Monday, June 02, 2014
Spring Fruits in Scones
If you read through some of my blog posts it probably seems like I bake all the time, just because. In truth I used to do just that, but for a while now I've had to curtail my impulse to bake for a couple of reasons, but mainly because as we get older it seems to be harder to burn off those extra calories and so fewer calories are needed. While I would love to eat nothing but baked goods, good sense encourages me to fill up on fruits and veggies and quality protein instead.
That said, I still love to bake, so it is wonderful when I have a reason to bake something as delicious as scones. This past weekend I attended a P.E.O. conference in LA and we had a very early flight, so I made scones for Sweetie and I to enjoy at the start of our trip, plus I made a few extra to enjoy with committee members during our early morning committee meeting on Sunday. Since I had fresh blueberries and apricots on hand, plus a bag of sweet, moist dried apricots, I decided to make scones with them, some sliced almonds, and to use buttermilk for the liquid. It's tang goes so well with those fruits and it helped to keep the scones moist until Sunday morning, even though I baked them on Friday. P.E.O. supports women in their educational goals through scholarships and low interest loans, plus we own a college, Cottey College. The effort is almost all done by volunteers, like my fellow committee members, so they deserved some fine scones for getting up so early, right?
These were rough looking because I barely gathered the dough bits together, similar in technique to making Irish soda bread. The upside of that is they were tender and almost flaky. There was enough butter that you didn't need to add any and the flavor combination with the apricot, blueberry, lemon and almond flavors, combined with buttermilk, was excellent and hit the spot in the early morning with a cup of coffee. These don't take much time and would take even less without the dried apricots and if you left the peel on the fresh apricots, so mix up a batch yourself. You'll be glad you did.
Blueberry and Double Apricot Scones
Adapted from a Ladies Home Journal recipe March ‘97
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a cookie sheet or use parchment or silicone mat.
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (no substitutions)
1/4 cup finely diced dried apricots
½ cup chopped fresh, peeled apricots½ cup fresh blueberries, dusted with a bit of flour
½ cup sliced almonds
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
Glaze: 2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons sparkling sugar
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. With pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add diced dried fruit, fresh apricot pieces and the blueberries and sliced almonds.
Combine buttermilk, egg and lemon peel in a bowl or measuring cup. Pour over crumb mixture. Stir together with fork just until mixture comes together. Gather dough gently into a ball; it might be crumbly...that is OK. Divide dough in half and transfer to prepared cookie sheets. Shape each piece into a 6 inch x 1 inch thick circle, 2 inches apart. Using floured knife, cut each circle into 6 wedges.
For glaze, brush tops with cream and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake 20 – 25 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 12 scones.