Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Blueberry Cream Scones

Behold, the scone.  So few ingredients, so ethereal when executed well, so leaden when executed poorly. I speak from experience because my first batch was a comedy of errors. I was doubling the recipe, but forgot to double the flour until I was about to cut them out. Noting the dough was extremely wet, it dawned on me that I had left half the flour out. I mixed it in with golden raisins and all seemed fine. Knowing scones bake in the blink of an eye in my oven, I set the timer for 18 minutes, 2 less than the recipe called for. When my nose told me they were done, I peeked in at them, thought "but it's not 18 minutes yet" and left them in. Duh! They were browned and smelled done. Why didn't I pull them out??? When I did take them out, they were very brown and the golden raisins were little black knobby things. Accustomed to leaden coffee house scones, my coworkers thought they were pretty good. Tasting one, I knew all my errors cost me the fluffy, flakey texture I was seeking.

So even though I overslept yesterday morning, I was determined to make these scones again. I'd leave out the raisins, sub blueberries instead, add all the flour at the correct time, and take them out when they were done, no matter what the timer said.

This time, I was rewarded with the crispy outside and fluffy inside I was hoping for. These were fabulous, even to a non-blueberry lover like me. And who can beat a recipe you can prepare on a morning when you sleep an hour later than you planned and still make it to work in a respectable time?

Here's what I did that made these such a success this time:
  • I cut the butter into small cubes and stuck in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the butter to the dry ingredients and turn your mixer on to the lowest setting. When your mixture looks partly like small peas and partly like oats, pour in the cream mixture.
  • When mixture still looks wet and floury, remove bowl from the mixer, and using a spatula, gently mix in the berries
  • My triangular scones are never the same size, so I cut mine with a biscuit cutter.
These fabulous cream scones were chosen by Lynne of Cafe LynnyLu as this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. I'm so glad I gave these another try because if I hadn't I never would have found the perfect scone recipe. Thanks so much, Lynne! Here's my version of the recipe, but if you want the original as Dorie wrote it, Lynne has it for you here. You can find the other TWD bakers and what they thought of these here.

Cream Scones with Blueberries - adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours
Printer-friendly recipe
3 tablespoons sugar
Grated zest of one lemon
1 large egg
2/3 cup/155 grams heavy whipping cream
2 cups/280 grams all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and frozen for about ten minutes
3/4 cup blueberries (or raspberries, chopped cherries, strawberries, or peaches, etc.)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

In a small bowl, add the zest to the sugar and with your fingers or a spoon, rub the zest and sugar together to bring out the oils from the zest. 

In a measuring cup or small bowl, stir the egg and cream together.

Add the flour, baking powder, salt and the zest and sugar mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and turn it on to the very lowest setting. Drop in the butter and mix until the mixture is a combination of pea sized pieces and pieces the size of oats.

Pour the cream mixture over the dry ingredients and when there is still both liquid and flour visible, stop the mixer. Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the blueberries. Gently mix them in with a rubber spatula. Your mixture should have bits of flour peeking out and look pretty shaggy.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Pat the dough into a rough circle that's about 1 1/4 inches in high, and using a biscuit cutter dipped in flour, cut as many scones as you can, keeping the cuts as close as possible (a little divit on one side will disappear in the oven) and place each scone on the baking sheet. (At this point, the scones can be frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight. Don't defrost before baking- just add about 2 minutes to the baking time.)

Bake the scones for 16 to 19 minutes, or until their tops are golden brown and firm. Transfer them to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before serving, or wait for them to cool to room temperature.
Makes about 12 scones


Tia said...

my mouth is watering at the sound of these! mmm great job!

Kayte said...

I had to bake them twice as well because I didn't get any the first round...I was busy cleaning up, throwing in laundry, doing a little of this and that, and when I was ready to sit down and eat a scone, they were GONE. LOL. So I made them again this morning as everyone raved about them...so so good. Yours look beautiful from here, and I want to try them with the fruits you used. Nice job.

Cindy said...

Sometimes cooking is a comedy of errors! The first batch of Snicker doodles I made for a 4H fair was just that. I added too much salt. My mother in her ever frugal nature figured if we eight times the batch it would work. That was 45 years ago, I have yet to make a batch of Snicker-doodles!
But...Scones are perfect! I love your addition of lemon zest and blueberries. Beautiful!

Jessica of My Baking Heart said...

These sound amazing, Leslie! And they're so cute, too! :)

Nicole said...

Your second batch is perfect! I've never thought of making scones with fresh fruit, only dried! It;s nice the people you took them to liked them. It's good that people aren't picky!

Anonymous said...

You must listen to your nose!

I love raisins, but the blueberry version sounds really good for summer.

spike. said...

Glad they worked out the second time!

TeaLady said...

Don't you hate when you don't listen to yourself. Happens every time. Despite what you said they look great. Love the idea of blue berries. Have to try that.

margot said...

Great job on the second try, the scones look terrific! I am surprised I have not had more huge disasters when I've scaled recipes. I loved these and can't wait to try more variations, the blueberries sound yummy.

Tracey said...

It always takes me forever to make a recipe when I'm scaling back because I have to triple-check the ingredients to make sure I'm not screwing things up :) Glad these worked out in the end!

Di said...

I'm glad you finally got a batch you were happy with. =) I'm stubborn like that, too.