Friday, April 29, 2011

Blackberry Scones for our Royal Breakfast

Yes, along with millions of other crazed Americans fascinated with British royalty, we watched the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton. The rest of the family was promptly in front of the TV (or should I say telly) at 2 a.m., and I stumbled downstairs shortly thereafter.

Nigella Lawson, a British food writer and one of my favorite contributors to National Public Radio, gave suggestions for making a royal breakfast fitting the occasion. And even though in England they are more of a tea time confection, Nigella recommended making scones. 

English scones are more what Amerians thinks of as biscuits, and biscuits are what the British call cookies. During our bed and breakfast days, Katie and I made our version of English scones with white chocolate and cranberries. They were very popular, but I have no idea of their authenticity. My only experience in Great Britain is a layover at Heathrow. Someday I hope to do some research in person.

For our little viewing party, I decided to try a new recipe for scones using blackberries. Blackberries are not in season and terribly expensive, so I used frozen. Frozen works fine but is a bit messy. But, the result was mighty fine.

I've always heard the English eat their scones with clotted cream, an extremely thick cream with an extremely high fat content (I'm sure the "clotted" refers to your arteries). Since clotted cream isn't sold here, Katie and I chose to top the scones with vanilla yogurt. Not only a healthier choice, but just what the scones needed. Absolutely brilliant!

I plan to try these scones with other seasonal berries. But for now...

I'm feeling sleep deprived...

and need a nap.

My best to Prince William and Princess Catherine. Good night.

Simply smashing!

Blackberry Scones
adapted from Ivy Bake Shoppe Cookbook

  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 tsps. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 12 Tbsps. butter, cold and cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup butter milk
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups blackberries (divided)
  • sugar

Preheat oven to 425°.

Mix all the dry ingredients. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture is small pea-sized with chunks of butter still evident. This can also be achieved in a stand mixer on low.

Mix buttermilk, cream and egg together. Stir into butter mixture or slowly add to mixer on low. Mix until just combined. Remove to floured surface and fold dough over onto itself ten times. Divide dough in half. Roll one half out to 1/2". Top with half the berries and fold dough over. Roll dough to 3/4". This is where using frozen berries that are thawed out can get messy, but it's OK. Use a biscuit cutter to cut out scones. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone liner.  Brush tops of scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake for 13 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough and berries.

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