Scones chase the blues away (Jan 2012)

(Posted Jan 2012)

Used to the constant movement required to keep a household for a family of six moving smoothly, I found myself still.  Too still.  Not in a good way.  I enjoyed having the time to devote to God and study, but I began experiencing what I now believe to be a bit of homesickness.  Having never been away from my whole family for more than 8 days, the 18 I was gone seemed an eternity and was only bearable by the amazing friendships I was forming and spiritual growth and awareness I was immersed in.

So I found myself suddenly needing to express to this cohort of mine just what they were beginning to mean to me- and to work through how very much I missed the arms of my children and husband.  For me that was answered in one way: cook for them.  Feed my sheep, right?  So was feeding them, literally.  Our first Saturday I made them breakfast.  With many helping hands, we took over the kitchen on the second floor of Stub Hall and made Dutch Eggs with fresh fruit and homemade syrup, biscuits and sausage gravy, and blueberry scones.  While any hot meal would have been received well in my opinion, the scones took the grand prize- and they weren’t even as good as I make at home.  Still, they fed something in each person there and they granted me a gentle and less weepy way of saying to my cohort, I care for you, thank you for being with me, thank you for accepting me, thank you for being who you are and loving me just as I am too.  Blueberry scones chased the blues away and gave me a great way to say Thank You.   Here is a pic from my home, of the scones and the recipe to follow.  Enjoy!

Blueberry Scones

Ingredients:

8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, frozen whole

1½ cups (7½ oz.) fresh blueberries

½ cup whole milk

½ cup sour cream

2 cups (10 oz.) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface

½ cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

2 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

Adjust an oven rack to middle position and preheat to 425˚ F.  Grate the frozen butter on the holes of a large box grater.   Place the blueberries in the freezer until needed.

Whisk together the milk and sour cream in a medium bowl; refrigerate until needed.  Combine the flour, ½ cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon zest in a medium mixing bowl.  Whisk to combine.  Add the grated butter to the flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.

Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and fold with a spatula just until combined.  Transfer the dough to a generously floured work surface.  Dust the top of the dough with flour, and knead with well floured hands, 6-8 times, just until the dough holds together in a ragged ball.  Add small amounts of flour as needed to prevent sticking.

Roll the dough into a 12-inch square.  Fold the dough into thirds like a business letter (a dough scraper really helps with these steps).  Fold the short ends of the dough into the center in thirds, to form an approximate 4-inch square.  Transfer the dough to a plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in the freezer for 5 minutes.

Return the dough to the floured work surface and roll into an approximately 12-inch square again.  Sprinkle the blueberries evenly over the surface of the dough, and gently press down so that they are slightly embedded in the dough surface.  Using a dough scraper, roll the dough up to form a tight log.  Lay the log seam side down and press the the log into a 12 by 4-inch rectangle.  Using a sharp, floured knife, cut the rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles.  Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles.  Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.

Brush the tops of the scones with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with sugar.   Bake until the tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18-25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Source: adapted from Entertaining from Cook’s Illustrated, Spring 2009

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