I was going to blog about these scones. And then I forgot I was going to blog about the scones and started making plans to blog about these socks that I finished a few days ago. (They're swell.) But then I forgot to actually take photos of the socks and so here we are back at scones again! Which is really just fine, because these scones? Are delicious. I whipped them up Sunday morning before M was out of bed and would have loved to eat them all myself, but I refrained. At some point in the mid afternoon, I asked him if he'd tried them yet and he said they were the best he'd ever had. "Seriously?" I asked. His response? "Yeah. I've had three."
They're that good. They aren't your typical scone. When I think "scone," I all too often think of chalky, crumbly, somewhat dry, wedge-shaped, semi-sweet, but generally bland, concoctions. Maybe there's a currant or two tossed in. And maybe they've got that godawful sugary icing drizzled over the tops in little zigzags. (Am I the only one who hates that stuff? It's like they're trying to make up for the fact that they know the scones are dry and boring.) These are moist and flavorful and slightly sweet and slightly tart. They make use of the very first of the spring strawberries – somewhat tarter than I'm used to and oh, so fruity and wonderful! (My apologies to those of you in northern climes who are still anxiously awaiting anything resembling a fresh, local bit of fruit. You can gloat later in the summer when I'm frazzled and hot and my garden is yielding nothing but chili peppers.)
adapted from the Joy of Cooking
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- slightly less than 1 pint of fresh, barely ripe strawberries, cut into small pieces – you don't want them to be overly ripe or they will get mushy when you try to mix them in
Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the cold butter and cut it in with a pastry blender (or your preferred method) until the largest pieces are about the size of peas and the rest look like breadcrumbs. Add the strawberries and toss them around so they get coated in the flour mixture. Whisk together the egg, heavy cream and vanilla and add all at once to the flour mixture. This is where things get messy! Stir in the wet ingredients just until the dry ingredients are moistened. I found that the easiest way to do that was to stir a bit with a wooden spoon or spatula and then just use my hands. The dough will not be firm enough to roll out but it will be a bit firmer than your average drop biscuit type dough. Pull off small chunks in the vicinity of, oh, about 1.5-2 inches in diameter? (I really should keep better track of these things!) Form them by hand (or use a spoon, if you're not down with getting a little messy) and place them on a cookie sheet several inches apart. I used parchment because I'm a little lazy about cleanup. Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack. I thought they were delicious on their own, but M said they were "mind blowing" with a bit of honey. You be the judge.
A side note, completely unrelated to scones: Whole Foods finally put up their own recap of the food blogger bash I wrote about last week and they're giving away a free goodie bag to one of the lucky commenters on this post over at the Whole Foods blog. It's a great goodie bag – I'm still munching my way through the pita chips, though most of the other delicious tidbits are long gone. So head over, if you're so inclined, and leave a comment before Friday, March 27 for a chance to win!