specialty of the house

Top-flight Herons scores with scones

specialty of the house Greg Cox seeks recipes from Triangle restaurants requested by readers.

ggcox@bellsouth.netNovember 27, 2011 

We recently celebrated our anniversary at Herons at the Umstead Hotel. Our waiter warned us that the apricot and goat cheese scones that were served as one of the bread choices were addictive. We had a lovely meal, and when it came time to order dessert, I asked for more scones. They were melt-in-your-mouth decadence. I would love to have this recipe so I can whip up my next "fix!" - Rhonda Gardner, Raleigh

Since its opening in 2007 in the deluxe Umstead Hotel, Herons has quickly established itself as one of the region's premier fine dining destinations. Posh setting, pampering service and an award-winning wine list contribute to an experience worthy of any celebration. But the foundation of Herons' stellar reputation is the seasonally evolving Southern-inspired menu of the Umstead's executive chef Scott Crawford.

Crawford generously shares his recipe for chèvre apricot scones, along with a little background.

"When I was working at the Georgian Room at the Cloister (a luxury resort on Saint Simons Island, Ga.), I used to make these black truffle and scallion scones. They were very popular," he said.

"When I came to Cary, I wanted to do something different. So I started working with my pastry chef, Daniel Benjamin, to come up with a new scone for each season. We introduced chèvre apricot this summer." The chef sometimes uses fresh apricots when they're at their peak season, but he notes that dried apricots work well, too.

Chèvre apricot scones are no longer on the menu, though Crawford is considering an encore performance next spring or summer. In the meantime, cranberry pecan scones are winning quite a few fans at the restaurant and will continue to be offered through the holiday season.

And, of course, now you can enjoy the chèvre apricot scones at home, whenever you like.

Specialty of the House gets recipes for local restaurant dishes. Send requests, including your name and city, to Specialty of the House, c/o The News & Observer or email ggcox@bellsouth.net

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