Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mmmmm...blueberry scones!

Geoff and I went to a farmer's market in Pawtucket on Sunday. My intention was only to get some corn and some peaches, but I was talked into buying some blueberries as well by a sweet old lady. That night I was pondering what to do with these berries. Back in Maine, blueberries grow small and sweet. Here they are much larger and juicier, but don't have as much flavor. The Maine ones I like on cereal or by themselves, these large ones not so much. I came across a recipe for blueberry scones on the Joy of Baking website, and at 9pm Sunday night, went about making my first ever scones. The recipe is below.


Scone Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
6 T chilled, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk or cream

(NOTES: I used salted butter as it's what I had on hand, and just left out the 1/8 tsp salt. I also used whole milk instead of cream and it worked fine.)

Streusel Topping Ingredients:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 T chilled, unsalted butter, cut into pieces

(NOTES: Again, I had to use salted butter, and I added a little extra cinnamon and brown sugar to keep it as sweet as possible. It came out fine, but I'm sure the most desired effect would be achieved with unsalted butter)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place rack in middle of oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

For the Scones: In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.

(NOTES: I do not have a pastry blender so I used two knives. Being new to the baking scene I wasn't exactly sure what to do, but I basically used the knives to cut the butter into smaller chunks within the mixture while stirring it through. It worked fine so I guess I did ok!)

Gently fold in the blueberries. In a small measuring cup combine the cream, beaten egg and vanilla. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough or the scones will be tough.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 1 1/2 inches thick. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into four pie-shaped wedges (triangles). Place the scones on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with a little cream or milk.

(NOTES: I found it a little difficult transferring the scones while keeping their shape. The dough was pretty sticky! Some turned out pretty...others were a little funny. I think with practice it will get better.)

For the Streusel Topping: In a small bowl mix together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until crumbly. Top each scone with a teaspoon or two of the streusel mixture. Cover and refrigerate any leftover streusel mixture.

Bake the scones until nicely browned, about 18 - 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a scone comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. These are best eaten the day they are made but can be covered and stored for a few days.

Makes 8 scones

I had some trouble unsticking the scones from the paper as the blueberries had leaked and were sticky. They came out soooo delicious! Geoff and I split one when they came out of the oven, then refrigerated the rest for breakfast. They were soooo soft and delicious Monday morning, and only a little more chewy this morning when we finished them off. I think next time I will add more streusel to each scone as I like things sweet. Overall I call it a success! Please try these...they are actually pretty easy and so worth the little effort!

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