Summer Berry Scones
It'll be June tomorrow. Finally! I've been holding this recipe back until fresh fruit abounds in our markets. How fortunate we are in South Florida to have fresh fruit all year; we are spoiled. Although most of the larger markets nationwide now carry fresh fruit year round, it can be pricey. But hopefully, you now have berries available whether at your grocery or farmer's market and you can try these fabulous scones. I really do think it's important to use fresh, not frozen, berries.
I had family visiting recently and they love fresh berries for breakfast so I thought it would be fun to spoil them with these scones. I was worried they'd be soggy what with the raspberries, certainly not the driest fruit, but they weren't. As long as you cool them on a rack, the bottoms hold up perfectly. I love the raspberry jam in them and those raspberry and almond flavors marry beautifully. My favorite sweet mini muffins have raspberry jam and almond paste in them.
The recipes in Once Upon a Tart are practically no fail and the only additional advice I would add to this recipe is when mixing the dry and wet ingredients, use your best kitchen tool: your hands. It's rather a stiff dough and it's hard to mix with a spoon. However, I did use a big spoon for mixing in the berries. Very. Carefully.
Wouldn't this be wonderful to use for a fruit shortcake? Slice the scone in half and put some berries in the middle and top with whipped cream. Another bonus: I had some left over and put them in the freezer. A week ago, I thawed them in the fridge overnight and stuck them in a convection oven the next morning. They were still perfect.
Summer Berry Scones
From Once Upon a Tart by Frank Mentesana and Jerome Audureau
4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 sticks (20 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, diced small
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1 tablespoon raspberry preserves
1/2 cup dried currants
3/4 cup blueberries, rinsed and dried on paper towels
2/3 cup raspberries, rinsed and dried on paper towels
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a food processor, pulse the flour, baking powder, soda, salt and sugar to mix. Add the butter all at one time. Run the processor for 15 seconds. You want the mixture to look grainy like moist crumbs and with no chunks of butter. Pulse if you need to (I didn't)but don't overwork the dough.
Dump the crumbs in a big bowl. Whisk the eggs, add the buttermilk, extracts, preserves and currants. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until there is no flour visable. I did this with my hands.
Add the berries and mix gently, trying not to break them up anymore than necessary.
Using your hands or a 1/2 cup measure, scoop the batter onto the parchment paper, leaving 2 inches in between scones.
Place the baking sheet in the center of the oven and bake 20-25 minutes, until they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place baking sheet on a wire rack to cool for a couple moments, then transfer the scones to to the rack. Makes 12 scones.