~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Monday, March 1, 2010

Simple Blueberry Scones...America's Test Kitchen


Simple Blueberry Scones...America's Test Kitchen. I have been neglecting my America's Test Kitchen Baking Book for some time now. I don't like it when I don't use a perfectly good cookbook:)! So the other day, I decided to look through it again. I was glad, because I came across this recipe for blueberry scones. The picture of the scones looked beautiful, sort of like the scones you see in bakery shops or Starbucks for that matter. I decided to make it since I LOVE scones. I am still looking for that "mile high" biscuit scone!...with lots and lots of flaky layers :)....ok, maybe not so many layers. But you know, those scones that that are very light and can be pried open with no help from any cutlery but your hands? And, once you break it open, it reveals this tender buttery crumb....ready to be topped with some clotted cream and jam. Do you know what I am talking about?! I've had such a scone at the various Tea Shops in England and Ireland. They were different than the scones we have here in the States. I think they are more like a cross between a cream scone and a biscuit scone, because they are tall and flaky(like a biscuit) and tender(like a cream scone). Lately, I've been trying a few scone recipes... some have been good, and some have been very good. But I still feel they aren't quite there yet.... Because of that, I haven't posted any of the scone recipes. I think I might be close...or at least I think so:). We will see...Still trying a few other methods, but I hope to have that "perfect mile high" scone recipe soon:). Now back to the simple blueberry scone:)...
This scone is quite different in that it isn't supposed to have many layers like a biscuit scone. Its more tender and not as flaky. It sort of mimics a cream scone, but it doesn't contain any heavy cream. I wanted to try it because I love blueberries in quick breads, muffins and yes, scones... I also wanted to try their method for folding in the blueberries. It was knew to me...but I loved the idea. And grating the frozen butter? That also sounded unique. There were a couple of problems, though. I didn't have any fresh blueberries, just frozen. Plus, I didn't have any sour cream or whole milk. I did have some plain yoghurt and some buttermilk....hmmm, would that work? Well, I decided to use what I had on hand. I probably saved a few calories as well...maybe just a few:). The frozen blueberries can really stain the dough, so you have to be extra careful and gentle when folding and cutting. And you will need to keep your blueberries frozen until you are going to fold them. Otherwise, you will have blue scones...! If you have fresh blueberries, use those instead. You will be better off. Of course you can use other fruit(fresh or dried). In any case, the scones turned out delicious. I have to admit that even though I liked them fresh from the oven, I preferred them the next day. I left them on the counter and covered them with plastic wrap. The scones were nice and soft, and the flavors were more pronounced. But, if you want to keep them fresh longer, you will need to freeze them. This is the type of scone that is great without any added jam or clotted cream... but you can add them if you like. It goes rather well with a cup of tea or coffee. Since they freeze well, they are perfect to make ahead. I have listed the original recipe, the way the scones should be:). Hope you enjoy...

Note:I like to place my scones in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes( or even the freezer will work)...this way, they don't spread out so much. The directions doesn't say to do that, but I find it best to add that step. And during this waiting time, I'll clean up and get the oven pre-heated.

You will need:
8 TBS unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp fresh lemon zest( I used orange zest...and a bit more than 1 tsp:))
1/2 tsp salt( I like to use a bit less)
1/4 tsp baking soda
Topping:
2 TBS melted butter
raw sugar, for sprinkling
Powder sugar glaze:(my addition, purely optional)
Directions:
Freeze your butter before starting. You can do it the night before, or a few hours before.
Preheat oven to 425 deg. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.
Grate 8 TBS of butter and set aside in the freezer, again.
Freeze your blueberries until you need them in the folding process.
Whisk the milk and sour cream together. Refrigerate until needed.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour,1/2 cup sugar,baking powder, lemon zest,salt, and baking soda.
Add the frozen, grated butter and toss until coated thoroughly.
Fold in the cold milk/sour cream mixture...just until combined. Do not over mix. You might have some floury bits at the bottom of the bowl...
Turn the dough and any floury bits on a well floured countertop. Flour your hands and the dough and knead for 6-8 times...be gentle. It should just hold together in a raggedy ball. It is a soft/wet dough. It will stick as you knead, so add a bit of flour to prevent it from sticking. I like to use a bench scraper to lift the dough off the countertop.
Roll dough out in a 12 inch(or so) square. Fold the top and bottom of the dough over the center.
Like a business letter. Fold the sides of the dough to form a 4 inch square.
Chill the dough in the freezer for about 5 minutes. Flour your countertop again. Roll the chilled dough again in a 12 inch square. Sprinkle the chilled berries evenly over the whole surface.
Loosen the dough with a bench scraper.
Roll the dough in a log, jelly-roll style.
Turn the seam side down and press down on the log to form a 12x4 inch rectangle.
With a floured knife, cut the dough in 4 small rectangles. Cut each rectangle in 2 triangles.
Place the scones on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with some raw sugar(or regular).
Bake for 18-25 minutes OR until light golden brown( I like to place my scones in the fridge for about 20 minutes...this way, they don't spread out so much. The directions doesn't say to do that, but I like to do that for mine). Cool 10 minutes. Drizzle with some icing....or leave plain.

23 comments:

Sailaja Damodaran said...

Very tempting.......

LuLu Burbank said...

I'm always looking for baking recipes to cook for my egg allergic son :) Can't wait to try this recipe! Thanks so much for posting it!! <3

Ellie said...

Lulu, Thanks for stopping by...I hope you enjoy the scones.~Ellie

heron113 said...

Thanks for the tip on placing scones back into the refrigerator for a few minutes. My first attempt at this ATK recipes did spread. I did feel these where a little to "light and fluffy" to be a scone... but will make again!

Ellie said...

Heron113. Thanks for stopping by and for your feedback on the scones. I agree these scones are quite light. They are a bit different in that they are not heavy or dense scones.
Yes, I really feel that refrigerating the scones before baking helps tremendously. I think that is the case with most baked goods that have butter in the dough. ie, scones biscuits, cookies, pie crusts, puff pastry... Have a great day.~Ellie

Kenneth Quinn said...

this is very interesting. thank you for sharing this step by step procedure, it is very easy to follow. thanks!

Ellie said...

Kenneth, Thanks for stopping by...I am glad the pics can help a bit. They are delicious!

chimene said...

Finally tried these, they've been "next up" for I don't know how long. They seem to have turned out pretty, and tasty. I varied the recipe a little: a) plain yoghurt instead of sour cream. b) The flour I sub'd in 3 oz of KA whole wheat by accident-- meant to use the KA white whole wheat but grabbed the wrong jar! c) Of the sugar that goes in the dough, I held back about a tablespoon to go on the d) frozen home raspberries, because I wasn't sure how sweet they all were; that seems not to have hurt anything.

Drat, I forgot your "back into the freezer before the oven"! I meant to do that.

I did get some spreading but not excessive. The only real problem appears to be that the center triangles, that are bigger than the very end ones, seem to have a small uncooked spot in their very centers. I only went barely 18 min. because I usually find that things burn or really over-brown if I go to the long end of the scale (in spite of using an oven therm. to make sure I'm at the right temp!), and the triangles may have been a bit crowded, I'll also use a larger cookie sheet next time.

So I threw the rest back in the cooling oven for about 8 min and the soft spots DO seem to have set up more, and the previously-done parts are a bit browner but not too much.

How goes the quest for the "perfect mile high"???

Ellie said...

Chimene, Thanks for trying out the recipe...and for your detailed info of how you made the scones. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. I am hoping it will help others as well who want to give the recipe a try.
I like your whole wheat variation... I am wondering maybe that actually helped with keeping the shape w/out too much spreading. I noticed that whole wheat substitution in a white flour recipe tends to absorb more of the liquid.
I hope you've enjoyed the scones otherwise:)...
As for my mile high quest...well, I've tried many variations and I noticed that whenever I cut the shapes a bit thicker(so that they will rise higher) they tend to topple over:(.
I have tried to place the scones quite close together as they bake. But the toppling still occurs....
In any case, I have at one point decided to place them in muffin pans so that the sides of the pan will hold it from toppling over. Incidently, I posted about it ...it's titled Cherry Almond Scottish Scones. I really like that version except that the scones do form a crust around the sides...which isn't necessarily bad.
I think I have come to the conclusion that scones aren't made to be "mile high":)...
Again thanks for stopping by.

Lidia said...

Hi Ellie. Any suggestion on how to turn these into pumpkin scones? Thanks :)

Ellie said...

Lidia, I'm thinking you can substitute 1/2 cup buttermilk for the milk..and omit the sour cream and add 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin. You will then need to add some pumpkin pie spice( maybe about 1tsp?) and some cinnamon( again 1 tsp?) ...or a mixture of your favorite spices to include cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, etc.).
Hope this helps... let me know if it comes out for you. I would love to try it myself:)...

Lidia said...

Hi Ellie. Thanks for getting back to me so soon. I really appreciate it. I made the pumpkin scones and they were a hit! I didn't have buttermilk so I used low fat plain yogurt instead. I also didn't have pumpkin pie spice, so I used apple pie spice instead. My nephew ate most of them. He loved them! Thank you for the tips :)

Ellie said...

You are welcome, Lidia. I am thrilled the pumpkin scones came out for you. Love how you used what you had on hand.... yoghurt makes sense, as well as the apple pie spices.
Thank you so much for sharing your feedback...really appreciate you taking the time to write. Excited to hear the scones were a success and that your nephew enjoyed them:)!
I think I'd like to try a pumpkin version myself, as I love scones. Pumpkin scones sound quite delicious...any time of the year:).
Have a blessed day!

Anonymous said...

Love this recipe, im currently baking it in the oven. I shouldve frozen them for a little bit as you recommended cause they are all over the place. Still eatable though :)

Ellie said...

Anon, I am glad you still like the scones:)...
Yes, the scones have a tendency to spread, especially if the butter gets too warm. ... and that's why I mentioned to place the scones in the fridge.
I'll make sure to let people know about that...up at the top of the recipe.... not way at the bottom:).
But thanks for stopping by and sharing your feedback.

Michelle Hill said...

These were perfect not too sweet. Do you know how many calories for one piece of this blueberry scone? Thanks!

Ellie said...

Michelle, Sorry I don't know the calories, but maybe there's an online converter that you can plug the info. and find out that way.
But I am glad you enjoyed the scones... Thanks for your feedback!

Janablessed said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I actually saw this episode of ATK and printed off the recipe but recently lost it! I'm famous in my little town for making them now and I was so sad to see I had to get a subscription online to download the recipe again. A quick google search for it sent me to your blog. Thanks again!

Ellie said...

Jana, You are very welcome! Glad I could be of help:). I know how it is when you lose a good recipe... happy that you can bake the scones again:).
Thanks for stopping by...

Anonymous said...

recipe says lemon zest, photo looks like Orange, is that correct?

Ellie said...

Anon, I have a note posted next to the ingredient list(you may have quickly looked over the recipe and missed it:)).

But, yes I used orange, however, you can use lemon zest or any citrus zest of choice. Hope that helps...

Anonymous said...

These are my new favorite scones. They turned out lightly crunch on the outside and fluffy on the inside. I added cheddar cheese and chocolate chips for some of the blueberries and zest. The cheese adds protein. Thank you so much!!

Ellie said...

Anon,

Oh, you are very welcome! I am so glad you enjoyed the result:). The cheddar cheese sounds like a great alternative, which I haven't yet tried.

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and share your feedback. I really appreciate it!