Perfecting Perfection

It’s Saturday morning, and you know what that means. Kitchen experiments! I decided to make my famous buttermilk raisin scones. My mom says it’s the best thing I ever baked. Unfortunately, it’s hard to make raisin scones when you only have about 10 raisins. (They never last very long in our house. My mom is a raisin monster.)

Does that deter me from my Saturday baking mood? Certainly not! Now is not the time for throwing in the towel and settling for cereal and milk. Now is the time for creativity! Besides, I already had my apron on, so you know there’s no turning back. It’s funny how things work out. If it hadn’t been for my raisin monster, I would never have created:

Blueberry Buttermilk Scones

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Our carton of blueberries has been staring at me from the back of the fridge for quite some time now. I never knew what to do with them. (I usually eat them with strawberries, blackberries or raspberries – all of which are missing from my fridge.) Why not throw them in a scone?

I didn’t want to mess around too much with the base, since it’s best one I’ve tried so far. It’s buttery and flaky, yet dense enough to fill you up for breakfast or afternoon tea. (Sometimes I’ll make time for afternoon tea just to gobble up one of these scones.) It bakes up a nice crispy crust, while still staying soft and fluffy on the inside.

Normally I’m too lazy to include actual measurements for my baking adventures, but in this case I’ll make an exception because you haven’t had scones until you’ve had these. Here’s the magic recipe:

Mix together 2 cups of flour, 1/4 granulated sugar, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt. Cut 1/2 cup of butter into chunks and toss it in the flour. Mix together an egg and 1/2 cup of buttermilk. (makes all the difference!)

Now to get your hands dirty, mush the butter into the flour with your fingers (I guess you can take the easy way out and use a pastry blender, but where’s the fun in that?) until it looks like coarse crumbs. Throw in a cup of fresh blueberries and make sure they’re all coated in the flour crumbs.

If you’re like me, you’ll know the butter mashing isn’t enough to satisfy that craving to squish some dough through your fingers (Don’t knock it ’til you try it! It’s fun! Come on, haven’t you ever done that with Playdough as a kid?), then this is the best part. Pour in the buttermilk and egg mixture and squish it all around until all the flour has been incorporated into a sticky dough ball.

Pinch off gobs of dough and try to form them into something resembling a ball. (They don’t have to be rolled perfectly. In fact, it might be impossible if your dough turns out on the sticky side. It’ll still make delicious scones though! Just call it “rustic.”) I usually make eight of them. Pop them in the oven at 425°F and bake for about 15 minutes or whenever the tips turn golden brown.

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Personally, I stopped trying to roll them perfectly on purpose, party because it’s really too sticky for that, but mostly because all those pointy bits bake into crispy golden peaks. They add a good crunch to the scone.

Eighteen minutes is perfect for my oven, but you should really keep an eye on them after about 13 minutes so they don’t overcook.

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Tada! See what I mean about those golden brown, crispy tips?

Some are a little bigger than the others, but hey, that just means you can pick a size that matches how big your scone craving is! Like I said, it’s not sloppy. It’s rustic. I was a little worried about how fresh blueberries would turn out in a recipe that called for dried fruit, but it turned out great!

The oven does wonders to blueberries. It turns them into a kind of jam-filled capsule. Some of them may have popped in the oven, hence the pools of sticky jam under some of the scones. Most of them however are still intact. When you bite into them, you get a warm burst of blueberry juice! All that natural sweetness really comes out when you bake the blueberries, and unlike jam, you still get a bit of that tartness to offset the sweetness.

Tada! See what I mean about those golden brown, crispy tips?
Tada! See what I mean about those golden brown, crispy tips?

I’m a big fan of toppings, so that usually means clotted cream and some sort of jam for my scones. With blueberry scones, however, I don’t miss the jam at all! I guess you could say the jam is built into this recipe.

So go on and give it a try! If you don’t have blueberries, well then maybe this is a chance to whip up a creation of your own. As it turns out, you really can perfect perfection.

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