Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Blueberry Lemon Scones

Before about 2 years ago, I had never eaten a scone, much less made one, but from the very beginning, as I researched this delicious breakfast treat, I knew that I had my work cut out for me. I mean scones have gotten a bad reputation. Most people expect them to have a kind of sawdust texture, dry and tasteless! So I tried tons of recipes and tweeked every one to get my own version just right, ( not just my opinion!), I knew I could not stop playing around with the recipe until I had everything just right.
Now, I'm happy to report that Saxby's Coffee Shop carries my scones in 3 of their locations and I sell out at the local farmers markets.
Well, I've decided to share...no, not my recipe!!...but my technique for making my scones.
If you want a good scone recipe, just check out the many excellent bakers' recipes on line. Dorie Greenspan has several, just to name one.
I've included lots of pictures so I hope you'll take the time of scroll down, view my step by step instructions and go forth and bake yourself some scones!!
One last note, the scones I chose to show are blueberry lemon. If you decide to make, let's say..cranberry orange, just swap out cranberries for blueberries and change the lemon zest to orange zest.
Put all the dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl and whisk. Zest about half a lemon into the dry mix and work it in with your fingers.

Make sure you have your fat(or fats) very cold. Cut into small pieces and again using your fingers, work the butter ( or butter and shortening) into the flour. Some pieces of fat will be the size of peas and some smaller, some larger.

The mixture should look like above.

It's very important to have all your utensils ready so you don't have to go fishing around in the drawers with sticky fingers to find something.
I use a bench scraper, spatula, fork, dinner knife.
Have a small bowl with about a half cup of flour nearby to flour your hands and the surface onto which you'll be working.
Also have a flat baking sheet (that will fit into your freezer) with a piece of waxed paper ready on the side because these guys are going into the freezer once they're all made and cut...you'll see!

In a small bowl, beat your egg then add the cream.

I throw in a handful of white ( golden) raisins for a bit of extra texture no matter what flavor I'm making.

Pour the wet ( egg and cream) into the dry ingredients and using the fork, stir the mixture gently. If it looks a bit dry, add just a teaspoon of cream at a time and stir.
Now is the time to add the berries. Just sprinkle about 1/4 to 1/3 cup into the mix and stir one or two more times with the fork.
Sprinkle your work surface with flour.
Replace the fork with a spatula.

Once you've replaced the fork with the spatula, dump the mixture onto a floured work surface.
Use your knife to scrape and remaining dough from the spatula ( it's easier to use a knife than getting your fingers all sticky).

Flour your fingers and gently press the dough on top to form a square. The dough should be approx. 1 1/2 inches thick. Use the bench scraper to make nice straight edges. Coat the scraper with flour to prevent sticking. You will be coating the scraper alot!
Once you have formed the dough into the square, coat the scraper on both sides and cut the square in half.

After you have cut the dough in half and you have 2 rectangles, dust the scraper once more with flour and scoop up each half and place onto the prepared sheet covered with waxed paper.
Place the dough rectangles into the freezer, no need to cover them at this point, and let them harden. This will take at least an hour, maybe more.
Once they have hardened, wrap them in the waxed paper and then put into a zip lock bag and put back into the freezer to be used later ( or you could bake them now).
I use this method of freezing, even if I want to bake them the same day. I just find they bake alot better frozen.
When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven to 400.
Take the scones out of the freezer and using a sharp large knife, cut the rectangles in half, then cut again to make triangles. ( You will be baking them frozen so don't allow them to thaw).
Place the triangles onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Space about 2 " apart.
Brush the tops of each scone with a little of the cream you used in making the scone. Then sprinkle with raw sugar to give them a bit of crunch.
Bake the frozen scones for about 23 minutes. Rotate the sheet pan about halfway through.
The tops should be golden.
They are absolutely best warm, just out of the oven. The outside is crunch and the inside is light and delicious!!
If you have any left over, you can always freeze them. (Thaw and warm in the oven.)

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