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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Mixed berry scones

My friend L is expecting a little girl next month.  Two of her friends and her mother-in-law threw her a baby shower yesterday.  On the menu?  Tea and scones.  And -- as i'm sure you guessed -- yours truly offered to bake up some scones for the momentous occasion!

5 different kinds of scones for L's baby shower.  Every day this week I'll post one or two recipes.
These mixed berry scones are all the way on the left of the picture!
Which one will be featured tomorrow??

I wanted to make a variety of scones, and since the hosts said they'd need about 40 scones, I figured I had the perfect opportunity to test out a few different scone flavors.  So, as you may have figured out, this week will be scone week on JulieBakes!

First up were these mixed berry scones.

First off, if done right, scones are pretty easy.  I love the fact that you don't have to wait for the butter to warm up to room temperature (it's often times the most time-intensive part of baking, and I've yet to find an alternate way of doing it besides leaving it on the counter and allowing it to warm up and soften).  I don't have a pastry blender, though, so getting the butter to break up into pea sized bits is a bit difficult with a fork, but it's worth it.

I made the scones ahead of time and then froze them.  Scones are really the best the same day they're baked, and savory ones (you'll see some of those this week) I find are best fresh out of the oven.  This way, I got to pop the scones of the freezer and bake them up that morning, without having to pull an all nighter getting 5 (or more....) types of scones made and freshly baked that morning!  The only problem?  Since these had frozen fruit in them,when I went to bake these they ended up a little watery and I didn't think they were pretty enough to serve, so I ended up making a quick fresh batch yesterday morning for the shower.  So, take note, these are a make the day of scone (translation: don't pre-make and freeze these [spoiler alert: the rest of the scones this week can be frozen]).

The scones were served with assorted jams, clotted cream, and butter.

I cut the scones as directed, but found that they were a bit thick and big,  So when I made them the second time, I rolled them out and then cut them into triangles free-hand.  I got about 18 medium-sized scones.  They baked up for about 12 minutes and were perfectly delicious!

Mixed Berry Scones
(these scones call for a glaze, which I left off.  But I've included the recipe for the glaze in case you're interested)
Original recipe from Averie Cooks.


2 cups flour, plus more for dusting hands and work surface
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream (light is OK)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 heaping cup of mixed berries (both the original recipe and I used frozen mixed berries -- so easy and I highly recommend it!), if using frozen berries, do not defrost them
1 Tbsp orange or lemon zest, optional (I used lemon zest and loved the bright lemony pop that it gave, and I thought it went really well with the berries.)
Turbinado, raw, or coarse sugar, optional (which I opted for, and I used turbinado sugar)

For the glaze (which I left off):
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 Tbsp, approx, of cream or milk (or you can substitute in orange or lemon juice)


Preheat the oven to 400F.
Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.
Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix 2 cups flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and optional salt.
Whisk to combine.

Cube the butter.
Add the butter to the flour mixture, and with a pastry cutter or two forks, cut the butter in (you can use a food processor, too, or a Kitchen-Aid mixer....which I did the morning of the shower when I needed every time-saving trick I could come up with).
Once the pieces of butter are smaller, you can mush them up with your hands.
Some larger pea-sized clumps of butter are OK.
Set aside the bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, and vanilla.

Pour the wet mixture over the dry.
With a soft-tipped spatula, fold until just combined.
Be sure not to overmix the scones -- the dough should be wet and shaggy.

Fold in the berries and zest, if using.

Sprinkle about 2 Tbsp of flour onto a Silpat or clean work surface (I use wax paper or parchment paper on the counter) and lightly coat hands.

Turn the dough onto the work surface and knead it into an 8 inch round circle -- This is where I did mine differently...
I kneaded mine a few times, and then sprinkled some flour on top.
I placed another piece of waxed paper or parchment paper on to[p of the dough and then rolled it out. I cut them into 2 to 3 inch wide strips, and then cut them into triangles.

Using a flat spatula, transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet, being sure to place them at least 2 inches apart.
Tip - try to avoid exposed berries touching the baking sheet, since they're prone to burning (although I couldn't do that with all my scones, and none of them burned).

If using sugar on top (which I did), sprinkle each wedge with a generous pinch or turbinado sugar, about 1 tsp each.

Bake for about 18 minutes (mine were a little smaller, about 10-12 minutes was enough), if using fresh (not frozen) berries, they will likely need a shorter baking time, so just be aware.
A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.

Allow the scones to cool on the baking tray for about 5 minutes before removing and transfering them to a rack to finish cooling.

While the scones are cooling, make the glaze, if using.

Whisk together the confectioners sugar and cream/milk/citrus juice (whichever you choose to use....but just use one!).
Depending on desired consistency, you may need to add more sugar or cream/milk/citrus juice.

Evenly drizzle the glaze over the scones before serving.

* Scones are best served fresh.  These will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. *

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