If you’re a newer reader of my blog, you may not know that I have a love-hate relationship with scones. Unfortunately for me, the cookbook I’m baking through has 10 scone recipes that all have to get made at some point. It isn’t something I’m looking forward to with this project. However, I think I found a way that makes things easier for me to make these delicious treats that also makes them taste better too!
This was the third scone recipe I attempted in the Challenge. The most recent endeavor involved making Lemon and Poppy Scones that actually came out quite tasty. Since I decided to make the entire batch of the scone base and keep in the freezer, making scones last week was much easier and quicker.
One of the reasons why I have trouble with scones is because you need to keep the butter super cold in order to get the correct texture of the finished product. Since I kept the scone base in the freezer, this wasn’t an issue–everything was super cold, including the flour! This ended up being to my advantage.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t run into some issues, though.
For this week’s scone recipe, I decided to take advantage of in-season fruit and bake with it. It’s currently strawberry season and there was a recipe for strawberry scones. It was fate (or just really good planning 😉 )
The dry ingredients were pretty much ready to go, so I kept them in the freezer until I was ready to work with them. The most time consuming part of this whole process was hulling and cutting up the strawberries. I needed about a cup of half-inch strawberry chunks. This was just a little over half of a standard pound of strawberries. I washed the berries before cutting and let them dry for a while before doing anything else. I figured they would be too wet and cause some issues once in the batter.
While the strawberries were drying, I measured out the super-cold scone base and added the wet ingredients combination. Then I realized I was supposed to add the strawberries before the wet stuff. I had no choice but to add them in at the end. I folded things gently and turned the dough ball onto a floured surface.
This is where things always get complicated when I make scones.
Scones are delicate pastry items. You don’t want to overwork the flour too much, otherwise the finished product will be dense and tough. Scones should be light and fluffy. I’m getting the hang of working with the scone dough and I’m realizing that it isn’t as “delicate” as it’s made out to be. Of course, you don’t want to overwork it too much, but you do need to work it a little bit.
So even though I wasn’t as afraid to manipulate the dough ball, it was very wet and sticking to the board, despite it being covered in flour. I decided to make the scones into circles like I did with the lemon scones last time. But, in hindsight because the dough was so moist and wet from the strawberries, I should have made triangles.
After cutting about four scones out from the disc, I refolded it and was able to get two more scones. I tried to recombine the dough to see if I could get one more, but the dough was too wet and soggy and full of strawberries, so I ended up just chucking it into the trash. I couldn’t do anything with it. I brushed the scones with some heavy cream and since I don’t have fancy sanding sugar (like the recipe calls for), I just sprinkled some regular granulated sugar on top.
Soon is was time for the scones to be baked. Baking was simple and there weren’t any surprises or accidents. No batter overflowed this time! But they did take a bit longer than the printed time in the recipe, but I think that was my own personal choice to get a little more color on the tops.
These were everything a scone should be. They were crumbly and flavorful. Though I do wish I had the sanding sugar to help with the texture. They were perfect warmed up a bit to help melt the small pad of butter I put on mine.
Though scones in general are not really my go-to pastry of choice, Bobbie Lloyd knows how to make a scone. I’m looking forward to trying some other variations in the book. The Peach-Ginger combination seems intriguing!