Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Strawberry Scones with Honey Thyme Butter

Strawberry scones have been popping up everywhere lately on the "internets".  Here and here and here. I have a love/hate relationship with scones.  I love moist scones or scones fresh from the oven.  I hate dry, dense scones that make a better doorstop than breakfast item.   But strawberry scones piqued my interest.  It made me decide to give scones another chance, you know, see if they've learned anything during our breakup. We're taking it slowly--keeping it casual for now, seeing where it goes.

I've been experimenting with different recipes, seeing as we're not exclusive.  Some use buttermilk, others use sour cream, some with heavy cream.  Some with baking soda and baking powder, some with just baking powder, etc.  I've settled on creating this recipe for now.  Using fresh strawberries, instead of a dried fruit ups the moisture content.  You'll notice I've added up to an additional 1/4 c of flour to the recipe to account for how juicy your berries are.  I've put some lemon zest in to brighten the flavor.  I've also added a recipe for Honey Thyme Butter to accompany your scones--I love the pairing of strawberries and thyme.  As for the scones and I...maybe love is better the second time around.

Fresh Strawberry Scones
Makes approximately 16 scones

2 c  flour + 1/4 c additional flour
2 t baking powder
1 egg
1 t vanilla
3 t lemon zest
1/2 t sea salt
1/3 c sugar
1/2 c very cold butter, cubed
1/2 c very cold heavy cream
3/4 c diced fresh strawberries

For the topping:
1 T heavy cream
2T Demera sugar or Sugar in the Raw

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
3. Cut butter into cubes and refrigerate until ready to use.
4. Put the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar into the bowl of your food processor. Pulse a few times to mix.
5. Add the cubed butter and lemon zest to the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Do not overmix.
6. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
7. Measure your cream into a liquid measuring cup and whisk the egg and vanilla into the cream. Add the liquids to the dry mixture mixing with a fork, and stir until just combined – do not over mix!
8. Add your diced strawberries and turn dough onto a lightly floured board.
9. If your strawberries are very juicy, you may have to add up to 1/4c of additional flour.  You want the dough to be tacky, but not sticky.
10.  Gently pat out dough into a rectangle, about 1 inch high.
11.  Cut dough into three rows, then cut each row into triangles.
12. Transfer to parchment lined baked sheets.  Brush tops with cream and sprinkle on sugar.
13. Bake for 20 minutes.

Honey Thyme Butter
1/2 stick of salted butter, softened
2t honey
1t fresh minced thyme

Combine all ingredients then refrigerate until ready to use.

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