Scones

Fantastic for breakfast or tea time - Strawberry, Blueberry, Peach and Nectarine are my favorites.

Think seasonally!

Don't bother with out of season fruit. And don't be afraid to experiment with flavors you like.  In the absence of summer berries consider pantry staples like cinnamon, currants, plumped sour cherries or dried cranberries, or crystallized ginger to make scones.


Makes 8 scones

YOU WILL NEED:

  • Cuisnart (if you don't have one, freeze your butter and grate it in a box grater. Return grated butter to the freezer for an hour after grating to refreeze, then add to the dry ingredients.
  • Parchment paper
  • Crystalized sugar

INGREDIENTS
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 oz cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups berries

METHOD

In Cuisinart, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda and pulse to combine.

Add butter to the Cuisinart and process just until the flour takes on a slight yellow color and there are no huge pieces of butter left.

At this point I usually empty the contents of the cuisinart bowl (herein referred to as THE MIX) into a large ziploc bag and freeze overnight. At the very least throw it in the freezer for an hour before proceeding.

When ready to bake:

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Set out a sheet pan fitted with parchment.

Dump the mix into a large bowl. Stir in the buttermilk with cutting-type motions. Be very delicate here. Do no over mix or over handle.

When mostly combined throw in your berries - about 1 1/2 cups. See below for varieties.

When the fruit is just combined into the dough, dump out onto a floured work surface, pat into a 10" circle and cut into 8 wedges.

Sprinkle with crystal sugar and bake at 350 (or 300 convection) until they are very nicely browned. They want to sound hollow when you tap on their undersides, too.

They bake for at least 40 minutes, but every oven is different, so get used to using your eyes and ears to determine baking times. Set the timer for 30 minutes and then peek at them every 5 min or so until they're done.

Varieties
Blueberry: When I use blueberries (frozen are fine) I also add a bit of freshly ground nutmeg. Lemon zest is nice with blueberries, too.

Strawberry: Only use fresh berries, and chop them up - the frozen ones have too much water.

Peach and nectarine are great summertime scones, chopped up into triangular dice.

Cranberry-Orange scones are great in the fall and winter. Add the zest of 1-2 oranges to the recipe.

I also like Currant scones with a bit of orange zest. I like to egg wash the top of the current ones, and cut them using a round biscuit cutter. Serve them with clotted cream if you can source it.

Cinnamon: Add about 2 T cinnamon to the plain mix and top the scones with cinnamon sugar before baking.

White Chocolate and Sour Cherry: I use equal measure of both, so 3/4 cup of each. And I don't bother to plump or chop the cherries. I like the ones from Trader Joes - delicious.

Ginger Scones: Add 1/2 cup finely chopped crystalized ginger to the mix, same as for cinnamon scones.