Sunday, May 2, 2010

Blueberry scones

I have a secret! My husband loves to bake! He loves to bake scones in particular. For Valentine's Day, I got him a cookbook, The America's Test Kitchen, Family Baking Book. We had some very expensive blueberries that were about to go bad ($12 for the pint) and I certainly didn't want to waste them, so I found a recipe in the cookbook for berry scones.

Here's the recipe with the adaptations that he made:

Preheat oven to 425'

8 TBSP (1 stick) butter
1 cup blueberries (their recipe called for 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup heavy cream (you can use whole milk)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

1) If possible, freeze the butter before making the scones, then grate it with your cheese grater. At this point, you can stick the blueberries in the freezer until you need them, we skipped this step and used them right out of the fridge, but you can buy frozen ones at the store and use them straight out of the freezer when necessary.

2) Whisk the heavy cream (in cook's illustrated, it called for whole milk- we only had cream) and sour cream together and refrigerate until needed. Dave likes to beat them until foamy with the mixers.

3) Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Add the grated butter and use your fingers to toss the mixture until fully coated.

4) Fold in the chilled milk mixture with a spatula until just combined and do not overmix.

5) Turn the dough out onto the counter. Knead it gently about six to eight times, until it just holds together (like a ragged ball- direct quote from the cookbook). If it is sticky, add a bit more flour.

6) Roll the dough into a 12 inch square. Fold the top towards the center, then the bottom up to meet it, then fold the sides in towards the center, so you have about a 4 inch square. Chill in the freezer for about 5 minutes.

7) Transfer the dough to a lightly floured counter and form a 12 inch square again. Sprinkle the berries on top and press them lightly into the dough with your hand. Carefully loosen the dough from the countertop and roll into a tight log. Press the seams closed.

8) Press down firmly on the log so it forms a rectangle approximately 12" by 4". Using a knife, cut the dough, using a floured knife, into 4 rectangles, and then cut each rectangle into 2 triangles.

9) Place the scones onto the cookie sheet or in your scone pan, Bake until they are light golden brown, approximately 18-25 minutes

These scones are a tie for the best ones he's ever made! I've never been disappointed with a cook's illustrated recipe! One thing he didn't do, which they recommended in the recipe was before baking, brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle on a little sugar, we felt they tasted superb even without this.

Well, that's all for about a week now, we'll be on vacation, but I'm sure I'll have some good updates when we return from our trip next week! If all goes well, I'll have read the manual on how to use my new flash and my pictures won't be so dark anymore.

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