Bread of the Month: Filling the heart -- with jam

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“The Heart wants what it wants, “ poet Emily Dickinson wrote, “– or else it does not care.”

My heart, or at least the scones I made into hearts, wanted jam, and who was I to deny them? Scones and jam have gone together since the clocks could strike three and mean teatime. And if a scone can have jam baked in it, thus skipping the step of jam-spreading and go straight to the eating, all the better.

image_3When I saw this yummy-looking and unusual take on scones, I thought of the Queen of Hearts… who baked some tarts. These scones just looked like the kind the Queen would have baked and a knave would be tempted to steal. Delicate, buttery scones with the addition of aromatic rosemary and a glistening center of strawberry preserves. Mmmm.

Having made this recipe a few times, I decided to change it up a bit. Instead of making the lemon glaze as directed, I put the citrus in the scone by adding the zest of one lemon to the dry ingredients along with the chopped rosemary.

image_4It’s fun and playful to make foods into heart shapes…I find myself smiling as I press a heart cutter deep into some rich dough, be it cookie, biscuit or scone. The intention is always a positive one, even if there isn’t necessarily an intended.

And to ready these scones for jam, it’s almost as fun pressing the back of a measuring spoon into each heart, giving it a a little “belly button” to be filled.

As I was passing on the glaze, I thought it would be pretty (and add some crunchy texture) to sprinkle the hearts with glittering sanding sugar.

image_5Don’t be surprised if these hearts expand in the oven (if you want to have the hearts hold better shape, you could add a little more flour or chill the hearts prior to baking). I decided to consider the spreading, growing hearts as symbolic…if the heart is not capable of expanding, then what hope is there for anything?

You will not be disappointed with these. They are almost like a large soft cookie, but filled with the garden freshness of lemon and rosemary, and just a dab of ruby-jewel sweet.

Strawberry and Rosemary Scones
Adapted from recipe by Giada De Laurentiis (www.foodnetwork.com)
Makes about 8 scones

2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
Zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup strawberry jam
White sparkling or sanding sugar

image_6Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, rosemary, salt, and butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal (this can also be done by hand using a pastry blender).

Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Gradually stir in the cream until the mixture forms a dough. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 1/2-inch thick, 10-inch circle.

Using a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out heart-shaped pieces of dough and put on the prepared baking sheet. Gently knead together any leftover pieces of dough and roll out to 1/2-inch thick. Cut the dough into more heart shapes and add to the baking sheet.

Using an index finger or a small, round measuring spoon, gently make an indentation in the center of each pastry heart. Spoon a heaped 1/2 teaspoon of jam into each indentation.

Sprinkle sparkling sugar over the top of each heart. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.

Transfer the cooked scones onto a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes.
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