaving space in between. Brush the tops of the scones with beaten egg then put in the fridge for 20 minutes to rest. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 425 degrees F.

Take the scones out of the fridge and brush them again with the egg glaze. Bake for 15 minutes until risen and golden brown.

Transfer the scones to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar and serve with a generous helping of preserves and Devonshire clotted cream or whipped cream.

Source: AP





Saffron Pasta with Ricotta Conjures Sardinian Fields

Christopher Kimball wrote . . . . . . . . .

Each November in Sardinia, purple crocus blossoms blanket the rolling fields. It’s a striking sight against a lush green backdrop. Those same flowers also provide what locals call “red gold,” or saffron.

Saffron is one of the defining flavors of the Italian island. First cultivated by the Phoenicians, saffron now colors and perfumes numerous dishes, from little gnocchi called malloreddus to gelato and zeppole, a fried dough eaten at Carnival.

Naturally, this being Italy, it also flavors pasta — at times both the noodles and sauce — and we were particularly taken with a vegetarian one at the Sante Rughe restaurant in Gavoi. A few threads of saffron were simmered in milk, which then was mixed with salty ricotta for a rich, no-cook sauce to coat ear-shaped orecchiette.

The version in our book “COOKish,” which limits recipes to just six ingredients without sacrificing flavor, comes together quickly. Simply microwave the milk with the saffron, mix in the ricotta with a bit of salt and pepper, and add cooked pasta. We add half a cup of mint for a layer of herbal freshness.

Cup-like orecchiette pasta is perfect for catching the lightly creamy sauce, though penne works well, too. But be sure to use whole milk and whole-milk ricotta; lower-fat milk and cheese leave the dish tasting too lean.

Orecchiette with Saffron, Ricotta and Mint

Start to finish: 20 minutes

Servings: 4 to 6

1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 pound orecchiette OR penne pasta
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1 ounce pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated (½ cup), plus more to serve

In a liquid measuring cup, microwave the milk and saffron until warm, about 1 minute; stir, then cool. In a large bowl, whisk the ricotta, saffron milk and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente, then drain and reserve some of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the ricotta mixture and toss. Stir in the mint and cheese, then season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with additional cheese.

Source: AP





Sesame-oat Crumble Makes the Perfect Ice Cream Topping

Christopher Kimball wrote . . . . . . . . .

For a sophisticated summertime dessert, it’s not always necessary to reinvent the wheel. A classic ice cream sundae will hit the spot with the right toppings.

It’s partly what we had in mind when developing this recipe for a sesame oat crumble in our book “Milk Street Tuesday Nights,” which limits recipes to 45 minutes or less. This simple baked topping is a great way to add a nutty crunch to ice cream, though of course it also would improve other sweets, as well as breakfast yogurt.

We start with a mixture of oats, pumpkin seeds, brown sugar, flour, and white and black sesame seeds, then rub chilled butter into the mix to distribute the fat evenly. Tripling down on the sesame flavor, we fold into the oats a mixture of tahini (a paste of ground sesame seeds), sesame oil and vanilla extract, which adds a subtly sweet aroma.

If you prefer, instead of pumpkin seeds, use raw sunflower seeds or chopped nuts. And if you can’t find black sesame seeds, simply increase the white sesames to 3 tablespoons.

Once baked and chilled, crumble this nutty topping onto ice cream with whipped cream and chocolate or caramel sauce. And don’t forget the cherry.

Sesame-Oat Crumble

Start to finish: 40 minutes (15 minutes active)

Makes 3 cups

1/4 cup tahini
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
98 grams (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
43 grams (1/2 cup) old-fashioned rolled oats
82 grams (6 tablespoons) packed light brown sugar
23 grams (2 tablespoons) pumpkin seeds
13 grams (1-1/2 tablespoons) black sesame seeds
13 grams (1-1/2 tablespoons) white sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) salted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes and chilled

Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with kitchen parchment. In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, vanilla and sesame oil. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, oats, sugar, pumpkin seeds, both sesame seeds and the salt. Scatter the butter over it and, using your fingertips, rub the butter in until the mixture resembles wet sand and holds together when pinched. Drizzle with the tahini mixture, then fold with a rubber spatula until combined and the mixture forms marble-size clumps; smaller and larger bits are fine.

Spread the mixture in an even layer on the prepared sheet. Bake until the crumble is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes, using a metal spatula to scrape up and flip the mixture 2 or 3 times during baking. Let cool to room temperature.

Source: AP





Pickled Jalapenos and Vinegary Brine Boost Avocado Salad

Christopher Kimball wrote . . . . . . . . .

One of the best ways to build flavor is layering, or using one ingredient in two ways or at different stages of cooking. Using the zest of a lemon in cake batter, for instance, while using the juice in a citrusy glaze.

It’s a technique we rely on often in our book “COOKish,” which limits recipes to just six ingredients without sacrificing flavor. And it works particularly well with pickled jalapeños in this recipe for a simple salad with arugula and avocado.

The jalapeños themselves add juicy bursts of bright heat, but we also treat the pickling liquid as a separate ingredient. Using ¼ cup of the liquid as the acid in the vinaigrette boosts the dressing’s flavor without needing additional vinegar.

Along with the avocado, pumpkin seeds offer enough richness to make the salad a light main course, or pair it with sliced grilled skirt steak or hearty grains such as barley, farro or quinoa.

Arugula and Avocado Salad with Jalapeño Vinaigrette

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

3 to 4 tablespoons pickled jalapeño slices, chopped, plus 1/4 cup pickling liquid
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
4 cups lightly packed baby arugula
3 radishes, halved and thinly sliced OR 1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro OR 4 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
2 ripe but firm avocados, halved, pitted, peeled and sliced

In a large bowl, whisk together the jalapeños and their liquid, the oil and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the arugula, radishes, cilantro and half of the pumpkin seeds, then toss. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in the avocado. Transfer to a serving bowl, then sprinkle with the remaining pumpkin seeds.

Source: AP





Stop Spiralizing Zucchini — a Peeler Works Better

Christopher Kimball wrote . . . . . . . . .

Spiralizing zucchini into “noodles” often translates into a wan and watery dish, a poor imitation of the pasta it attempts to emulate. Generally, it’s better to let an ingredient shine on its own merits. And for raw zucchini, we didn’t need to look far to find a better answer.

The Italians have done it for ages, reducing whole zucchini to paper-thin ribbons, then dressing them simply — some lemon juice, a bit of oil, maybe some honey, Parmesan, fresh herbs and nuts. The effect is a fresh and vibrant salad made in minutes.

In this recipe from our book “Milk Street Tuesday Nights,” which limits recipes to 45 minutes or less, we use a vegetable peeler to slice zucchini into thin ribbons. The zucchini really shines, balanced with the clean, sharp flavors of a lemony dressing along with Parmesan and hazelnuts. The hazelnuts — or almonds, if that’s what you have on hand — give the salad crunch and a slightly buttery note.

Don’t worry if the ribbons vary in width; this adds to the visual appeal of the dish. And don’t dress the salad until you are ready to serve. The zucchini and herbs are delicate and quickly wilt.

Shaved Zucchini and Herb Salad with Parmesan

Start to finish: 20 minutes

Servings: 4

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons juice (1 lemon)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon honey

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1 pound zucchini (2 medium)

1 ounce Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about ½ cup), plus shaved to serve

1/2 cup lightly packed mint, torn

1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil, torn

1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and roughly chopped

In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon zest and juice, oil, honey, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Set aside. Use a Y-style peeler or mandoline to shave the zucchini from top to bottom into ribbons; rotating as you go. Stop shaving when you reach the seedy core. Discard the cores.

To the dressing, add the shaved zucchini, grated cheese, mint and basil, then toss until evenly coated. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with shaved Parmesan and hazelnuts.

Source: AP