Thursday, July 31, 2008
me: "Look at all these blackberries!"
Hubby: "What are you going to do with them?
me: "I don't know, any suggestions?"
Hubby: "Blackberry scones maybe?" (undoubtedly an idea inspired by a visit to a favorite mountain bakery in Colorado while we were on vacation)
me:"hmmm" (Wheels start turning. I go to the computer and type in scones at my favorite recipe sites. I study the recipes, read the reviews and wonder whether to use a recipe with cream, or a lighter half-and-half, or buttermilk. Should I use my preferred all-butter or a combination of butter and shortening like some recipes suggest. Should I pick a sweet recipe with ample amounts of sugar, or one with less?...one with only baking powder or powder and a little soda??? I go to my extensive and ever-growing cookbook collection and find a recipe in my trusty old copy of Baking with Julia and decide that this is the one - it uses buttermilk, all butter, and a modest amount of sugar. Julia has never let me down. It's quite a process, but I can't waste good ingredients and hand-picked blackberries on a recipe that may not turn out! The recipe I choose HAS to be a good one! But too much time spent on research and the blackberries will be past their prime...by now you're thinking I'm crazy...all this over a little scone?)
the next day...
Hubby: "What are you making?"
me: "Blackberry scones"
Hubby goes to work...
me and children: eat scones right out of the oven and rave...
later that evening...
Hubby: "Why is a piece of our good china out?" (surprise - I haven't done the dishes yet)
me: "I was taking a picture of the scones."
Hubby: (gives a look like "ooouuu-kaaaay...") "Are there any left?"
me: "there's one on the counter"
Hubby: (with a look of disappointment/astonishment) "Only one?"
(I froze half of the scones thinking of my parents visiting later this month and gave a few away to friends - we'd be very large people if we ate all of what I bake!-plus, Julia tells me in her recipe that these are best right out of the oven...don't want to leave many around for the next day...)
Hubby: pours a glass of milk, eats scone, and raves...
Blackberry Buttermilk Scones
adapted from Baking with Julia
makes about 12 scones
3 cups AP flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup buttermilk
1 T lemon zest
3/4 cup fresh or frozen (unthawed) berries
1 egg, beaten with a little water for egg wash
sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 425. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add cold butter, and with your fingertips, work the butter into the flour until the mixture looks crumbly (small pieces of butter coated with flour). Add buttermilk and zest and mix with a fork until ingredients are just moistened. With floured hands, turn dough out onto a floured board or countertop, pressing the dough in a ball so it holds together. Flatten the dough into a rectangle about 1 1/2 inches thick. Sprinkle the berries on top and very gently fold the dough over onto the berries from all sides like an envelope to mix the berries in among the dough. Spread the dough out again into a rectangle 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick. With a large knife or pastry scraper, cut the dough into approx. 4" X 4" squares and cut the squares into triangles. Carefully transfer the triangles to a cookie sheet lined with parchment or silpat liner. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 12 minutes.
Labels: Breakfast/Muffins/Sweet Rolls