When you don’t have all the usual cooking tools you’re used to, you end up having to improvise quite a lot.
Over the past few weeks I’ve:
- flipped crepes using a spoon: not bad, not bad
- squeezed lemon juice by hand: so. many. pips. ugh.
- minced garlic by hand: no garlic crusher :(((((
- used a glass to peel a mango: actually works super duper well
The hardest thing to improvise though is a zester, especially when you don’t even have a vegetable peeler or a paring knife.
When a craving for lemon scones hit I *had* to find a way to get the lemon zest into the dough. I ended up peeling the whole lemon, as you would an orange. It was creepy to say the least because naked lemons are not something I’m accustomed to seeing.
Having gone down the candied zest path before, I knew that the process actually helps to tone down that pith-bitterness and makes flavourful, chewy bites. I chucked the chunks of zest into a pan of lemon juice, water and sugar and let it bubble away until syrupy and translucent. I then stirred the whole mixture into the rest of the wet ingredients for the scones so none of lemon flavour was left behind!
A last minute addition of fresh coriander to the scone dough brought green speckles to the citrus studded centre, just for fun. If you’re a coriander hater (I used to be, dw) then of course just leave it out.
For the candied lemon:
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp water
For the scones:
- 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (30 g) old fashioned oats
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- small handful of coriander leaves , (cilantro), finely chopped
- 1/4 cup (55 g) unsalted butter, cold, cubed
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) plain yogurt
- 1 large egg
For the candied lemon zest:
- Peel the zest off of the lemon using a vegetable peeler. Slice the zest into thin strips then chop into small squares. Place the zest into a saucepan along with the sugar, water and the juice of the lemon. Heat over a medium-high heat until the mixture starts to boil, stirring well so the sugar is dissolved. Then turn the heat down leave to simmer and thicken for 7 minutes. Pour the mixture into a jug and set aside to cool.
To make the scones:
- In a large bowl place the flour, oats, baking powder, salt and chopped coriander leaves. Stir together then add the cubed butter. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until mealy with a few larger chunks of butter remaining. Chill this while you prep the wet ingredients.
- To the jug of candied lemon zest & syrup, add the yogurt and stir together. Crack in the egg and stir that in well, too. Pour this into the chilled dry ingredients and stir together just until no floury patches remain.
- Place the dough into the freezer for 10 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) and line a baking tray with parchment paper and sprinkle lightly with flour.
- Transfer the dough to the lined, floured tray and sprinkle with a bit more flour. Pat the mixture out into a rectangle 2 cm thick. Cut into 6 squares and spread them around the baking tray. Brush with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar (if you want) then bake for 25 minutes until golden.