Friday, September 17, 2010

Stone of Scone

The Stone of Scone, also known as the Stone of Destiny, is legendary and of enormous importance to the monarchy of Scotland and Britannia.

Royal coronations have been held upon the stone for millennia.   Originally housed at Scone Abbey, where the coronations of Kings of Scotland took place, its current home is in Westminster Abbey where it rests beneath a special coronation chair.  Queen Elizabeth II was the last monarch to be coronated June 2, 1953.

The Stone of Scone is a block of sandstone seventeen inches high, eighteen inches deep, and approximately 32 inches wide weighing 332 pounds. It is said that when a man destined to be king stepped onto it, it would roar like a lion. But if the Stone does not react, and the candidate takes the throne despite its lack of approval, that king will not prosper, nor will the country.
Scones are quickest of quick breads – 15 minutes to prepare, 15 minutes to cook, and 15 seconds to consume.Hopefully, when you’re making scones they won’t be hard like stones.

The original scone was round and flat, usually the size of a small plate, cut into triangle-like quadrants for serving. Today, many would call the large round cake a bannock, and call the quadrants scones.  You don’t need to cut your scones to triangles. You can use a cookie cutter or free-hand other shapes.

The pronunciation of the word scone varies.  Most of Britain pronounces it so that it rhymes with “con” and the rest pronounce it so that it rhymes with “cone”.

The secrets to buttery, flakey scones

  • Use very cold butter and ice cold liquids.  If the butter is cold it will remain solid until the baking begins where it will melt and leave pockets and layers in the scone.

  • Don’t overwork the dough.  Mix it just long enough to incorporate the ingredients.

  • For flakey, layered scones – roll the dough, fold in half, roll, fold, roll, fold roll . . . etc.   Roll the dough out to about 3/4-inch thick before cutting the scones.

  • Don’t over-bake your scones - as soon as the edges begin to turn brown, remove them from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Cinnamon Sugar Scones

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 Cups Whipping Cream (Heavy Cream)
  • 1/4 Cup Butter, cut into small cubes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon (by hand). Pour in whipping cream and butter.   Mix or knead by hand, just until combined (about 45 second). Mix will be sticky. Flour surface. Divide dough into two sections.  Roll, fold, roll, fold, roll, fold . . . to approximately four inches. Note: Score each round first with a knife into 4ths , then 8ths. Then cut and put on a greased large cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 11 minutes. Let cool five minutes, and then glaze.

  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 - 2 Tablespoons Milk

Mix together until a thin icing consistency and pour or drizzle over warm scones. If you are not getting the consistency you want then just add a little more milk.

Scones can be frozen for up to three months.  Don’t warm them up in the microwave!  Use a toaster oven to heat up frozen scones.

1 comment:

  1. Yum!

    Interestingly, the Stone of Scone is pronounced "Scoon", so you don't have to worry about getting a rock instead of a pastry when you're in Scotland.