Thursday, April 30, 2020

Raspberry Scones

I've barely been baking, partly because I didn't have yeast for a while and flour was difficult to find, so I didn't want to use up what I have too quickly and partly because I don't bake when I'm down and the sense of upheaval caused by the shelter-in-place had me down for a while. It was disconcerting for everyone to have all the usual, expected routines upended and so quickly. At first I just thought that was all that was bothering me, but eventually I realized that part of the problem was that it brought back the time when I lost my son suddenly in an auto accident. My whole world changed in an instant then, too. There was no going back to what was before and I suspect that will be the case here, too. Many things will return to almost normal, but this sudden, worldwide pause (that's what my  brother calls it - The Pause) in life as it is usually lived won't be forgotten. We now all know how profoundly things can change is a very brief amount of time. I already knew it, but this brought that knowledge...and the memories from when it happened almost 21 years the fore. Now that I know why I was unsettled and depressed by it, it seems to have little force. I'm back to baking and living each moment to the fullest, not hiding from it as I was.

So what have I baked? One of the most recent bake was of fresh raspberry scones. The raspberries are tart and the scones themselves aren't very sweet, so I washed the top of the scones with soy creamer and sprinkled on sanding sugar so that these are sweet-tart in the best way. I cut each raspberry in half, but the thing to remember is that once cut, raspberries have a tendency to come apart even more, so be gentle but quick in mixing them into the batter.

One of the keys in making scones is to use very cold ingredients and to handle the dough as little as possible. One way to do that is to portion the dough in half while still in the mixing bowl, then turn one of those halves out onto parchment paper which is lining a baking sheet. Use clean hands to gently gather the dough together and form it into a slightly flattened circle, then use a bench scraper or long knife to cut each circle into six or eight triangles. I baked them still attached to each other and divided them once baked and it worked out well. You can also flour the parchment lightly so that the cut triangles and be separated before baking, just do so gently.

I served these, plus some breakfast sausages, for our Anniversary breakfast, along with coffee for Sweetie and tea for me. A great way to start a day, but these scones would also be perfect for an afternoon break. They go together fairly quickly, so do try them yourself. If you can't find raspberries, you can substitute diced strawberries or washed and dried fresh blueberries. When using raspberries, you'll likely find that here and there throughout the scone, after baking, there is a slight purplish tinge...that is fine. The berries are just giving off a little juice. The scones are more delicious that way.

Fresh Raspberry Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup almond meal
½ cup 12 grain flour (or substitute whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
4 oz (1/2 stick) very cold butter, grated on the large holes of a box grater
1 egg
½ cup light cream
¼ cup buttermilk ( I used 3/4 cup soy creamer soured with 1 tablespoon plain yogurt for the cream and buttermilk)
¼ teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest - colored part only
1 cup fresh raspberries, cut in half if large
1 tablespoon cream or soy creamer
2-3 tablespoons sanding sugar (optional)

With a fork stir together the flour, almond meal, 12 grain(or whole wheat) flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the grated butter, then, using clean fingers, rub the butter and flour together until the texture of bread crumbs. Work quickly to keep the butter cold.

In a large measuring cup, use the fork to stir the eggs to beat them lightly, then add the light cream, buttermilk,  almond extract, and citrus zest and stir to mix well.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and gradually add the liquid ingredient mixture, mixing lightly with the fork, just until ingredients are barely combined. Do not overmix. If mixture seems to dry, add a few drops of milk; if too wet, add a tablespoon of flour. Finished mixture should be the consistency of moist biscuit dough.

Again using the fork, gently and quickly stir the raspberries into the dough, just enough to disperse them.

Turn half the dough out onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Pat dough into a circle with about a 1 inch thickness. Cut with floured bench scraper or knife, into six or eight scones. Repeat with the second half of the dough on another parchment lined baking sheet.

Brush lightly with cream or soy creamer then sprinkle with sanding sugar (optional). Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 10 – 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool slightly in pan, then serve warm.

1 comment :

  1. Ooh, these look lovely. I'll have to see if I can find raspberries at the farm market Sunday; otherwise, I'll substitute strawberries.

    It's good that your processed everything to figure out what was bugging you. I think I was fine until my aunt passed away the other week. Suddenly, everything seemed pointless. It'll pass, but... yeah. Finding the usual routines so disintegrated makes it hard.

    I'm so glad you're back.