The first big heat wave of the summer always reminds me how grateful I am for the wind that runs through our valley. We can usually count on it to start mid afternoon, just as the heat is peaking. I was away this weekend, watching the temperatures climb on my phone, worrying about the crew, plants, and animals at the farm. While the heat was intense, I need not to have worried as everyone and everything was doing well.
This week's pick list:
- Garlic Scapes
- Tokyo bekana
SHORTCAKES, from smittenkitchen.com
- 2 1/4 cups (295 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons (40 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams or 3 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks
- 2 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (205 ml) heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons (35 grams) raw or turbinado sugar
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, granulated sugar, and salt until thoroughly combined. Add butter and using your fingertips or a pastry blender, break it into small bits, the largest should be no bigger than a small pea. In a small bowl, whisk yolks with a splash of cream, then pour rest of cream in and whisk to combine. Pour into butter-flour mixture and use a rubber spatula to mix and mash it together into one cohesive dough.
Divide dough into 6 (for large, 3 1/2 to 3 3/4-inch wide and up to 2-inch tall) shortcakes or 8 smaller ones. I do this by pressing the dough somewhat flat into the bottom of the bowl (to form a circle) and using a knife to divide it into pie-like wedges. Place raw or turbinado sugar in a small bowl. Roll each wedge of shortcake into a ball in your hands and roll it through the raw/turbinado sugar, coating it in all but a small area that you should leave bare. (I found that the sugar underneath the shortcakes would burn, so better to leave it off.)
Place it, bare spot down, on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining wedges of dough. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden all over. Let cool completely on tray or on a cooling rack.