Cooking Spree: Blueberry Scones

I’m a big freezer.

(I mean, I freeze a lot of things. Not that I’m a large appliance.)

(But you probably knew that.)

As you saw earlier, I’m in the midst of a cooking spree. I noticed that I had some leftover frozen blueberries for some reason. Sometimes when I buy fresh blueberries, I pour them onto a sheet pan, freeze them and then store in a Ziploc bag to preserve them. I hate throwing away food, so I decided to seize this perfect opportunity to make scones.

Awhile back I decided to try my hand at homemade scones … I think it was around the time I discovered Irish butter (oh my). Like pizza dough, nothing beats making them from scratch, or especially eating one warm, crisp and flaky out of the oven. Scones get kind of soggy and blah when they sit.

I altered a traditional recipe since I like my fruit scones a little sweeter, but once you have the plain dough down, you can make almost any kind — fruit scones, cheese and herb scones, garlic, black pepper, etc. The possibilities are endless. I think scones are frighteningly easy to make, and you don’t need special equipment. Your hands are your best pastry cutters and stirrers. Plus, the fresh-baked scones will be worth it.

I added blueberries and a little orange zest to this batch, since I had an orange on hand. It’s very important to use dried or frozen fruit so it’s not destroyed when you mix it into the dough. For traditional scones, just soak some raisins in hot water (or Amaretto!) for about 30 min, then drain well and add to the dough.

Another tip — I make the dough and cut it into triangles, place those on a cookie sheet and then freeze them. After several hours, you can put them in plastic bags to store in the freezer. Just pop them out and bake when you need them and you’ll have scones for months. (Or maybe not that long … they are addictive.)

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Blueberry Scones

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar (*I use 4 T in fruit scones)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in small chunks and very cold
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup dried fruit (I used frozen blueberries)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together into a bowl (just use a medium or large mesh strainer). Use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter, or use your hands to crumble the butter and flour together. Rub the flour and butter between your fingers to break it up — the smaller the chunks of butter, the flakier the pastry. The butter should be no larger than the size of small peas.

Make a well in the center, pour in the cream and add zest. Fold it in, but don’t overwork the dough. Add your fruit.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and press or roll it into a rectangle about an inch thick. Cut it into 3-inch squares and then into triangles. *At this point you can freeze them for later.

Before baking, brush the tops of the scones with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 10 minutes or until slightly browned. (You may need to add 2 minutes or so when baking from frozen.)

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(I also have a lemon glaze recipe for these if you want to try it. Usually I just bake and eat them plain, without the cream and sugar topping even. However, you can’t go wrong with the extra cream and sugar;  it makes them spiffy.)

Serve with jam, lemon curd, more butter, or just enjoy them on their own merits!

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