Monday, February 21, 2011

Tea and Scones, Anyone?

Much like coffee, I used to believe that scones were an acquired taste, most likely stemming from my memory of the scones my mom and grandma used to eat ... I recall them as dry, crumbly and tasteless. (I also recall the coffee they used to drink as Folger's, so clearly they didn't have very sophisticated palates!) Luckily, I eventually gave both coffee and scones another chance. And it's a good thing, because now they're two of my favorites (especially together!).

Members of the biscuit family, scones are of Scottish origin, which I find somehow regal. I don't know why, but I always feel hoity-toity when I'm eating a scone. They make me think of tea and crumpets. (Which I've never actually had, but apparently crumpets are much like English muffins ... which means they must also be delicious. I'll find a recipe and let you know.)

Hoity-toity or not, I love a good scone, but rarely make them myself. I mostly leave the scone-baking to Stephanie because she's become a pro. But this weekend I had a hankering for scones and a pint of blueberries, so I went in search of the perfect recipe. And came pretty close!

Blueberry Streusel Scones
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk

Streusel Topping Ingredients:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter. The mixture should resemble coarse crumbs. Gently fold in blueberries.

In a small bowl, combine egg, vanilla and milk. Add to flour mixture and stir just until the dough comes together.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead gently 4 or 5 times. Pat into a 7-inch circle about 1 1/2 inches thick. Cut the circle in half, then in half again so you're left with 4 pie-shaped wedges. (Or, if you have a scone pan like mine to the right, pat into a rectangle and cut into 16 triangles. This recipe called for giant scones, I made mini scones.) Brush the tops of the scones with milk.

For the streusel topping, combine brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over scones.

Bake 18 to 22 minutes (if you're making mini scones it's more like 14) or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

I personally prefer my scones at room temperature, but if you can't resist them when they come out of the oven you can eat them warm! Scones with fresh blueberries have to be one of my favorite baked goods ... they're SO good when those berries burst. I may have had a heavy hand with the blueberries in this recipe, so you can adjust the amount (but I can't imagine why you'd want to!)

These were nothing like the dry, crumbly scones I remember not liking. These were moist, flaky, rich and super duper flavorful! Steph, I'm giving you a run for your money! Shall we have a scone bake-off? :)

1 comment:

  1. Those look fantastic! I've made scone with dried blueberries before, with a strusek topping, but those fresh berries look pretty tasty.