Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Amy's Corner Bakeshop's Scones: A Simple Family Recipe For a Versatile, Perfected Pastry

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Welcome to Sugar High, a series devoted solely to spotlighting the best ways to sate a sweet tooth in St. Louis. We'll sample the best the city has to offer at restaurants, bakeries and holes-in-the-wall, and provide some insight on how these confections are made along the way.

Cranberry-orange scones. | Photos by Mabel Suen
  • Cranberry-orange scones. | Photos by Mabel Suen

Amy's Corner Bakeshop (4476 Chouteau Avenue; 314-371-2253) is as traditional as it gets for a homegrown American bakery. The Grove cafe opened in 2013 and offers the best of owner Amy Verkamp-McArthy's family recipes. Each week, her grandmother even comes in to bake a classic cake, available by the slice.

Alongside cinnamon rolls, muffins, cookies, coffee cake and gooey-butter cake, one special item always makes it into the pastry case every time the shop opens its doors: scones, made with a recipe perfected over the years by Verkamp-McArthy's mother.

See also: First Look: Amy's Corner Bakeshop

Chef-owner Amy Verkamp-McArthy.
  • Chef-owner Amy Verkamp-McArthy.

"We ate a lot of bad scones while we were growing up," says Verkamp-McArthy with a laugh. "But she really did her homework, and after many versions, it's just right. It's very simple and uncomplicated -- we find beauty in the uncomplicated."

To Verkamp-McArthy, the ideal scone is a perfect mix of biscuit and cake: not too crumbly, soft on the inside and a little crunchy on top from a light sprinkling of raw sugar. Her cream-based scones get their delicate texture from light handling, and the barely sweetened base serves as an open canvas for a rotating cast of flavors.

Blueberry scone.
  • Blueberry scone.

On any given day, scones can come in options including blueberry, cranberry orange, ginger pear, cinnamon apple, chocolate chip, and Nutella and banana. Over weekends, look for savory flavors like bacon and cheddar. Each pastry lets patrons in on a family secret, one suited to passing on for generations to come.

Previously on Sugar High: - Vincent Van Doughnut's "Mini Vinnies" - Piccione Pastry's Sfogliatella Riccia - The Feasting Fox's Warm Apple Strudel - I Scream Cake's "I Scream Sammys" - LuciAnna's Pastries' Chocolate-Mousse Cheesecake - Spoon Baking Company's Spoon Cookie - Insomnia Cookies' S'mores Deluxe Cookie - Living Room's Peanut-Butter Chocolate-Chip Cookie - Stimulus Baking Company's Pad-Thai Cupcake - La Bonne Bouchée's Strawberry-Mousseline Cake - Pie Oh My's Pumpkin-Maple Pecan Pie - Annie Moons' Banana-Split Muffins - Cyrano's Carrot Cake - Whitebox Eatery's Cheese Pastry - Comet Coffee's Mousse Cakes - Whisk's Apple-Cinnamon "Pop Tartlets" - The London Tea Room's Blueberry-Lemon Cake - Corner 17's Fluffy Ice - The Fountain on Locust's "Banana Bourbon" Sundae - Vinnie's Pinwheel Baklava - Red Fox Baking & Catering's Lemon Tart - Sugarfire Smokehouse's Crack Pie - Russell on Macklind's Coconut Cake - The Kitchen Sink's Sweet Potato Fries - Giovanni's Kitchen's Panna Cotta Trio - Crepes Etc.'s Crepe Cake - Cafe Ventana's Beignets - Frida's Raspberry-Chocolate Avocado Mousse - India Palace's Gulab Jamun - Melt's "Violet Beauregarde" Waffle - Brevan's Patisserie's "Brendan" - Winslow's Home's Chocolate Cake with Espresso Meringue - La Patisserie Chouquette's Eclair - Black Bear Bakery's Raspberry Oat Bar - Gelateria's London Fog Gelato - 4 Seasons Bakery's German Cheesecake - Libertine's "Candy Bar" - Cleveland-Heath's Old Fashioned Cherry Pie - Schlafly Tap Room and Bottleworks' Sticky Toffee Pudding

We're always looking for some sweet ideas. E-mail the author at mabel.suen@riverfronttimes.com

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