Monday, April 30, 2012

Blueberry Scones for St. George´s Day- England


Rose Theater recreated on original site- interior

Rose Theater-exterior

Two men face each other, forcefully thrusting their swords and right feet forward. You have stumbled upon a fight among sailors! It seems that you have been whisked away to Elizabethan times, you guess, from the appearance of the white building with wooden accents and roof that you walked into. Could one of the men be Shakespeare himself?
You are inside a recreation for the Rose Theater, built on the original site, which was discovered in 1989. Shakespeare, whose birthday is on April 23rd, once acted on this site. That explains where he got some of his knowledge for writing his plays...
You are in London, where the Olympics and the World Shakespearean festival (See are taking place, and have a couple of more sights to see before heading to a St. George´s Day Celebration (on the same day as Shakespeare´s birthday). The baby blue sky shines behind the regal, yellow clock tower that is the most recognizable symbol of London. You are not sure you are in that capital city until you have seen that clock, that brings memories of Chevy Chase in National Lampoon´s European Vacation, driving around its traffic circle numerous times, unable to get out of it.

History of St. George´s Day
The patron saint of England is St. George, and St. George´s Day is on April 23rd. St. George was a soldier who was killed for protesting against the Romans´ persecution of Christians. The English Normans prayed to him during the Battle of Agincourt of 1415 that they later won; since then, he became their patron saint.  In the legend about St. George and the dragon, from 1250, the dragon is believed to represent the Roman emperor, Diocletian, who persecuted Christians.

This feast is also celebrated in Spain (Catalunya, Valencia, Aragon, and Majorca), Canada, Croatia, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece, Georgia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Republic of Macedonia, Russia (Moscow), Italy (Genova), Slovenia (Ljubljana), Lebanon (Beirut), Malta (Qormi and Victoria).  This day is also called Borrowing Day in England because farmers used to be able to predict their crop results and get a loan from the bank.

On this day, in England, the ideal food to eat is any traditional English dish; there is no specific dessert that must be eaten. I therefore chose scones.

You can halve or quarter Tyler Florence´s recipe, to have a romantic breakfast for two, without leftovers to worry about. If you halve the recipe, you will have enough to make four scones.
2 1/2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 tablespoon of baking powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup frozen blueberries (the original recipe mentions fresh blueberries, which I would imagine yield better results because you don´t have to deal with the melted ice that coats frozen blueberries)
7 tablespoons whipping cream

Cut the butter into the flour, salt, baking powder, and granulated sugar mixture.Coat the blueberries carefully with the mixture. Next, pour the whipping cream in the center, and mix softly and quickly. Don´t overmix, and be careful to not beat the blueberries, so they won´t make the mix turn purple. Gently shape the batter with your hands into a 6 x 3  inch rectangle. Cut in half, then cut each square diagonally in half to form triangles. Brush their tops with whipping cream. Place the triangles on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. When they are golden and out of the oven, drizzle them with the glaze mentioned below.

Lemon Glaze (adapted)
1/4 cup lemon or persian lime juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon or lime zest
1 3/4 cups confectioner´s sugar
1/2 tablespoon butter

Place the glaze mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds, then mix again until it is smooth. Pour over the scones when they have been taken out of the oven.

The scone is sunny yellow in color inside, and soft. The blueberries give it the exact tang that this pastry needs.


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