Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sunday Satisfaction!

As if my Sunday mornings weren't satisfying enough, what with my cup of coffee and the NYT, this past Sunday w got it in her head that what we needed was a batch of fresh baked blueberry scones. So lets see...Sunday morning...coffee in bed with the NYT....and the smell of fresh baked scones wafting through the house? Once again, it all works out for me. Oh, and thanks, honey!

So here's the perfect use for all those plump, juicy berries that you see bursting out at farmer's markets these days. This recipe from Cook's Illustrated is...according to w...extremely easy. According to me it's extremely delicious! These may be the best scones I've ever had. I'm guessing you'll agree.....

The scones before baking. The picture above are the scones about 30 seconds out of the oven...yummm!


Blueberry Scones
from Cook's Illustrated

It is important to work the dough as little as possible—work quickly and knead and fold the dough only the number of times called for. The butter should be frozen solid before grating. In hot or humid environments, chill the flour mixture and workbowls before use. While the recipe calls for 2 whole sticks of butter, only 10 tablespoons are actually used (see step 1). If fresh berries are unavailable, an equal amount of frozen berries (do not defrost) can be substituted. An equal amount of raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries can be used in place of the blueberries. Cut larger berries into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces before incorporating. Refrigerate or freeze leftover scones, wrapped in foil, in an airtight container. To serve, remove foil and place scones on a baking sheet in a 375-degree oven. Heat until warmed through and recrisped, 8 to 10 minutes if refrigerated, 16 to 20 minutes if frozen. See final step for information on making the scone dough in advance.

16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), frozen whole (see note above)
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (about 7 1/2 ounces), picked over (see note)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces), plus additional for work surface
1/2 cup sugar (3 1/2 ounces), plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Score and remove half of wrapper from each stick of frozen butter. Grate unwrapped ends on large holes of box grater (you should grate total of 8 tablespoons). Place grated butter in freezer until needed. Melt 2 tablespoons of remaining ungrated butter and set aside. Save remaining 6 tablespoons butter for another use. Place blueberries in freezer until needed.
2. Whisk together milk and sour cream in medium bowl; refrigerate until needed. Whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest in medium bowl. Add frozen butter to flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.
3. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; fold with spatula until just combined. With rubber spatula, transfer dough to liberally floured work surface. Dust surface of dough with flour; with floured hands, knead dough 6 to 8 times, until it just holds together in ragged ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.
4. Roll dough into approximate 12-inch square. Following illustrations, fold dough into thirds like a business letter, using bench scraper or metal spatula to release dough if it sticks to countertop. Lift short ends of dough and fold into thirds again to form approximate 4-inch square. Transfer dough to plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in freezer 5 minutes.
5. Transfer dough to floured work surface and roll into approximate 12-inch square again. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over surface of dough, then press down so they are slightly embedded in dough. Using bench scraper or thin metal spatula, loosen dough from work surface. Roll dough, pressing to form tight log. Lay seam-side down and press log into 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Using sharp, floured knife, cut rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet.
6. Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving.
To Make Ahead:
After placing the scones on the baking sheet, either refrigerate them overnight or freeze. When ready to bake, for refrigerated scones, heat oven to 425 degrees and follow directions in step 6. For frozen scones, heat oven to 375 degrees, follow directions in step 6, and extend cooking time to 25 to 30 minutes.


deeeeeeena said...

They look amazing! I love how the blueberries are bursting out...

bb said...

I know....using perfectly ripe in-season berries and putting them in frozen makes all the difference. Keeps the berries intact instead of turning them to mush.

Anh said...

This is a great recipe! I love blueberries, and can't wait for their season to return!

Will Haynes said...

This recipe looks like it might make the kind of scones that I can never seem to find at cafes or coffee shops these days. Maybe it would make rich, warm, flaky scones like the ones I used to get in my childhood. Okay, I admit I'm only 27, but I think this low-fat thing has gone way too far in the last 10 years! Please let me know if these scones are the ones I dream about every time I hear that word.

bb said...

anh....you'll love them! Hope the season comes soon. 6 months away, right?!

will...these are the scones you've been dreaming of. We're both scone snobs, and these are the deal!
And people need to get over their fear of butter and get off their asses and exercise more, so maybe they can enjoy their food again.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Your scones look wonderful, they would make any morning so much better!

bb said...

Thanks Patricia, but all credit goes to the baker in the house, w, not me. I'm just the lucky beneficiary of her remarkable morning motivation!
And the tilapia on your site looks great...I'll be making that soon!

Lizzy said...

Those look delicious. I tried to make blueberry streusel scones once, but these look better. I'll have to try it. Thanks for the recipe!

bb said...

Lizzy....you'll be amazed how happy they'll make you...have fun!

Julianna said...

i made some that seem really similar -- the recipe from the Savoy Hotel that I learned in pastry class -- delicious! i posted about them here:



EC said...

I made these last year with strawberries and blackberries instead of blueberries and they were delicious! I couldn't find my copy of the Cooks Illustrated and their website was going to make me pay for it. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting it here. Now I can have some relaxing Sunday breakfasts of my own.

Jill W said...

Bruce - please tell W that she has done me no favors by raising the bar - and John's expectations - of what a wife should do for her husband on a Sunday morning! I haven't made scones in ages (and apparently never for my husband), so it looks like I'll be making a trip to farmer's market this Saturday. Complain as I might...I look forward to trying them! W's are picture perfect!

bb said...

Sorry Jill....I apologize in advance for w setting you up! But they taste so good you'll both be very happy!

Anonymous said...

I made these just the other day. They are the best scones I have ever had. America's Test Kitchen recipes are sure fire! They test their recipes so thoroughly, you know you'll have a winner if you just follow the instructions.

armywife1228 said...

I made these scones today!!! they were awesome! I didn't quite make traditional triangles because I was trying to move fast. But they were awesome. Definitely a keeper. Thanks!!!

vespaluv said...

oh my goodness. i just made these. DELICIOUS!!!! seriously, so good.