Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dr. Pellinore Warthrop's Favorite Raspberry Scones

Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, aka The Monstrumologist of Rick Yancey's horrifying series, spends much of his time at his necropsy table in his basement.  When a new specimen comes his way, Warthrop works around the clock, often forgetting to eat for a day or two.  When he finally emerges from his lab, his food of choice is typically scones.  It's one of those great character quirks you can look for in each installment of the series.  Here are some passages from Yancey's books showing Warthrop's cravings for these delectables:

Book One: The Monstrumologist:

If I simply returned to bed, he would wait until I was on the brink of sleep again, and them my name would echo throughout the house, Will Henreeee! until my will was broken.  Down to the kitchen, then, I trooped, where I set a pot of water on to boil and plated the scones.  I prepared his tea, leaning against the sink and yawning incessantly while it steeped.  I loaded the tray and carried it back to his room...

"What is this?  Tea and scones!  How thoughtful of you, Will Henry."

Book Two: The Curse of the Wendigo

The monstrumologist retreated to his shuttered study, where he brooded in a gloom both actual and metaphysical, refusing to even acknowledge my halfhearted attempts to alleviate his suffering.  I brought him raspberry scones (his favorite) from the baker's.  I shared with him the latest gossip gleaned from the society pages (he held a strange fascination for them) and the local doings of our little hamlet of New Jerusalem.  He would not be comforted..."

Book Three: The Isle of Blood

I was dispatched on the occasional errand, for tea and pastries (the doctor's profound disappointment that there was not a single scone on board would have been comical, if I had not been the one to bear the brunt of his displeasure) and newspapers, any and all I could find, in any language (the monstrumologist was conversant in twenty).  He read, drank copious amounts of Darjeeling tea, he paced the compartment like a caged tiger, or stared out the window, pulling and pinching on his lower lip until it grew fat and red...

My husband and I have been reading Yancey's series for the Halloween season, and since my Dearest is also known in my household as "Scone Man", I recruited him to bake Dr. Warthrop's Favorite Raspberry Scones. Here's the recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled
1 cup fresh raspberries
3/4 cup half-and-half
2 eggs
1 egg plus turbinado sugar for topping (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cut butter into mixture of flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add raspberries and toss to mix.
3. In separate bowl, beat cream and 2 eggs, and pour gradually into dry ingredients, stirring with a rubber
spatula until doughy. Knead about 3-4 times, until dough comes together. Don't over-knead. (If dough
is too sticky, add in up to 1/3 cup extra flour).

Hmm...looks a little how I imagine a nidus could look.

4. Roll out dough on floured surface. Use a biscuit cutter to cut into rounds.
5. Brush tops with a beaten egg and sprinkle with turbinado sugar (optional).

6. Bake on ungreased sheet about 20 minutes at 375 degrees. Serve warm with butter, jam, or lemon curdand a hot cup of Darjeeling tea.

Serve these at your Monstrumologist Book Club reading, or some morning when you're thankful the sun has chased the dark night and the monsters away. You'll devour them like a horde of hungry Anthropophagi. They may even be tasty enough to curb the hunger of the Wendigo. Happy reading and eating!

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