Saturday, June 20, 2009

Scones and a quick Garden Update...

Before we get to the food, we went out and took some quick snaps to update how our little garden is doing!

Snow peas on one side of the climbing fence...

The other side!

Here is a baby sugar snap pea...

The snow peas didn't grow too tall, but the snap's sure did!

Here's another angle... the height of the fence only goes up to four feet.

When we went up the strawberry bed, guess what we found?!

Hello beautiful! It looks like the plants love their little hill.

Max was sittin' pretty too (and a little jealous of all the Gus coverage lately), so we figured he was ready for his close-up...

It's scone time again! I made sure to get up a little earlier today as I thought these Blueberry-Buttermilk Scones might make for a nice change to have as breakfast this sunny weekend morning.

You could use completely all-purpose flour in the dry ingredients for the scones (as we've done that plenty of times before), but to give these a little more tenderness, some of that was swapped out for a softer, less-protein filled cake flour. With just three piddly tablespoons of sugar to sweeten, once we got the dry ingredients whisked together, I used my trusty pastry blender to cut in tablespoons of butter until the butter broke down, leaving us with a texture of coarse meal - basically you want the butter bits to be randomly sized, without being much larger than the size of a pea. You can also do this in the food processor, but that would have been too noisy for how early I was up! Also, because I quite like the pairing of lemon and blueberries, I tossed in a couple teaspoons worth of the bright, yellow-y zest as we went along.

Just after we stirred in the plump, fresh berries, we moistened the dough with buttermilk, an egg and a few drops of pure vanilla. A few gently strokes later and before the dough had completely absorbed all the liquid, you'll want to scoop this unfinished dough out onto a lightly floured surface and use your hands to gently squish it together a few times until you've finished working in the remaining dry ingredients. After patting the dough out into a rough round, if you want smaller scones, divide the dough into twelve wedges, but I went with ten to get slightly bigger pieces. We've made recipes before where you just score the dough and then bake, which leaves you with softer edges, but if you separate the wedges, you'll get a crustier exterior all the way around.

To enhance their tops with a bit of crunch and color, we brushed each triangle with a beaten egg and dusted with granulated sugar - if you happen to have coarser turbinado sugar, this would be a fine place to use it. After giving them a rest from baking (which happened to be just enough time to shower!), I cracked into mine to find a delightfully moist, tender inside that contrasted beautifully with the almost crumbly sugar-spiked exterior. Since there isn't a lot of sugar used, I thought a jam might be nice to slather on, but the bursting of the berries added enough extra sweetness for me to think twice and leave it off. Plenty of scones are made with cream, which make for a delicious treat on its on, but the slight tang that comes through from using buttermilk is a pleasant change with the benefit of being less heavy on the fat. Plain yogurt could be used in its place to attain that tang if you wish - use the same half cup amount, but thin it out with a couple tablespoons of milk to up the moisture.


  1. Your garden looks great! I am loving the sugar snap peas I get each week at the farmers market, but to grow your own?! Jealous! And that strawberry is SO gorgeous! I saw local strawberries for the first time 2 weeks ago at the Minneapolis farmers market and I was super excited!

    Those scones sound delish--I wonder if subing strawberries for the blueberries would work?


  2. Thanks for the recipe!
    -Freshly grown strawberries are probably the best smell in the world; I'm so jealous.

  3. Wow, you guys have such a nice, tidy looking garden! And thanks for the recipe, along with the tip to sub in thinned yogurt for the buttermilk. That's very handy!

  4. Courtney - Good question... it is worth an experiment I would think!

    Sasha - And they taste out of this world right from the plant!

    Jeph - Thanks! But, I don't have nearly the amount of stuff happening that you two do!