Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Best Blueberry Scones & Week's Menu Plan

Bryant actually introduced me to scones a couple of years ago and I just love them. I've ordered them at different coffee shops and bakeries. Well, that's not right; I used to order them at different coffee shops and bakeries.  And then I tried making this Cook's Illustrated recipe for scones and these homemade blueberry scones kind of ruined me for all others. They're so, so, so good.  Moist, incredibly flaky, sweet (but not overly sweet) and best when they're fresh out of the that's my kind of scone.  These are also great because you can freeze the raw scones and when you want one, you take it out of the freezer, pop it in a preheated oven and bake 25-30 minutes.  Not a bad way to start any day.

The Best Blueberry Scones
Taken from: Cook's Illustrated
Serves 8
I've never tried them with anything other than blueberries (I wash and freeze them when they're in season so I can make these scones any time of year) but I'm sure you could substitute in other fruits or flavors, if you'd like.
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (8 Tbsp), frozen whole*
    1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (about 7 1/2 ounces), picked over
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (I used low-fat
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces), plus additional for work surface
  • 1/2 cup sugar*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
    *You'll need about 1/2 tsp of melted butter and 1/4 tsp. sugar to spread on top of each scone right before baking.
-Grate stick of butter on large holes of box grater into a bowl. Place grated butter in freezer until needed. Place blueberries in freezer until needed.
-If you are making some of these scones immediately, turn oven to 425 degrees.
-Whisk together milk and sour cream in medium bowl; refrigerate until needed. In a large bowl, whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. Add frozen butter to flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.
-Add milk mixture to flour mixture; fold with spatula until just combined. With rubber spatula, transfer dough to liberally floured work surface. Dust surface of dough with flour; with floured hands, knead dough 6 to 8 times, until it just holds together in ragged ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.
-Roll dough into approximate 12-inch square. Fold dough into thirds like a business letter, using bench scraper or metal spatula to release dough if it sticks to countertop. Lift short ends of dough and fold into thirds again to form approximate 4-inch square. Transfer dough to plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in freezer 5 minutes.
-Transfer dough to floured work surface and roll into approximate 12-inch square again. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over surface of dough, then press down so they are slightly embedded in dough. Using bench scraper or thin metal spatula, loosen dough from work surface. Roll dough, pressing to form tight log. Lay seam-side down and press log into 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Using sharp, floured knife, cut rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet.
-At this point, you can wrap the 8 scones in foil, place them in a freezer bag and then put them in the freezer for another day (or cook them immediately).
-When ready to make, heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray thoroughly with cooking spray).
-For each scone you're baking, brush top with 1/2 tsp. melted butter and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. sugar. Bake until tops and bottoms are golden brown: 18 to 25 minutes if at room temperature, 22-30 minutes if frozen. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Week's Menu Plan
Saturday: barbeque chicken with polenta
Sunday: Bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with pistachio & cranberry quinoa

Monday:  turkey pot pie
Tuesday: butternut squash risotto

Wednesday: Manhattan clam chowder 

Friday: pasta with bacon and peas

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