Double Berry Scones
I never met a scone I didn’t like.
Well, that’s not entirely true. I’m always tempted by the crusty, craggy scones in the case at various coffeehouses and after taking a bite, am sorely disappointed at their uncanny resemblance to heavy, dry hockey pucks. But those instances have been few and far between, and thankfully, avoided by my insistence on making them at home for weekend breakfasts (more often than I’d like to admit.)
I’d played around with a blueberry scone recipe a few times, but I was never happy with how much liquid the fresh blueberries seemed to release into the scone. As much as I love using fresh fruit, sometimes it can release a bit too much liquid and change the texture of the final baked scone — you get something more like a muffin, and since I like my scones crusty on the outside, super-tender inside, and more on the biscuit side of the scone family than the muffin side, this just won’t do. Dried fruit, I know, is the recommended choice for scones, but have you ever looked at the junk that’s put into a container of dried fruit? Usually high fructose corn syrup, sometimes preservatives — it really irks me; why can’t they just dry the fruits and leave them in their pure, delicious unadulterated state?
So, you can imagine my delight when I came across a container of organic Just Blueberries at the natural foods store near me the other day: the berries are dried and have no sweeteners added to them. So into the scone batter they went, along with some chopped dried strawberries (sadly, these did have a little sugar added, but it was all natural – no HFCS) and some grated lemon zest. Sounding good already, right? I usually like to use at least half white whole wheat flour in my scone recipes as well, and these followed suit. Buttermilk adds a nice tang that complements the lemon zest in the batter, too.
These were our breakfast on July 4th morning: I thought the blue blueberries and red strawberries would create a somewhat red-white-and-blue scone, but it turned out more yellow-blue-and-maroon. No matter. They were really, really delicious alongside a mug of coffee!
Double Berry Scones
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur brand)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup dried strawberries, chopped
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 egg yolk
To brush the scones with: 1 egg white and some granulated sugar to sprinkle on top
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Combine the flours, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, salt and zest in a large bowl. Whisk or toss with your fingers to combine. Drop in the chunks of butter, toss them briefly to coat them with flour, then use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour until you have pieces resembling coarse meal, oatmeal flakes, and peas.
Whisk together the buttermilk and egg yolk, and all at once, add to the flour and butter mixture. Stir gently and quickly with a fork until it comes together into a loose dough. Use your hands to gather the pieces of dough into a ball and knead it a few times against the edge of the bowl, just to gather any loose pieces (the dough will be fairly moist, so you can sprinkle a little more flour on your hands if it helps.)
Pat the dough out on a floured surface into a round disk, about 1 inch high. Use a sharp knife to cut the disk into 8 wedges, and place the wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg white and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Bake for about 15-18 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.
Makes 8 scones.