I went to the market, meaning to get more ingredients to test Irish soda bread recipes. All kinds- the brown kind, sweet kind, Caraway kind, and in between kinds. But as I was procuring my ingredients, I was approached by an adorable old man. He sweetly said, meaning to pay me a compliment: “Now you MUST be Irish.” Well, yes and no, I say. He gave me a puzzled look and walked away. I understand his confusion. We are conditioned to believe that people with red hair (or reddish in my case) are Irish. On St. Patrick’s day, I am nearly always mistaken for an Irish lass. Genetically, I am about a quarter Irish. My paternal grandmother was adopted. She was, in fact, Irish. BUT she was adopted and raised by Dutch immigrants. She disappeared from my father’s life and no proud Irish traditions were ever exalted in my family. In high school, it became a tradition to prepare corned beef and cabbage with my dad. But beyond the food, St. Patrick’s day has always been bittersweet. I’m always reminded of my grandmother’s legacy, her auburn hair (“redderish” as Mr. Radar calls it), passed on to me. I feel a tinge of sadness when thinking about her. But I always remember the extra time spent with my dad on St. Patrick’s day- preparing the meal together, happily eating good food.
But when it came down to making that Irish Soda bread, I couldn’t.
So I made American (Irish) Soda bread scones instead. These scones are lovely, and are roughly reminiscent of the Americanized soda bread, full of raisins, currants, zest, candied orange peel and a tiny bit of sweetness.
Scone of Destiny
Serves 8 large scones, 12 round scones
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- Pinch of Salt
- 3 tablespoons Granulated Sugar, plus more for dusting
- Zest of One Lemon
- 1/4 cup Dried Currants
- 1/4 cup Sultanas (Thompson’s Seedless)
- 1/2 cup Candied Orange Peel, finely diced
- 8 tablespoons Butter, chilled
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 cup Buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon Orange Essence
(6) Dump the dough onto a clean work surface. Form into a loose circle. You can cut the dough in eighths, making triangular scones. I like to gently roll out the dough and use a biscuit cutter to make 12 round scones (about the size of a hockey puck). Top with a sprinkle of sugar, if desired.
You can find this recipe on Food52.
Pssst: looking for a recipe for Candied Orange Peel? I used this recipe from Epicurious.