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These scones won’t curb your enthusiasm

Recipe: Strawberries and cream scones with orange zest

These strawberry and cream scones are perfect for a spring brunch or tea.

These strawberry and cream scones are perfect for a spring brunch or tea. Debbie Arrington

The recent finale of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” put me in the mood for scones.

As Larry David fans know, scones were a running gag (and sometimes “dry” humor) through several seasons of his show. How would Larry rate these scones? “Prettaaay, prettaaay good!”

Key is the texture. Scones are basically elevated biscuits. (Don’t dare call them “fancy muffins.”) So, the texture should be biscuitlike, not overly crumbly. Handle the dough gently.

Traditional scones are topped with clotted cream and jam. These little gems need no extras; the fruit is baked right in.

Finely chopped peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries or other soft fruit can be substituted for the strawberries. Using a food processor makes incorporating the butter into the flour a snap.

Strawberries and cream scones

Makes about 10 scones

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar (divided)

3 tablespoons cold butter

2 eggs

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon orange zest

1/3 cup strawberries, hulled and finely chopped

1 tablespoon water

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease.

Two scones on a plate
These scones have the berries baked right in.

In a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, salt and 1 tablespoon sugar. Pulse briefly to combine.

Cut butter into cubes and add to flour mixture. Pulse a few times to combine.

Lightly beat 1 egg. Stir in cream. Add egg-cream mixture to flour-butter mixture. Pulse briefly to combine. Add orange zest; pulse again.

Fold in chopped strawberries. Pulse briefly to combine.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead gently with floured hands 10 times. Dough will be sticky and soft. Add a tablespoon or more of flour if needed to make it easier to handle.

Cut dough into 3-inch triangles. With a spatula, gently transfer scones onto prepared baking sheet.

In a small bowl, beat remaining 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush over top of scones. Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon sugar over top.

Bake at 450 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden.

Serve warm.

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Garden Checklist for week of June 23

Get to work in the mornings while it’s still cool.

* Irrigate early in the day; your plants will appreciate it.

* Generally, tomatoes need deep watering two to three times a week, but don't let them dry out completely. That can encourage blossom-end rot.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the early hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Avoid pot “hot feet.” Place a 1-inch-thick board under container plants sitting on pavement. This little cushion helps insulate them from radiated heat.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants. Mulch to conserve moisture and reduce heat stress.

* Cut back Shasta daisies after flowering to encourage a second bloom in the fall.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes. 

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

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