Sunday, August 22, 2010

Blueberry Buttermilk Scones . . .

I can hardly believe that the new school year begins in just over two weeks. My younger son, the 14 year old, prefers that I refrain from even bringing up this topic. Whenever I happen to do so, he glares at me as if I've just suggested it might be fun to tour a maximum security prison.

He's going to be in the 9th grade, just entering high school, and the scuttlebutt he's heard regarding the increased homework load has him a little less than enthusiastic about the whole scenario. I suppose it's fear of the unknown that's driving his mood, and you know what they say  about that--our imagined fears are almost always far, far worse than any reality.  Luckily, he's a highly capable, intelligent kid and I know he'll be just fine but, in light of his frame of mind, I've decided to try and lay off the school-related comments for now. We'll let the illusion of endless summer continue on the home-front for a few more days. I figure it can't hurt.

So, in that spirit, and probably up until summer's officially packed it in, I'm going to keep on baking summery foods, like today's blueberry buttermilk scones. These are tender and mellow, just like a lazy summer afternoon.

Blueberry Buttermilk Scones

(For a printable version of this recipe, click here!)

2/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 and 1/2 cups All Purpose flour (I used unbleached)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt (if using kosher salt, add in a pinch extra)
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks
1 egg, large
1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/4 tsp. lemon extract
1 and 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen (I used frozen Maine blueberries; they're small and sweet)

3 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter, for brushing on the scones
3 Tbsp. coarse/sanding sugar, for sprinkling

In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk, whipping cream, and lemon juice.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the large bowl of a food processor, blend the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda by pulsing quickly a few times. Add in the butter chunks, and pulse to form a coarse textured mixture. (Or, if you prefer not to use a food processor, do these two steps by hand, cutting in the butter with a pastry blender.) Dump all of this into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Into the well add the egg, the extracts, and the buttermilk mixture. Stir to make a soft dough. Fold in the blueberries and stir just to combine.

Dump the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough gently a few times, incorporating more flour as needed until the dough is firm and no longer sticky.

Pat the dough out into a circle that's 1" thick all over. Using a pastry wheel or sharp knife, cut the dough into 8 to 12 wedges, like a pie. Place the pieces on the parchment covered baking sheet. Brush melted butter over the top of each piece and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake the scones for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Definitely best the first day, when they're very fresh. 

Recipe full disclosure! This recipe was adapted from one in Marcy Goldman's book, A Passion for Baking (2007, Oxmoor House). Her original recipe is for a blackberry-blueberry scone made largely with heavy cream, and topped with a honey and butter glaze. I changed the formula by using only blueberries, by reducing the amount of heavy cream and adding in buttermilk instead, by adjusting the extracts used, and by omitting the honey-butter glaze and opting for melted butter and coarse sugar on the top of the scones.

(If you'd like to comment on this post, or to read any existing comments, please click on the purple COMMENTS below!)


scrambledhenfruit said...

I know exactly how your son feels about school starting. I go back on Thursday, and I don't even want anyone to mention it. These scones look like a perfect way to prolong summertime! Thanks!

Susi said...

Those are some good looking scones :o) I wouldn't mind having these for breakfast and since my freezer is chock-full of frozen blueberries I will add them to my "make-list". We've already "braved" school for several weeks, in fact, my 12 year old just informed me that fall break starts in 4 weeks LOL

Kathy said...

Being a scone lover...
I just printed off your recipe.
They look wonderful...Love bluberries!
Made blueberry bran Muffins today.
Can't wait to try your scones,
xoxo~Kathy @
Sweet Up-North Mornings...

Jennifurla said...

Great scones, I have a 2 year old so I can't wait for all the FUN ahead of us

Katie said...

These look gorgeous. I love how the blueberries have bled into the scone mix. Yum

Anonymous said...

I just used up all of my blueberries in a pie. Guess I'll be heading back to the store for a few more. Holy moly, do these look good. (And good luck with school!)

Patricia Turo said...

Blueberries and scones what could be a better match. My favoirte and your's look great.



Stella said...

Awe, I remember the week before I started high school. I was terrified too. Just tell him to not show any fear and act like he doesn't care. Nonchalance is usually the best way to avoid conflict and the occasional bully (smile)...
These look wonderful, Jane. I've been meaning to make scones (ones that fit my new diet;) I think I'll use your recipe as a base...
Ooh, but how do I make them not chewy? I've only made scones twice. The most recent were a bit chewy, and I barely worked the dough. Baking usually doesn't throw me for a loop, but scones did recently???!

Anonymous said...

These look delicious - definitely trying berry scones before the season is out!

Lucy said...

That does it - I'm making scones today!

Marcellina said...

These blueberry scones look fantastic! I can't wait to try them!

Anonymous said...

These look amazing...Mother in Law LOVES blueberries and I would really love to make then for her birthday coming up... howeverIm sorry maybe im just missing the measurement so Im just clarifying 1.5 CUPS of blueberries?

Jane said...

Dear Anonymous,
Thanks very, very much for pointing out that omission in my recipe! Yes, you are right. I meant to say 1 and 1/2 CUPS blueberries (would be some pretty sad scones if there were only 1 and 1/2 blueberries in them!). I greatly appreciate that you brought that to my attention. I've corrected it in the post, and I'm going to go correct it in the printable version of the recipe right now!
Jane :)

Jessica said...

Love these scones! My kids are of the same frame of mind when it comes to school. I homeschool them so you would think it wouldn't be a problem, but they don't like that four letter! lol

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

The scones look good. So blue!

Leslie said...

These look almost too good to serve for breakfast! I'm not a huge fan of blueberries but I don't think I could resist them.

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