We have an interesting phenomenon in our house. If you are a parent, perhaps you are familiar with this one. It’s the “whenever I don’t have much of something the kids want tons of it, but when I buy tons of it, the kids want nothing to do with it” phenomenon. There is an additional part to it which is the “whatever the kids love and adore at their friends’ houses, they will not eat at home”.
Last Friday, I brought the boys to a favorite farmers market and I needed some berries for a dessert for the next day. I bought a half flat – three boxes of blueberries, two of raspberries, and one of strawberries. The boys were literally eating the blueberries by the handful, shoveling them in their mouths like I had never given them fruit before. But I had to cut them off because I needed some of those blueberries and they acted like I had just taken ice cream cones away from them.
So on our way home from a family birthday celebration on Lopez Island, as we passed farm stand after farm stand full of berries, we pulled off and I bought a full half flat of blueberries. They had a few and now are over it. Which leaves me with precisely almost a full half flat of blueberries. Only one thing to do with them.
Actually, there are lots of things I could do with them and considering I still have lots left over, I will be doing something else. (Suggestions?) The reason I went right to scones is because of good old Holly B. We left for Lopez on Sunday and my sister-in-law Amy, who was leaving the island just as we were arriving, was kind enough to text me that Holly B’s would be closed on Monday, my birthday, for an “over-the-hump” day. WHAT?? The nerve! So we made sure to stop off on the way to the house. Usually, when we go for the weekend, I have at least two visits to the bakery. This time there was only one and if you can only go once, you have to get a cinnamon roll. At least if you are me. Oh yes, I could have gotten multiple things but there is such a thing as OD’ing on baked goods (oh yes there is!) and I’d rather than have a little than too much. So I baked scones instead of buying them at the bakery.
Truth be told, I’m not a big scone girl. Or muffin or pancake girl. I like my breakfasts on the savory side and if I am going to eat something with loads of butter, I would rather have a brownie. But when fruit is calling you and you have just seen gorgeous scones in a favorite bakery that you didn’t get a chance to sample, it’s time to make scones.
Now I have to tell you about my new favorite flour. Over the past couple of months, I have gotten numerous emails from companies offering me free things with the idea that I will blog about them. Many of the products are things I would never use but occasionally something catches my attention. One of the first offers I got was for some flour from a company called Stone-Buhr. Stone-Buhr works with wheat farmers in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho and has a web site (www.findyourfarmer.com) where you can find out where your bag’s wheat came from. Cool, huh? I’ve been a loyal King Arthur flour user for years but I love the idea of supporting local farmers and I have now officially made the switch. After using up my free bag in a hurry (I go through a lot of flour), I was thrilled to find Stone-Buhr in my local grocery store.
Back to the scones. I really liked these because they are not too sweet so that the fruit can shine through. There are all kinds of combinations you could use here and just about everything would be good. Holly’s original recipe has you make a giant amount of scone mix which, although it keeps well, is not something I feel like storing in my refrigerator. I cut it in half which is why some of the measurements might sound a little odd. You will still have enough for two batches of scones.
4½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. whole wheat flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1½ tbsp. baking powder
1¼ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
2¾ sticks cold butter, sliced
Place all the ingredients except the butter in a large bowl and mix.
Fit your food processor with the steel knife blade. Put half the butter in the bowl and top with half the dry ingredients. Pulse until the butter is reduced to pearl-sized bits. Don’t over process or it will turn into a dough, you want a dry mix. Pour the processed mixture into another large empty bowl. Repeat this process with the remaining dry ingredients and butter. Be sure to break up any large lumps of butter and, when through, toss thoroughly with your fingers.
Transfer the scone mix to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 months, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
3¼ cups scone mix
¼ cup sugar
1 cup fresh or frozen fruit, berries left whole, other fruit cut into ½-inch cubes
¾ cup buttermilk
Sugar for topping the scones
Preheat the oven to 375ºF with the rack in the center position.
In a medium bowl, toss the Scone Mix and sugar together with your fingers. Add the fruit and toss again until just-mixed. Frozen fruit will begin to melt and bleed at bit – this is OK. Drizzle the buttermilk over the mixture and stir gently. The mixture should be just wet enough to make a ball when pressed together. If too dry, drizzle on more buttermilk. Dryer is better than wetter.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a disk 1½ inches thick. Sprinkle generously with sugar. Cut the circle into 8 wedges. Place the scones at least 1 inch apart on a baking sheet.
Bake 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake 5 to 10 minutes more or until the scones are brown on the bottom (check with a spatula) and slightly brown on top. The baking time maybe shorter if you are using fresh fruit. Cool, or serve warm.
(DT: These get a bit soggy after a day or so, but still taste delicious. You can always freeze them.)