Serious Eats: Recipes

Peppered Goat Cheese Scones

[Photograph: Anna Markow]

Scones are very simple yet delicate creatures. They should never be dense or chewy. They should be flaky and tender like a biscuit on the inside and crispy on the outside. To achieve this perfect texture, you need to eat them as soon as possible after baking. Luckily, they freeze exceptionally well unbaked and can be baked straight from the freezer. In fact this recipe is helped by freezing, due to the extra fat added by the large amount of goat cheese. Tangy chevre, along with a blend of finely ground peppercorns, make this scone a zippy, savory breakfast treat that pairs well with virtually any jam, jelly or marmalade, from blueberry to fig and grape to guava.

To take the flakiness over the top, gently roll your dough out on a lightly floured surface, then fold the dough over itself once or twice and gently pat into a circle before pre-cutting the wedges and freezing.

Note: If you don't have multiple types of pepper in your house, just use black pepper. I actually used black, white, pink and green pepper in the batch pictured, because I discovered I had green peppercorns at home. Either green or pink will bring a nice fruitiness to the peppery profile. Just make sure whatever you use is finely ground, preferably shortly before use. Don't panic if your scone(s) explode slightly in the oven. The high initial baking time and baking from frozen will help reduce the chances of this happening, but it might anyway due to the extra pockets of fatty goat cheese. In this case, flavor trumps presentation, and no one will care if the scones aren't perfect triangles when they taste this good.

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About the Author: Anna Markow is a pastry chef obsessed with doing things that no one else does and giving unusual ingredients their time to shine. You can follow her sometimes-pastry-related thoughts on Twitter @VerySmallAnna.

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