Thursday, July 9, 2015

very blueberry scones

very blueberry scones

My son was served an eviction notice at the 38.5 week mark, which means that as I now approach my 40th week of manufacturing a new human (that, ironically, we will likely spend the next few years threatening to eat) I have unquestionably never been this pregnant before. I’m beginning to feel a bit like a circus sideshow; I think that most women in my condition simply stay home, what else could explain what a spectacle I must be when I go anywhere? Yesterday, I had to go up to the hospital to fill out some paperwork, which led to possibly a new world record of awkward conversations in an hour timespan:


what you'll need
dry mix

Getting in a cab: “I need to go to the hospital. I promise, I’m not in labor.”
At the information desk: “Can you tell me how to get to labor and delivery? No, I’m not in labor.”
To the employee by the elevator, because I cannot retain basic information in my brain these days for more than twenty steps: “Labor and delivery is on which floor again? No, not for me, I mean, for me, but not today! Omgdebshutupshutup.”
To the stranger who said “Is today the day?!”: [Something under my breath that need not be repeated.]

.. to say nothing of walking into Labor & Delivery, but not to stay. (Although, believe me, I thought about camping out. I mean, being arrested for civil disobedience would be such a great story for my future momoir!)

many, many blueberries
8 to 10 wedges

So, if you came here today, hoping for some baby toes or at least some sign that I’ve moved onto a new subject matter, I’m sorry to disappoint. But, I did make us some scones, and they, I hope, will not.

One of my favorite ways to cook with blueberries is to overdo it to the point of making a great big mess. Remember this Blueberry Crumb Cake from last summer? I maintain that the magic of it is in the proportions — something like 2 cups of batter to nearly 3 cups of blueberries. (You’re welcome.) I’ve never much cared for blueberries raw, but buried in a nest of butter, sugar and flour threaded with lemon zest and baked until collapsed and leaking purple juices everywhere, they are unquestionably my happy place.

egg wash
coarse sugar crust

I didn’t get these right the first time. They were too cakey, to soft. Making a sturdier, less rich scone with whole wheat flour and milk instead of cream (it’s like I’m on a diet — ha) worked in the blueberries favor, and has served the additional benefit of stocking our freezer with something delicious yet still vaguely wholesome to bake off later this summer for an easy breakfast. But I won’t lie, it’s going to be hard to wait that long to have them again.

very blueberry scones
exceedingly blueberried scones

One year ago: Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Two years ago: Grilled Bacon Salad with Arugula and Balsamic
Three years ago: Bacon Corn Hash
Four years ago: Flatbreads with Honey, Thyme and Sea Salt
Five years ago: Porch Swing and Mango Slaw with Cashews and Mint
Six years ago: Watermelon Lemonade and Light Brioche Burger Buns
Seven years ago: Chopped Watermelon, Feta and Vegetable Salad
Eight years ago: Everyday Yellow Dal

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Butterscotch Pudding
1.5 Years Ago: Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Mango
2.5 Years Ago: Apple Sharlotka
3.5 Years Ago: Gnocchi in Tomato Broth

Blueberry Scones
Adapted from my usual scones, with a little influence from Rose’s Bakery’s Breakfast, Lunch and Tea, which a recent post by Orangette was kind enough to remind me to dust off

1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1 cup (120 grams) whole wheat flour
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
3 tablespoons raw (turbinado) or light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small bits
1 cup fresh blueberries
2/3 cup (150 ml) milk, whole is best here
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon raw (tubinado) or other coarse sugar for finishing

Heat oven to 400°F (205°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine flours, zest, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add cold butter and work into the flour mixture until the biggest pieces are the size of small peas with either your fingertips or a pastry blender. Stir in blueberries, then milk, mixing only until large clumps form. Use your hands to reach inside the bowl and gently (so gently) knead the mixture into one mass. The more you knead, the wetter the dough will get as the blueberries break up, so work quickly and knead only a few times, if you can get away with it.

Transfer dough to a well-floured counter and pat into a roughly 1-inch tall disc. Cut into 8 to 10 wedges, do not fret if the blueberries are now making a mess of the dough; it will all work out in the oven. Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet, spacing them apart. Brush the tops of each with egg, then sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until scones are golden brown on top. Serve warm. I find most scones to be best the first day, but these were not bad at all on day two, gently rewarmed in the oven before eating.

If freezing: I like to freeze scones unbaked and usually hold any egg wash until I’m ready to bake them. Simply spread the wedges on a baking sheet and chill until frozen solid and will no longer stick to each other, and pack tightly into a freezer bag. You can bake them right from the freezer; you’ll only need 2 to 4 minutes extra baking time.


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