Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fair Scones

I went to the Western Washington Fair today--it's the 7th largest fair in the country (over 1.2 million visitors each year) and has something for everybody. Barns filled with every type of farm animal you can imagine; grange exhibits; 4-H; new product demonstrations, hot tubs, tractors, chain-saw carving; carousels and carnival rides; art, needlework, photography and hobby displays.

And then, there is the food. You name it, they've got it. And even a few things I'll bet you've never heard of--deep fried cookie dough, alligator on a stick, and the "Earthquake Burger" -- one-half pound of ground beef with all the trimmings.

The fair has been going strong for 110 years, and for more than 80 of those years, visitors have savored the hot scones filled with butter and raspberry jam. I love fair scones, but wince at the cost. $1.25 for one little triangle--about 6 bites.

I make scones at home, and my family says they are more than "fair":

Fair Scones
2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Sift the dry ingredients together into a large bowl. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until coarse crumbs form. Add the milk and toss quickly and lightly with a fork.

Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface and knead about 6-8 times or until it forms a smooth ball. Don't overwork or your scones will not be tender.

Cut the dough in half and pat each half into a circle, slightly higher in the middle. Cut each into 4 equal pieces to make 8 pieces total. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove to cooling rack. To serve "fair-style", while still warm split and fill with softened butter and raspberry jam.

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