October 4, 2017
Zucchini Gruyére Scones
Today's recipe is inspired by the Flora Bar in NYC, which is known for their savory scones. These flaky buttery scones are studded with nutty aged Gruyére cheese and zucchini along with a hint of Herbes de Provence--and they are topped with Maldon sea salt flakes. I made for these scones for this month's wine club.
Gruyére is one of my favorite cheeses, and I especially like the cave aged versions. The younger ones are very creamy and have a slight sweetness, but the fully aged (especially the 24 month aged) ones have a more complex nutty flavor that is slightly more salty and firm in texture. The aged ones even seem to have white crystals develop. And, yes, cave aged means it is actually aged in a cave in Switzerland. The cave air helps the cheese develop a different and deeper complexity.
When baking scones, cold dough is key! I prefer to freeze scones before baking. It relaxes the gluten, which makes them more tender. It also chills the fat from the butter, which makes them flakier.
These scones don't have a large rise, and I would attribute that to a lack of egg. If you want a higher rise, I would substitute one egg for an equal volume of the cream in the recipe (so, I would probably do 3/4 cup cream and 1 egg).
These scones would be great for an appetizer, brunch, and afternoon tea!
Zucchini Gruyére Scones
Yields 3 dozen mini scones
3 tbsp. baking powder
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 tsp. Herbes de Provence
390 grams all-purpose flour (3 1/4 cups)
6 oz. or 3/4 cup cold butter, diced
1 cup heavy cream, plus an additional 1/2 cup for brushing
2 medium zucchini, shredded with excess liquid squeezed out
6 oz. Gruyére cheese, cut into small 1/4" cubes
Flaky sea salt, to sprinkle
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (baking powder, sugar, salt, Herbes de Provence, flour, and pepper).
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and the dry ingredients. Mix on medium-low speed until the mixture becomes crumbly. Gradually add 1 cup of heavy cream into the mixture. The dough will begin to clump together and form a more cohesive dough. Then, add the zucchini and the cheese and mix on low until everything is combined.
Take the dough onto a floured large piece of parchment paper. Cover the dough with another piece of parchment paper, and roll out gently to about 1 inch think (if you try to put the rolling pin on the dough, it will likely stick and get messy). Take the dough, leave it covered it with parchment paper, and place it in the freezer for at least 4 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400ºF. Using a dough scraper or sharp knife, cut the dough into small triangles to bake. Place the triangles onto a lined cookie sheet about 2" apart. Brush the tops with heavy cream and sprinkle with the sea salt.
Bake scones, rotating halfway through, for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
Source: The Flora Bar in NYC