Fig and Oat Scones

People fall in love with odd things sometimes.

Once, I read about a woman who married a snake, and I've witnessed my roommate become dangerously enamored with a pair of white Marc Jacobs pumps. I scoffed them, but now I fear I've joined them. I confess I've fallen utterly into love with a scone.

It wasn't love at first site. I was tentative of the commitment (the recipe calls for day-before prep work, and letting the dough refrigerate overnight), and I even doubted our compatibility -- I mean, I like figs, but I'm no enthusiast. But when we began to prepare the scones last night, I began to feel that "something" -- just a bit when I sampled the dough. By the time we arranged them so neatly on the trays this morning, I knew it was love, and tasting them with jam made me want to pronounce my vows then and there: Until death do us part, you will be my favorite scone.

Special thanks to the Metropolitan Bakery Cookbook for introducing the happy couple.

4 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar, plus some to sprinkle
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
grated zest of two lemons
3 cups old-fashioned oats
2 cups (4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 1/2 cups dried black mission figs, stems removed, chopped
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 tbsp heavy or whipping cream

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, lemon zest and oats. Add the butter and toss. On a low speed, beat the butter into the flour until it becomes a coarse meal. Stir in the figs. Add the buttermilk and mix (we used a spoon here) until it comes together as a dough. Scoop the dough onto a floured surface and press it together into a ball, then divide it in thirds. Press each third into a 3/4-inch disk, wrap each one with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (we left it overnight, which is recommended). After refrigeration, pre-heat the oven to 375. Unwrap the disks and cut each one into 6 equal wedges, place them on a greased or nonstick baking sheet (you will need two), keeping the scones 2 inches apart. Brush the cream over them, and sprinkle some more granulated sugar. Bake the sheets one at a time on the center rack for about 25-30 minutes, until lightly golden. Serve slightly warm.