fat free opinions on a food centric life

Strawberry Scones

So about that tea shop…Hell, I can’t remember, but it’s in that marathon meme I did in my last post.  Yes that tea shop.  You have to have scones in a tea shop, don’t you?  Not STONES — those heavy, gooey, sugar laden blobs of dough.  Scones.  Not so sweet, bread-like, and sometimes fruit-filled creations that are  delicious with a dab of jam and cream while you’re having coffee or tea.  Yes, those.

When I began to wonder about having a tea shop, I began to collect books on tea, recipes on desserts served during tea, pastries, and traditions about having tea.  I grew up drinking tea.  It used to be our bedtime snack.  Lipton tea with lots of milk and sugar.  No, it didn’t keep us awake.  You can argue with me if you’d like, but you’ll lose. 

One of the books I found was Tea & Scones…and so much more! written by Aubrey Franklin.  The man has quite the sense of humor and the information provided in this 110 page book is tremendous.  History, ceremony, tea types, how to make a perfect "Cuppa," and of course, recipes for tea and scones.

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It just so happens that I had quite a few strawberries in the house and knew they wouldn’t be lasting long.  We’re very close to the end of the season, and my grocery store was having a "buy one, get one free" sale.  I do know that there’s no such thing as "free," but it always works, and I bought quite a few 18 oz. baskets.  Sunday morning happened, and I decided to treat my husband to breakfast.  He’s usually the cook on Sunday mornings, but I’ve never used strawberries in anything cooked or baked, so I couldn’t wait to see how the scones turned out.

I know lots of you are blazing in the heat across the US right now, but we aren’t. *smile* Plus, I know lots more of you out there are in the middle of winter.  So some of you won’t be interested in the baked goods, and some of you won’t be able to use strawberries, but save this for later, because we really enjoy the recipe — the one I use and modify whenever I make scones.  Below, I’ll note the modifications I used for this baking — including the addition of the strawberries.  We enjoyed our scones with bacon and slow-cooked scrambled eggs with herbs de provence.  Absolutely divine.

Plain Scones (with Strawberries)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Scones should be served warm and are delicious halved and spread with jam and Devon cream or whipped cream.

Ingredients

4 c. all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
2/3 c. butter, melted
1-1/3 c. milk
1 egg

Directions

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cream of tartar, and melted butter.
  2. Mix eggs and milk together and pour into flour and melted butter mixture.  Combine lightly with a knife until all is incorporated.
  3. Transfer dough onto flour dusted surface and knead very lightly, approximately 3 times.  Flatten to 3/4 inch.
  4. With lightly floured hands, pat the dough into an 8" diameter circle in the center of a buttered baking sheet.  With a serrated knife, cut into 8 wedges.  Brush with beaten egg whites or milk to glaze. (Optional)
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until top is lightly browned.
  6. Remove scones from baking sheet onto a wire rack.  Serve warm, or cool completely and store in an airtight container or freeze.

Scones freeze well.  To thaw and warm, wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or wrap in wax paper and warm in the microwave on high for 15 seconds or longer if necessary.

Yield:  8 scones.

Serve in wedges with sweetened whipped cream and raspberry or strawberry jam.

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Notes: 

  • I used a convection setting to bake the scones. 
  • I used 1 cup of 2% milk and 1/3 cup of half-n-half because we didn’t have whole milk. 
  • This scone batter is extremely wet and I haven’t enjoyed the whole "transfer dough onto flour dusted surface" action in the past.  It’s more like "pour" instead of transfer.  Also, I end up with so much of the batter on my hands, it gets quite messy, so I skip that part.  I carefully cut through the batter making sure all the dry ingredients are wet — not well mixed.  I’m always amazed to find pockets of unmixed flour. 
  • Add 1 cup of coarsely chopped fresh strawberries to the mixed batter and gently incorporate. 
  • I use silicon mats, so pour the batter into a rough circle and smooth out to about a 1-1/2 inch thickness in the center.
  • Use a lightly oiled bench or pastry scraper to push through the batter, cutting it into 8 triangles.

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  • Cook for 15 minutes, pull from oven to brush on some milk, then sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  • Return to oven for 5 minutes more, and check for doneness.  This will depend on how thick your scones are.  Mine usually take 10 more minutes, keeping an eye out for the crust.

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The finished scone is a very nice combination of crusty on the top and bottom with crumbly moistness and fruit in the center.  The sprinkling of sugar on top and the berries are the only sweetness added to this scone.  So butter and honey is also a great way to enjoy them.

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