Pepper Jelly Scones


I'm so happy to share this recipe with you today.. even more so because I've created it using one of my favorite products ever, Mrs G's Hot Pepper Jellies! These unique blends come in three amazing flavors; Ja-Ha (Jalapeño-Habanero), Jalapeño Garlic Lime and Mango Ginger Habanero. 
Handcrafted with the freshest ingredients, Mrs G's artisan hot pepper jellies are produced with great care in small batches in an FDA-certified kitchen to ensure quality and consistently excellent flavor!

Not only is Mrs G a producer of fine products, but she happens to be one of my dearest friends!
I've been fortunate to be able to photograph her products, and at the same time enjoy using these peppery jellies in many of my own dishes. This recipe came from our recent Valentine Day shoot where we had the idea to use spicy jam with yummy scones.. I knew that we could easily infuse the jam right into the baking process as well as smothering it on later. :) These scones are light with a hint of Ja-Ha spiciness. Just the right amount to add that extra something to your Valentines Day!


Pepper Jelly Scones
Recipe courtesy Laurie M. Vengoechea, Dalla Mia Cucina

Ingredients
4 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar 
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
*2 Tablespoons Mrs G’s Pepper Jellies
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold heavy cream *minus 2 Tablespoons (Pepper Jelly is replacing the milk)
2 tablespoons milk, to brush on scones during baking



Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine 4 cups flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, the baking powder, and salt in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
Blend in the cold butter and 2 Tablespoons of pepper jelly at the lowest speed and mix until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. 
Combine the eggs and heavy cream and quickly add to the flour/butter mixture. Combine until just blended. The dough may be a bit sticky.
Place the dough out onto a floured surface, push together till combined. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough out to 3/4-inch to 1-inch thick. You will see lumps of butter in the dough. Cut into circles with a 4-inch fluted cookie cutter. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Brush the scones with milk. 
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the outsides are crisp and the insides are done.

Glaze
1/2 cup milk
2 cups confectioners' sugar 
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon Mrs G’s Pepper Jelly

Mix all ingredients together in a small pot till well combined!
Drizzle abundantly over your the scones!! :)


Enjoy!!!
And please don't forget to check out Mrs G's Hot Pepper Jellies website!





Custard Filled Cream Puffs


We celebrated our youngest daughter's 10th birthday on Valentines Day. My little sweets request.. my Lusciously Rich Custard Filled Cream Puffs! They really are the best and never disappoint  I hope you enjoy!

Pastry Cream
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 vanilla bean split lengthwise (not vanilla extract)
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. granulated white sugar
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoons butter

Directions
In a saucepan on medium heat, combine the milk and the split vanilla bean; cook till it begins to simmer. Watch carefully so your milk doesn’t scald or you will have a skin on top. If you do notice a skin forming, remove it before you are ready to add it to your egg mixture. Turn heat off.  

Meanwhile, in a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer, beat eggs and sugar together until creamy pale yellow. You can also do this in a medium size stainless steel bowl with a wire whisk, but beat hard and consistently. (This is how I start my Zabaione when making an Italian custard) Next add the flour and beat hard till well incorporated and it has the texture of a thick paste. 

Slowly pour hot milk into egg mixture in a very thin stream whisking constantly to prevent curdling. When incorporated, remove vanilla bean. Scrape the seeds from the pod and stir them into the custard mix. Return custard to pan you heated the milk in and place on medium heat till mixture begins to thicken and come to a soft boil. Stir constantly and mix from bottom of pan to prevent custard from scalding. When it begins to come to a slow boil time it for another minute or so.. custard will be a medium consistency. Turn off heat. 
  
Add the 1 tablespoons of butter and mix well. Scrape the custard into a bowl. Smoothe plastic wrap directly on top of the custard. The first time I read this in directions I was kind of disconcerted thinking I would waste much of the top layer of custard when I pulled it from the top. When refrigerated and cooled, the plastic comes off clean from the top of the custard. No waste! 



Choux Pastry Puffs
Ingredients
1-cup water
1/2-cup butter (no substitutes)
1-cup all-purpose flour
1/4-teaspoon salt
4 eggs

Directions
In a saucepan, bring water and butter to a boil. Add flour and salt all at once; stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until mixture is smooth and shiny.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove puffs to wire racks. Immediately cut a slit in each for steam to escape. Cool. Split puffs and remove soft dough.


The Inspired Plate | December | Cast Iron


I always have mixed feelings this time of year. Our last post usually means changes with our TIP group of gals. We have all grown in our art, our photography and even our businesses. It's a good thing.. but it often means our schedules change and we all can't keep up with the demands. I'm going to miss those gals who won't be participating next year!

This last post of the season is Cast Iron Cookware/ or Favorite pots and pans. My favorites are definitely my cast iron. So.. everything cooked here today has been baked, browned and grilled on three different forms of cast iron. My Artisan Boule bread was baked in an enamel coated cast iron dutch oven, my leg of lamb was warmed/browned in my favorite antique cast iron pan, and my panini sandwhich was pressed and grilled on my cast iron grill and weighted down with a cast iron pan.

So here we go..

Grilled Rosemary Lamb Panini
with Currant Jelly, Spinach and English Cheddar 
on a Fresh Artisan Boule


I hope you enjoy the photo journaling of this recipe.. I enjoyed preparing it just as much as my little family enjoyed eating it!


I used the no knead procedure here. It made a WONDERFUL dough with beautiful air pockets, crunchy crust and a perfectly chewy crumb! The best recipe I have yet used for bread!



Baked in an enameled cast iron pot. So easy and quick!!


Mmmm.. perfect loaf!!


This pretty little piece of pottery is from my daughter Kat, who bought it for me at her college's Art Department Christmas Boutique. She bought it specifically for my photo stylings. :) I love the colors and have decided these shades really do need to appear more in my photo shoots!


I made a rosemary & herb crusted roasted lamb for Christmas dinner. It was SO moist and made the perfect grilled panini sandwiches!


Spread a hearty helping of currant jam on the inside slices of bread, thick slices of English cheddar cheese, good sized portions of lamb slices. Spread butter on outsides of bread. Place on hot cast iron grill and place a heavy cast iron pan or pot on top to weight it down. Turn over to grill on other side. When done add spinach.. Voila!


Be sure to head on over to see what my dear friend Stacey Siegal | Kitchen Serendipity | Longobat Key & Bradenton FL Photographer is cooking and photographing! 
And check out her beautiful recipes and food photos when your there.. this gal can cook!! :)

Till next year.. 
Buon Appetito!!