Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Strawberry Sour Cream Scones

I've been buying a crap load of strawberries.  They are my favorite berry--and they were having a two for one deal at the farmers market the other day.  That said, I'm getting a little frazzled trying to figure out how to consume all of them before they go bad.  I eat them every day--either on their own or in my cereal--but I still have a lot.  I mean I know I can make pies or cakes or jams but sometimes I want something a little different.  So when I came across an article on The Kitchn that so conveniently presented me with a slide show of just things to do with your spring/summer berries, I was like f yeah.  And then scrolling through it I came across these scones.

I never think of making scones.  I like scones.  My partner loves them.  They're not hard to make. My only problem with them is that they are really only good the day of baking them--like donuts--which is kind of a drag... After a day they seem to get a bit dry and a little less palatable.  But that wasn't really a factor for me. And I'm glad it wasn't because these scones were delectable.  The strawberry to dough ratio was perfect.  They were moist and tender.  And they had a crumb topping.  I love crumb toppings.  Crumb toppings--with all of their butter and sugar--can really elevate a baked good for me and this one did not disappoint.

So, if you're looking for an alternative from strawberry shortcakes or strawberry rhubarb pie, and want to expand your strawberry baked goods repertoire then make these guys because strawberry season is short and you should explore their presence in a variety of baked goods--especially these scones.

Recipe from The Kitchn

5oz (2c) all purpose flour
1.75oz (1/4c) granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
4oz (1/2c) cold unsalted butter cut into small 1/4 inch cubes
6oz (3/4c) cold sour cream
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla bean paste--or extract
1c chopped fresh strawberries

First, line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.  Next, in a large bowl sift and whisk all of the dry ingredients together.  In a separate small bowl, whisk the sour cream, egg and vanilla together until well blended and then set it aside.  Toss the cubed butter into the flour mixture and using a pastry blender--or a fork--cut the butter into the flour until it resembles course bread crumbs. Then, pour the wet ingredients--not the strawberries--into the dry. Using a silicone spatula, gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry just until incorporated--don't keep folding or else you are going to form some gluten strands and have a tough end product.  Next, place the dough onto the prepared baking sheet and gently pat--most easily with either a spatula or the back of your hand--it into a rectangle that's about a half of an inch thick.  Spread half of the chopped strawberries over the rectangle and gently press them into the dough--they do not have to be fully embedded within the dough.  Then--most easily with the use of a bench scraper--fold the rectangle in half and pat it again into another rectangle that's about a half of an inch thick.  Spread the remaining strawberries over the rectangle, press them gently into the dough and fold it in half again.  Gently pat the dough into another rectangle, fold it in half and do that one more time--you are just trying to thoroughly fold the strawberries into the dough.  Lastly, after your final "turn" pat the dough into a large circle that is an inch thick on the baking sheet.  Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least an hour--I did mine overnight.  In the meantime you can make the crumb topping.

Crumb topping

1.75oz (1/4c) all purpose flour
1.25oz (1/4c) brown sugar
1.5oz (3 T) cold salted butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes

In a small bowl--whisk together the flour and sugar.  Then--using either your fingers, a pastry blender or a fork--blend the butter into the flour/sugar mixture--into a crumble if possible.  My mixture just formed a big mass so I refrigerated it overnight and then I crumbled it the next morning when it was nice and cold.  At any rate, cover the mixture with plastic wrap and chill it until your scone dough has chilled.

For assembly

Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Remove the scones from the fridge and remove the plastic wrap as well. If any strawberries have fallen out of the dough, just gently press them back into it.  Crumble the crumb topping evenly over the dough and then cut the dough into eight equal wedges.  Carefully separate each wedge from its neighbor--as much as possible.  They will rise and spread out so ideally a two inch gap would be nice.  Finally, bake the scones for 18-20 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove them from the oven and let cool just enough until you can pick one up with your hand and it doesn't burn you.  Serve warm.

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