I often forget which recipes are in the new version of the book.
I am old, and the arteries in my brain are full of pudding and bacon
Today I realized I took the scones recipe out. This is tragic. Nothing is worse for you than scones, and they’re very good.
My publisher doesn’t like me taking stuff from the book and putting
it on the web, but I can put unpublished items up. So I’m creating a
page on this site for them, and I’ll also post them in the Manly Grub forum.
Here’s the scone recipe. I hope to God there are no errors in it.
PORK-CONTAMINATED RAISIN SCONES
I thought I was a badass because I published a recipe for biscuits made
with bacon grease. I wasn’t pretending to be original; bacon grease has
been the biscuit lubricant of discerning cooks for centuries. But I
felt brave for admitting it. There’s no end of gutless cookbooks that
will tell you to use Crisco.
That was before I thought about scones. A scone is what a biscuit
would be if you could put it in a pen and feed it cream for a month.
And they’re bigger than biscuits, and they have sugar in them. As an
American, I find that they make me feel totally inadequate.
More so than usual.
By the way, I’ve checked with various kilt-wearers and soccer
hooligans, and I have determined that “scone” is pronounced “scon.” Or
maybe “scoon” or “scoan.” Even in the UK, no one knows for sure.
I felt insecure enough before I learned what the British use to top
their scones. “Clotted cream.” That is not a typo. And I fully
realize how disgusting it sounds. Evidently, you take double-thick
cream, which is extracted from special obese cows who eat nothing but
suet and Skittles, and then you heat it for hours until a thick layer of
crud accumulates on top. And then you scoop it off and eat it.
I like to think of America as the greatest, most technologically
advanced country in the world. A country where even the toasters are
computerized. Yet somehow, we have fallen behind the UK in the crucial
area of fatty food. We eat pizza. They eat deep-fried candy bars. We
eat doughnuts. They eat desserts that are essentially piles of
sweetened lard. We’re getting thrashed in the cholesterol race. And in
the UK’s arsenal of fattening treats, clotted cream can only be
described as an ICBM.
I decided our country needed to make a serious entrance onto the
scone scene. I just know that somewhere out there, there’s an American
dimwit—almost certainly female—who has humiliated us all by proudly
publishing a pathetic scone recipe containing vegetable grease or,
worse, no grease at all. “Use apple sauce! You’ll never know the
difference!” I know the difference, you cow. And I am here to undo the
damage you have done our prestige as a nation of fat-lovers.
I won’t lie. I started by farting around with published recipes.
And while I managed to find one I respected, when I tried it, the scones
were inedible. It called for two cups of flour and one and a half
sticks of butter. Now, whoever wrote this, I respect where you’re
coming from. Believe me, I do. But your scones taste like buttered
Right away, my instincts told me pork was the answer. Funny how
often they tell me that. I knew that all butter and no pork makes Jack a
heavy, greasy scone only a dog would eat. So I made a substitution.
Bacon grease. Much better. Lighter and flakier, yet still sinfully
rich. But it seemed a tad dry. So I added a little cream cheese to the
“Cream cheese,” I hear you squeaking, as if you knew what you were
talking about, “there’s no cream cheese in SCONES.” There is now,
bunkie. Cream cheese is what gives rugelach that delightful texture
that makes you eat the whole box while driving home from the bakery.
Now, I needed some sort of fruit. The recipe I started with included
a few dry little raisins. Screw that. I doubled the raisins, and I
soaked them overnight in Haitian Barbancourt rum. And I took some of
the runoff and added it to the dough.
NOW, I had something I could work with. Now I was starting to catch up with the Brits.
I still needed a gluey wash to coat the biscuits before baking them.
But as all good cooks know, ordinary egg wash is puke. It turns brown
as soon as you put it in the oven, and it tastes like dried leaves. I
don’t know why cookbook after cookbook says, “beat an egg and add some
milk.” It makes me want to bring back public stocks, so we can hurl
foul-tasting pastries at the people who write this crap.
I made up my own wash. A little butter, a little bacon grease, a
tiny bit of vanilla, some cream, and enough egg to make it stick. You
slosh it together and brush it on each scone before you bake them. And
then you dust them lightly with confectioner’s sugar, so it’ll be just a
The big problem with these scones is how hard it is not to rip open
the oven door as soon as you smell them baking. The smell is glorious.
And when you finally open the door to take them out, it jumps on you
like a big wave of mustard gas and causes delightful hallucinations.
They’re flaky. They’re moist. They’re raisiny. And there’s just a
hint of rum flavor. Although you can also use Scotch or brandy. For
that matter, you can use currants. Good luck finding them. They’re
probably on the same shelf as the clotted cream.
Anyway, now I feel like American scone technology is at least competitive with the UK’s.
But they’re still beating our ass on the fried candy bar front.
2 cups self-rising biscuit flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt (optional)
2 tbsp. sugar (4 if you like sweeter scones)
2/3 stick butter
3 tbsp. bacon grease or lard
¼ cup heavy cream (including two tablespoons liquor)
2 oz. cream cheese
½ cup raisins soaked overnight in brandy, rum, or whiskey with a tablespoon of sugar added – I prefer dark rum.
Put the flour, soda, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly
with a whisk. If you like sweeter scones, use 3 tbsp. sugar. If not,
use 2. If you’re fussy and you want perfection, you can mix your own
leavening into the flour instead of using self-rising.
Warm or melt the butter and lard and add them. Add the cream cheese.
It should be soft. Blend it all in with a dough blender. If you like
rustic-looking scones with crumbs hanging off of them, blend until you
have pea-sized clods. If you want your scones to look neater, blend
until you have something that looks like sawdust.
Drain the liquor out of the raisins. Save two tablespoons. If you
don’t have time to soak them all night, heat the raisins, liquor, and
sugar together in a microwave until boiling and let them steep for half
an hour or more.
Place the egg and cream (chilled) in a bowl with two tablespoons of
the liquor used to soak the raisins and whip well with a whisk or mixer.
Pour into the dry ingredients. Pour in the raisins. Mix everything
using a large fork or your fingers. Only mix until all the flour is wet
and the raisins are distributed.
You can roll the dough out into a big circle and cut it into
wedge-shaped scones, or you can roll it out and use a biscuit cutter, or
you can divide the dough into a dozen or less equal-sized globs and
roll each one out separately. However you do it, you want to roll it
out to half or three-fourths of an inch in height. Rolling separate
globs will give you nice irregular-looking scones.
2 tbsp. melted butter or 1 tbsp.melted butter and 1 tbsp. bacon grease or lard
1 tbsp. cream
½ tbsp. beaten egg
several drops vanilla extract
dash of salt
Make sure all the ingredients are warm and mix them thoroughly.
Brush onto scones with pastry brush. Put confectioner’s sugar in a
strainer and shake it over each scone. Don’t let so much sugar
accumulate that it will not melt into the wash in the oven.
Place in 400-degree oven for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
Now, watch Richard Branson pump millions into a scone-development team to kick my ass.