This strawberry scones post seems to have just kept slipping out of my periphery in the last few days. I was totally going to post about them on, what – Tuesday? Wednesday? And suddenly it’s Friday evening, and I’ve already got material for at least two additional posts lined up in the queue after this one. Anyway, here they are – the long awaited strawberry scones.
(The recipe photo is a Poladroid because I post-processed it on Monday, when I was going crazy and Poladroid-ing everything).
Let me begin by saying that this was the best freaking scone recipe I have ever attempted to make. They were soft, crumb-y, and not too sweet. They actually reminded me of my favorite scones from Peet’s. In the past, the scone recipes I’ve made have either turned out too fluffy and cake-like (not very scone-y at all), or dry and hard as rocks (real tooth-crackers). I borrowed the main parts of this recipe from this one on Farmgirl Fare and when she claims that the recipe has the ability to make people moan with delight, she isn’t kidding. They really do have the perfect scone texture. The recipe itself was also a joy to make – easy, and fast. I made them on a last-minute whim because I felt like having dessert with the dinner I was cooking. The prep took me well under 20 minutes (the same amount of time it took for my sausage and lentils to finish simmering on the stovetop), and I stuck the scones in the oven just before we started to eat dinner, so by the time we were finished, dessert was piping hot and ready to come out of the oven and be served. I found that my accidental addition of the full 2-1/2 cups of flour right at the beginning was a good thing, since one of my normal complaints about scone batter is that it is sticky and gets over everything. The extra flour made it easy to work the dough without spending half an hour trying to scrape it off my fingers. The only changes I made were to add a few extra tablespoons of sugar (since the dried fruit she uses is sweetened, and mine was not), to skip the nutmeg, and to sub freeze-dried strawberries from Trader Joe’s for the cranberries and pecans. I also cut mine into 8 big scones instead of 12 small scones. That way, they were big enough for a light breakfast but also small enough to be an afternoon snack with a cup of tea. My roommates were big fans of them, too. S, who, like me, has studied abroad in the UK, told me that they made her really nostalgic. :) I took that as a huge compliment.
Just a note: with the strawberries, it’s important to use dried ones (freeze-dried or regular dried), because if you use the fresh or frozen kind, all of the moisture will seep out during baking and your end product will become too wet and decidedly un-scone-y. You could probably sub out any dried fruit you liked, as long as you paid attention to whether or not it was pre-sweetened, and adjusted the sugar level accordingly. When I make these again in the future (and believe me, I will – they were SO good!) I think I wouldn’t crumble my strawberries as small. I was disappointed that the smaller bits kind of dissolved into the batter (although you could still taste them – they just didn’t have that sweet-sour bite that the bigger pieces had).
Strawberry Scones (based on Farmgirl Fare’s Christmas Cranberry Scones)
Makes 6-8 large scones.
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup + 4 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled & cut into bits
3/4 cup unsweetened freeze dried strawberries, crumbled into large-ish lumps
2 Tablespoons yogurt + milk to make 3/4 cup
1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Cut butter into the flour mixture until it forms coarse crumbles (I used a fork to get started, and then finished off by rubbing the lumps between my fingers to get a smoother blend).
2. Add strawberries and toss gently until combined. Beat yogurt and milk with the egg and gently fold into the dry ingredients, mixing lightly just until blended.
3. On a cutting board, divide dough in half and gently pat each half into a circle 5 or 6 inches in diameter. With a serrated knife cut each circle into 3-4 wedges and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.