I'm a little in love with British culture. Tea, especially, is one of my favorite things. It's just so darn civilized, and I fully support taking an afternoon break to drink warm beverages while spreading scones with clotted cream and jam.
Last month, Andrew and I jetted off to London, a city I lived in for six months while studying abroad in college. I hadn't been back since, so this trip was a nostalgic tour of the city for me. We went to museums, wandered through Bloomsbury like Virginia Woolf, saw musicals, and had high tea at the Dorchester. The smoked salmon finger sandwich was heavenly, as were the French pastries (particularly the passion fruit tart), but I had my eye on the scones.
Even before we left, I planned to make them promptly after returning. So here they are, a tribute to one of the cities I love.
POPPYSEED SCONES WITH LIME CURD
Makes 8 to 10 scones
Recipe adapted from Mark Bittman
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons poppyseeds
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup whole milk, plus more for brushing
Heat the oven to 450 degrees. In a food processor, pulse flour, salt, baking powder, poppyseeds, and two tablespoons of the sugar to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is distributed and about the size of peas. Add the egg and the milk and pulse until combined and the dough is slightly sticky.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead once or twice. Press it into a 3/4-inch high circle and cut out 2-inch rounds with a biscuit cutter. Put the rounds on a baking sheet. Gently reshape the leftover dough and cut again. Brush the top of each scone with a bit of milk and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the scones or golden brown. Serve warm, with your favorite accompaniments.
Makes about 1 cup
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, from about 6 limes
1 whole egg
4 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk lime juice, egg, egg yolks and sugar until combined. Stir continuously for approximately 15 minutes, until the curd has thickened and resembles the consistency of pudding.
Pour the curd through a sieve and strain into a bowl, pushing with your whisk to extract as much curd as possible. One piece at a time, whisk in the butter until melted and completely incorporated.
To store, press plastic wrap onto the curd and keep it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.