I shouldn’t be surprised that when I picked up Nancy Silverton’s cookbook on Pastries from the La Brea Bakery that I would have to make some additional trips to the gym to work off all of the calories I’ve been taking in this week. But I will tell you…it was worth it!
I have made a few recipes from her book these past few days, as well as flagged many more that I will be trying out, but I have to share this one in particular.
These Parmesan scones are little biscuit-like savories that are deliciously light and buttery, they almost melt in your mouth. The rich nutty, slightly salty flavor of the parmesan carries the scone to new heights. The crème fraîche adds a slight tang and the chives, which not only look great with their flecks of green throughout the dough, also give a subtle onion-garlic flavor note. Whether served next to a humble roast chicken for dinner, paired with smoked salmon for lunch or served as an appetizer with prosciutto and fig jam, they are pretty tasty.
from Nancy Silverton’s Pastries from the La Brea Bakery
special item: 1 ½ -inch round cutter
- 2 ¾ cups unbleached pastry four or unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- ¾ cup (3 ounces) grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
- 1 stick plus 1 Tbsp. (4 ½ ounces) unsalted butter, cut into cubes and frozen
- ½ cup (about 1 ounce) minced chives
- 1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
For the topping:
- 2 Tbsp. (1 ounce) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
- 1 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
Adjust the oven rack to the upper position and preheat the oven to 400°. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cheese and process or mix on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off a few times, until it’s the consistency of a fine meal.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, and toss in chives, and make a well in the center. Add the crème fraîche and using one hand draw in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. The mixture will be a bit dry and crumbly.
Wash and dry your hands and dust them with flour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead a few times to gather it into a ball. Roll or pat the dough into a circle slightly thicker than a ½ inch. Cut out the circles, cutting as closely together as possible and keeping the trimmings intact.
Gather the scraps, pat and press the pieces back together and cut out the remaining dough. At this point Nancy suggests placing the circles in groups of three, with the edges touching to form a clover shape, and then placing 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (I choose to bake these individually to use as an appetizer portion.)
Brush the tops with the melted butter. Sprinkle with a pinch of the Parmesan and a few grindings of fresh black pepper.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until firm to the touch and lightly browned.
In case you want to make up an extra batch of these beauties, I found that they freeze very well. Just follow all of the steps through cutting them out, then freeze in airtight containers or plastic bags. When you are ready to bake, brush with melted butter and top with Parmesan and pepper, bake as directed.
Yield: 16 scones