Christmas Making and Baking

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Many of the things I am making and baking in my kitchen just a little over a week before Christmas will include Meyer lemons.  Our little tree’s branches,  bent over to the ground with fruit, seemed to breathe a sigh of relief as we harvested lemon after lemon, a few at a time for weeks, until freezing temperatures last week led us to finish the job.  The basket here is what remains after we have given away several bags, so I have pulled out my list of 101 things to do with a Meyer lemon list and  we are happily enjoying these golden, juicy jewels before we freeze the rest of them whole.

I have posted previous recipes using the Meyers, but this morning I made an untried one:  Meyer Lemon and Cranberry Scones.  I cut the scones with my grandmother’s old tin biscuit cutter, which made the whole process feel like I was including her in our Christmas baking.  The recipe will surely make the keepers file, so this is what I share today.  More to come, most certainly!

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   Meyer Lemon and Cranberry Scones                            Yield: Makes 16

2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest (from about 3 lemons; preferably Meyer)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar plus 3 tablespoons additional if using fresh cranberries

1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 1/4 cups dried cranberries or dried cherries
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup half and half

Preheat oven to 400°F. and line a large baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.

Remove the zest from lemons.  Reserve lemons for another use.

In a food processor pulse flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, butter and zest until mixture resembles coarse meal and transfer to a large bowl. If no food processor is available, simply cut in the butter and dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or by passing two knives across each other until the mixture is the right appearance.  Add the dried cranberries.

In another small bowl lightly beat egg and yolk and stir in cream. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined.

On a well-floured surface with floured hands pat dough into a 1-inch-thick round (about 8 inches in diameter) and with a 2-inch round cutter or rim of a glass dipped in flour cut out  rounds, bunching scraps as necessary. Arrange rounds about 1 inch apart on baking sheet and bake in middle of oven 15 to 20 minutes, or until  golden. Scones keep 1 day or frozen 1 week.

When I began my first blog, Mappings for this Morning, I wrote about many of the recipes that have been part of our Christmas kitchen.  I include a link to that post.  Is there a recipe there you would like to see on Kitchen Keepers?  Let me know in a comment!

http://mappingsforthismorning.blogspot.com/2009/12/recipe-for-remembering.htmlhttp://mappingsforthismorning.blogspot.com/2010/12/vintage-postcard-cookies.html

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