Flipping through the March issue of Bon Appetit (which influenced me to make pastitsio last week), I stumbled upon a bacon and date scone recipe from acclaimed Venice, Calif., restaurant Gjelina. I'd been hearing a lot about this place recently, so I thought I'd see what all the hype was about and give the scones a shot.
I made a couple changes to the recipe. For one, I used figs instead of dates (I personally love the combo). Also, I used maple bacon—cured by me, of course.
Bacon and Fig Scones (adapted from Gjelina via Bon Appetit)
Yield: 8 scones
10 ounces thick-cut maple bacon slices, diced
2 cups AP flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup dried figs, roughly chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter
2/3 cup buttermilk
Turbinado (raw) sugar for sprinkling
1. Cook bacon in skillet over medium heat until cooked through but still tender (not crisp), turning occasionally. Transfer to paper towels to drain and cool. Reserve bacon drippings in a bowl.
2. Whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add bacon and figs to flour mixture. Toss to coat. Coarsely grate butter into mixture and use a fork to incorporate. Add buttermilk and stir until large, moist clumps form. Knead mixture with hands in bowl until dough forms.
3. Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Pat into an 8-inch round and cut into 8 wedges; transfer scones to parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and chill 1 hour.
4. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush scones with reserved bacon drippings and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake scones 16-18 minutes, or until they're golden brown and cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Turns out, Gjelina is now on my "Must Visit" restaurant list. Browsing its menu, it looks like I'll have to try the crispy Niman Ranch pork belly with soft polenta, bitter greens and apple cider. Or maybe the grilled radicchio with bacon, fontina and tomato confit. Or both.
Gjelina: I'm officially under your influence. Do you need me to watch your cat?