Makes 12 (3-inch) or 24 (2-inch) corncakes.
Note: Use these fragrant cakes as a base for strawberry shortcake, or garnish with rhubarb curd. Author Nancy Silverton suggests using extra-large eggs. From “Pastries from the La Brea Bakery” (Villard Books, $35).
• 3 3/4 c. unbleached pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for shaping dough
• 1 3/4 c. yellow cornmeal
• 1 tbsp. plus 1/4 tsp. baking powder
• 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
• 3/4 c. light brown sugar, lightly packed
• 1 1/2 c. (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-in. cubes and frozen
• 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
• 2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. mild-flavored honey, such as clover
• 1/2 c. plus 2 tsp. heavy cream, plus extra for brushing tops of scones
• 24 small tufts of fresh rosemary for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade (or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment), combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, chopped rosemary and brown sugar, and process (or mix) on low until incorporated. Add butter and pulse on and off a few times (or mix on low), until mixture is pale yellow and the consistency of fine meal.
Transfer mixture to a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in eggs, honey and cream and whisk together the liquids. Using one hand, draw in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
Wash and dry your hands and dust them with flour. On a lightly floured work surface, turn out dough and knead a few times to gather it together into a ball. Roll or pat dough into a circle about 3/4 inch thick. Using a 2-inch or 3-inch round cutter, cut out scones, cutting as closely as possible and keeping trimmings intact.
Gather scraps, pat and press the pieces back together and cut out remaining dough. Place scones 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with cream and poke 2 small tufts of rosemary into the center of each (optional).
Bake until slightly browned and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes before transferring scones to a wire rack to cool.