We’ll start with an update on the disaster-chocolate custard from last week: no it never set, yes my wonderful mother still managed to ice it (very runnily by the sounds of it) and put it in the raffle, and they raised £800, hurrah!
It has been excessively and unpleasantly hot this week. England is not designed to be 32C, and I work in a shop that has the world’s most ridiculous lighting, therefore adding about another 5C to the outdoor temperature. Needless to say, I have spent much of this week feeling very uncomfortable, and the rest of it having freezing cold showers. So, what better to do in this heat than stand over a pan of boiling fruit and sugar?! It was worth it though because peach jam is delicious.
It feels slightly ridiculous to make an entire batch of jam just to use 70g to put in scones. If it was less tasty I would feel more resentful, but this jam is thick and fruity and you just want to smear it thickly over slabs of bread. It reminds me a lot of the plum jam my mum used to make when I was young and there was still a plum tree in the garden. It was always my favourite. The jam I ended up making was a vastly more simple recipe than the recipe in the book, because a) who knows where to find dried peaches, cos I don’t, and b) I didn’t want to buy Bourbon. Ultimately I decided it would be far easier to use fresh peaches, sugar and lemon juice. The recipe I used is here (I did a half quantity), but I will write the proper recipe out below for those of you that have dried peaches.
The scones are light and delicious, and are best served warm, split open with MORE peach jam. I don’t know if it’s just me, or my different peach jam recipe, but 70g doesn’t feel like enough, it doesn’t make them peachy enough. Hence peach jam spread on them. Also this recipe called for 3 tbsp of baking powder, which seemed like a horrendous amount to me, so I only used 3-4 tsp, and I think they turned out fine – I mean, they’re not particularly risen, but I’d rather have that than the weird taste too much baking powder gives stuff.
Anyway, I highly recommend these, even if you can’t stand making jam and you’re lucky enough to find some in a shop instead, use it to make these scones, you won’t be disappointed.
And I end with the big and exciting news that I just bought myself my first ever food processor! So next week we will be having LEMON BARS and lamenting the fact that I’m about to leave my job.
Peach Jam Scones (from Baked in America by The Outsider Tart) – makes about 13x 2.5in scones
450g dried peaches
225g light brown sugar
120ml poaching liquid
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1. Place the dried peaches in a large, shallow saucepan. Cover with water (about 1l) and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer until the peaches have reconstituted and are very soft. Typically this takes 20-30 mins.
2. Strain the peaches, reserving 120ml of the poaching liquid. Return the peaches to the pan and mash with a potato masher. Add the remaining ingredients along with half of the reserved liquid. Simmer on a low heat for 15 mins or until the mixture has thickened to resemble set jam. Stir frequently to prevent the peaches from sticking. Add more of the reserved liquid as necessary.
3. Let cool to room temperature before placing in a jam jar to refrigerate.
600g plain flour
115-175g caster sugar (I used 115g because my jam was super sweet, and that’s more than enough)
3-4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
225g unsalted butter, cold and diced
70g peach jam
240-320ml buttermilk (Start with the lower amount, and add more depending on the consistency of your dough)
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Piece by piece, drop in the butter and mix on a low speed until it is unevenly crumbly (you can also just rub the butter in by hand, which is what I did).
3. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the peach jam, followed by buttermilk. Once the dough starts to come together, dump it onto a floured work surface. It can be quite sticky because of the jam. Pat the dough as best you can until it is about 2cm thick. Cut the scones into the desired shape and transfer to the baking sheets.
4. Bake the scones for 18-20mins or until they are golden brown and firm. Because of the jam they tend not to rise as much.