Scones have a dear place in my heart. Strawberries live there too. Combine the two and I’m in deep trouble.
As much as I love scones, I have never tried baking them before. I’ve had horrible luck baking biscuits (people don’t enjoy eating hockey pucks, no matter how nice and warm they are), so I always assumed scones were out of the question.
A little while back I was googling something I could make with the surplus of buttermilk and strawberries in my fridge when I happened upon this post by Irene of Confessions of a Tart. It had all the magic words: “scones”. . .”strawberries”. . . and “anyone can do it”.
These scones came out beautifully on my first try. I may or may not have squealed and done a little happy dance. I then proceeded to burn my mouth because I couldn’t wait 2 minutes to taste one.Totally worth it. Fluffy with a moist crumb and just the right amount of sweetness. I’m talking, “close your eyes and savor it” good.
Recipe by Irene of Confessions of a Tart
(makes 6 large scones or 12 minis)
1 cup strawberries (or other fruit)
3 tablespoons sugar (granulated)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, in cubes, slightly softened
2/3 cup half-and-half or cream or cold buttermilk
1 tablespoon sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
If using larger fruit, cut into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle fruit with 1/2 tablespoon sugar; set aside. Be sure to make the pieces small, or they tend to fall out of the dough. They’ll still be plenty prominent in your finished scones.
Combine remaining sugar with flour, baking powder and salt. Add butter, using a pastry cutter or 2 knives to cut in butter (you may want to use your fingers to be sure butter is evenly mixed into flour). Stir in fruit; then add cream/half-and-half/buttermilk all at once. Use spatula to gently stir dough until it holds together.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to incorporate dry ingredients. Be gentle so you don’t break up the berries and don’t overwork the dough. Sprinkle dough with flour if it gets sticky.
Press (pat) the dough into a circle 3/4 inch thick. If any berries peek out, push them into dough. Cut circle into 6-8 wedges, then transfer wedges to the cookie sheet, leaving at least 1/2 inch of space between them. Bake 15 minutes.
Sprinkle with sugar and bake 5-10 more minutes or until the tops are beginning to brown and spring back when you push them (this took another 15-20 minutes in my oven, but keep a careful watch and check every 5 minutes – you do not want dry scones!). (The sprinkling of sugar over the top for the last few minutes of baking creates a simple, sparkly topping.)