I don’t know how many of you remember the food blogging trend of, say, 2010. The Zuni Cafe Roasted Chicken was all over the internet (and I’m ashamed to say I still haven’t tried it). BUT! The recipe did stick with me and got me interested in researching why everyone thinks Zuni Cafe is so awesome and why the foodies of the internet have gone so crazy for these recipes.
I received my copy of The Zuni Cafe Cookbook last Christmas and have been itching to give some of the recipes a try. The cookbook itself is absolutely beautiful and, in my opinion, a work of art on its own. For anyone who isn’t already familiar, Zuni Cafe is a restaurant on Market Street in San Francisco specializing in French-inspired seasonal, bistro cuisine. Given the extreme success of her restaurant, the owner, Judy Rodgers created this cookbook as an homage to the success of Zuni Cafe. Sadly, Judy passed away in 2013, but her legacy lives on through her recipes and her restaurant.
Reading through the book, I determined why everyone waxes poetic about this cookbook. Judy Rodgers is a woman of my own heart.. a lover of exceptionally high quality food, a payer-attention-to-er of small flavor differences, and a firm believer that high quality ingredients outshine a fancy complicated recipe anytime. Basically, I love this woman and wish I could have met her.
Anyway, this recipe is 100% Zuni (no tweaking and no adulteration) and possibly the best scones that I have ever made or ever eaten. They were probably extra special because of my belief in the magic properties in all things Zuni, but also because they were so crumbly, buttery, and warm from the oven… Not to mention that orange flavor and the sweet pop of currants. Mmmm…Notes about making this recipe: I was mildly confused when making the dough. The amount of egg/milk that went in just didn’t seem to be enough and the dough wasn’t pulling together like I expected, i.e. I would have added more liquid if I were making a pie dough or pastry crust. But DO NOT be tempted! The dough will come together, you just may need to work it a little with your hands or a spoon until the flour absorbs the liquid. Possibly the butter is melting a little in this process, but I didn’t worry about it. The end result was perfect. Fun fact: in the cookbook, Judy says that these scones outsold their pan au chocolat’s every morning. I was skeptical of this claim as I am a pan au chocolat addict (did you know you can buy them frozen at Trader Joes and make them in your oven every single day? Fat kid confessions…) However, now after making these I am a true believer.
I guess I lied a little when I said there was no adjustments to this recipe… and technically there really isn’t, I just made a quick addition that I think pairs perfectly with these scones. I made a quick little orange honey butter to accompany the scones. All I can say is wow, people. Please do this! It’s easy and if you’re making this recipe you’ll already have the necessary ingredients- All you need to do is soften a little butter, add a little orange zest, a little honey, and voila! The perfect topping for an already perfect scone.So thank you Judy Rodgers for sharing your expertise with the world. I’ve got to jump on the bandwagon and get started on that Zuni Chicken recipe… You have me convinced it will be sensational.
Zuni Cafe Orange Currant Scones (with Orange Butter)
To make orange-currant scones
To make orange butter