The October 2009 edition of Martha Stewart Living has a great article in it on cast iron gem pans. I am a huge cast iron fan and am especially fond of gem pans. Mostly, I use them for making cornbread gems in. You can find them in so many fun shapes and the antique ones are just treasures. I just love the pictures featured in the magazine. They really show off what beauties these really are.
Today I thought I’d share yet another recipe from Judith Fertig’s Prairie Home Breads. I baked these in a cast iron gem pan. So yummy! Almost like a cross between a muffin and a cake donut. I have determined to get my gem pans out more often and to use them more for everyday baking projects instead of just when I’m trying to do something special.
Old Fashioned Graham Gems
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
¾ cup graham or stone-ground whole wheat flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
¼ cup sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 2 cast iron gem pans (use mini-muffin pans if you don’t have a gem pan), set aside. In a small bowl, combine the milk and cider vinegar; set aside to sour for a few minutes. Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs to blend, then whisk in the sugar and butter. Whisk in soured milk. Stir in the dry ingredients, ½ cup at a time, until you have a stiff batter. If you are using a cast iron gem pan, preheat your pan, if not, skip that step, spoon the batter into the prepared gem cups (or muffin cups), filling them 2/3rds full. In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients. Sprinkle about ¼ tsp on each gem. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the gems have risen and pulled away from the sides of the pan. Serve warm.
I found these great tips on the internet. Although she refers to them as Gem Scones, this must be a term used outside of the US. They really have nothing to do with scones.
Baking in a Gem Scone Iron by Pauline Smith
What is a Gem Scone Iron?-
Also referred to as a "Gem Scone Tin" or a "Gem Scone Tray". These are very solid metal baking trays, with hemispherical indents for baking little cakes in. The older ones are made of cast iron. They are heavy! More "modern" ones are made of cast aluminium. They are still quite heavy!
Looking after a gem scone iron-
The first thing to know is, don't drop it on your foot. It will hurt! The second thing to know is that cast iron, although very strong, could be a little brittle, so a really sharp fall could break the iron. How do I know? I managed it! There's not much chance of that though, I think I am just gifted in that area. The third thing to know is, if your iron is made of iron, don't let it rust. After a good wash, get it totally dry (I usually pop it back in the warm oven to bet bone dry before putting away). You could also put a really thin smear of oil on the iron.
Baking with a gem scone iron-
Preheat your oven, and while you make your mix, put the scone iron into the oven. Greased but empty. It will get VERY hot. Just as the mix is ready to go, pull out the scone iron, fill it very quickly, and pop it right back. The iron will be so hot that the base of the scones will be cooked almost immediately. On a good day, your little cakes will be baked in minutes, and will pop out, almost spherical! Oh, and here's a note - "gem" scones are nothing like "scones". "Gem scones" are a little round cake; scones are cut from a rolled out dough.
Thank you to Jen for hosting Tasty Tuesday and Lisa for hosting Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday.