Friday, March 29, 2013

Food For Thought Friday- Scones

 The temperature is rising with the sun's prevalence and inklings of green are sprouting up through the deadness winter left behind.  Spring is in the air and the sweet aroma of ripe strawberries was beckoning to me at the grocery store this week.  So instead of buying just one container like any normal person would do, I went strawberry crazy and bought two.  (Two is always better than one, right?)  Well, days went by and after my family had its fill of strawberries, I was left with a bunch sitting in my fridge and getting riper by the minute.  What's a girl to do?

Make scones, of course!  I love scones.  They are sophisticated muffins.  And sophistication is good.  These scones are very easy to make and capture the essence of spring with the bright flavors of strawberry and lemon.  So whip up a batch and fill your house with the delightful scent of spring berries.

Strawberry Scones

1 cup finely diced fresh strawberries
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
zest of 1/2 a lemon (about a tsp.)
6 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. light cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 425.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the diced strawberries on several sheets of paper towel to absorb their juice.  Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a large bowl.  Stir in lemon zest.  Cut in butter with a pastry blender or a fork until the flour-coated pieces are the size of peas.  Add the strawberries, tossing gently to coat.  Make a well in the center.  Blend the 1/2 cup cream and the vanilla extract in a measuring cup and pour them into the well.  Using as few strokes as possible, gently stir the dough until it forms a ball.  Let the dough sit for 1 minute.  Lightly flour your work surface and your hands.  Place the dough on the floured surface and knead it gently three or four times.  Transfer it to the large baking sheet and pat into an 8-inch circle.  Cut the circle into 8 wedges, just as you would a pizza.  Separate the pieces so that they are at least an inch apart.  Brush the tops of the scones with the remaining Tbsp. of cream and then sprinkle with the extra sugar.  Bake the scones until the outsides are crusty and just starting to turn golden brown, about 18 minutes.  Let them cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.  (If you can stand the wait.  I never can.)