I have a confession to make. Until I wrote The Diva Serves High Tea, I was not a fan of scones. I hang my head in shame. It seemed like everyone else loved them, but every time I tried one it was like taking a bite of the Sahara. They were so dry, I could barely pry my mouth open.
But if I was going to write about tea, I had to tackle the scone. And to my surprise, they're delicious. My best guess is that I was eating mass production scones that were made to serve a crowd.
So I studied scone recipes. They're fairly basic, after all, and not difficult to make if you use a food processor. Recipes for pumpkin scones and bacon cheddar scones are in the book. Since we're getting close to the release date, I thought I would try some blueberry and strawberry scones. It's hazy and overcast here, and we're waiting for more drenching rains, so scones seemed just right with a cup of tea in the afternoon.
To be honest, this recipe worried me a little bit. I've seen it on the net and in my cookbooks, so I'm guessing it's nothing terribly new. I put my own little twist on it by combining berries, but you could use any berries you like. So why did it worry me? Because it's so dry, which I suppose is the reason some recipes include an egg. Even after the berries and the cream are incorporated, it's extremely dry and doesn't cling together as well as I would have liked. But I forged ahead.
One of the tricks I learned from America's Test Kitchen is to pat the dough into a 9-inch cake pan. Don't mash it, but pat it in. When you flip it onto parchment paper, you have a lovely round to cut. So I took the too-crumbly-for-my-taste dough and patted it into the pan, hoping that might help it stick together. It probably helped a bit, but it still looked messy.
However, the payoff is scones that fairly melt in your mouth. Seriously. They're wonderful straight from the oven. I had planned to make a little lemon drizzle for them, but they just don't need it.
1 cup mixed blueberries and strawberries
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons COLD butter
squeeze of lemon
1 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 400. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
Wash the berries and dry on a paper towel. Cut the strawberries into small pieces and measure out 1 cup of berries.
Place flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor. Pulse 12 times to combine. Cut the butter into small pieces and scatter over the flour. Pulse to combine 12 times. Squeeze just a little lemon over the berries. Place the flour mixture into a bowl. Pour the cream and the berries over top of it. Fold to combine about 15 times. Pour out and knead about 12 times until it forms a loose ball. Place in a 9-inch cake pan and gently spread and press into place. Flip onto the parchment paper.
Cut in half with a long knife by pressing down. (Do not use a sawing motion.) Separate the halves slightly. Cut each half into four pieces, again pressing the knife into the dough to cut it. Separate the pieces slightly. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until lightly golden on the top.
Serve with sweetened cream, jam, or clotted cream.
|Dry berries on a towel.|
|One cup of mixed berries.|
|Sprinkle butter on flour mixture.|
|Pres into a cake pan.|
|Cut by pressing with a knife. Do not saw!|
|Separate and bake.|