Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cherry Berry Scones

Following the theme of early morning baking during hot summer days, today we made some Cherry Berry Scones, with more of the fruit that we amassed at the farmer's market over the weekend.

I like to make scones because they are hard to screw up once you get the basic proportions down. With lots of butter coating the flour and grains, you are bound to always have a flaky, tender crumb. I know the idea of blueberries and cherries sound quite dull, but when fruit is ripe and at its peak, there is a taste to it that is unmistakable- a hint of sunshine,  fresh earth and a true sweetness because its meant to be eaten. Fruit out of season is such a sad, wasteful thing--not only in the bad taste, but all the unnecessary energy that went into it.

my mix of flour, ground oats, wheat germ,  and flax

unsalted cold chunks of butter get coated so that each morsel is flaky, moist, scrumptious

Lately I have also been resourceful with what I have in my pantry (aka husband wanting to throw out all the small bags of random things from the bulk aisle at the health food store). Lots of goodies like oats, flax, and wheat germ. This morning I felt like I should throw some of these in, partially to get rid of them and also to have a heartier base for the sweet, ripe fruit. Although these aren't as firm as the oat scones I love to make, I think they make a great morning treat. We carried some extras around all day and by the afternoon they still were moist, delicious and the kids ate them all up.

what the scone mixture looks like after the butter has been added. Coarse sand

the fruit. note that I got butter on my lens so it has a very 70's erotica look

Clyde got all Jackson Pollock with the buttermilk coating. He is getting into 6am baking.

Morning Victory. See how the butter melted and got all oozy on the piece. It was so good.

Note: You can mix any kinds of berries. Berries are good for scones because they don't mush up, they just cook into these little bursts of flavor. I think apricots and blueberries are a good combination too, as they are super ripe right now. Again you could also spice things up with some cinnamon, cardamom or cloves but for pleasing the masses I stayed true to the fruit. 

Cherry Berry Scones

2 cups all purpose organic flour
1 3/4 cup ground oats (I cleaned my coffee grinder and ground whole slow cook oats until it became powdery)
3 tablespoons wheat germ
1 teaspoon flax seeds or ground flax seeds (  I ended up grinding them to hide from Clyde)
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons organic cane sugar (I bet maple sugar would work well too)
6 1/2 tablespoons unsalted organic butter, cubed and chilled (I stick this in the freezer while preparing dry ingredients to ensure it is very cold)
1 1/2 cup blueberries and cut up cherries, or a mix of all kinds of berries
1 cup organic buttermilk
buttermilk or milk for brushing
demerra, turbinado, or cane sugar for sprinkling

preheat oven to 400 degrees, line two baking sheets with foil

1. Cut up fruit (if using cherries) and set aside in small bowl.
2. Measure dry ingredients and add to food processor. Pulse until combined.
3. Add butter a little at a time and pulse until mixture looks like coarse sand.
4. Pour mixture into medium sized bowl. Add buttermilk until just combined, then add fruit. 
5. Use a measuring spoon if desired, to have even looking proper scones. Or you can roll them by hand into blobs that look alike. I made one tray smaller so that it would be more kid friendly.
6. Place scones on prepared baking sheet, brush tops with buttermilk or milk, then sprinkle sugar on top.
7. Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on size. They should be slightly golden brown. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
8. Best eaten fresh from the oven with a bit of butter and not a white shirt. We have a tub full of morning pajamas with berry stains!

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