Saturday, July 23, 2011

Scones, the Raspberry Variation

Raspberry buttermilk scones by Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books
My buttermilk scone recipe is like gesso on a blank canvas, ready for whatever fruits I fancy. In the winter, raisins and dried cranberries get their turn, folded into the sweet, buttery dough. In summer, fresh, ripe berries take a tumble in the biscuits. I wrote at length about the blueberry version, Blueberry Lemon Buttermilk Scones, including step-by-step instructions for the shaping technique.

I'm pleased to report that the raspberry version is just as luscious as the blueberry version. Buy a pint of red raspberries at the store and let your kids eat a few, putting them on each little finger. Fold the rest into this recipe and enjoy a teatime treat - berry-studded scones, hot from the oven.

Raspberries by Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

Raspberry Buttermilk Scones

A key to tender scones is to shred frozen butter into the dry ingredients. I store butter in the freezer, so this is usually convenient. In the wintertime, when my house is at 68 degrees, I can get by using butter straight from the refrigerator, but in the summer, when the house is at 78 degrees, frozen butter makes a big difference.

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon. salt

2 1/2 teaspoons. baking powder

1/2 teaspoon. baking soda

3/4 cup unsalted butter, frozen

1 1/4 cups buttermilk, plus extra

1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen

Half and half or milk or cream for glazing, optional

Demerara or sparkle sugar for glazing

1. In a batter bowl, mix dry ingredients together. Using a regular grater, shred the frozen butter and lightly mix the shavings into the dry ingredients. Using your hands and a gentle, quick touch, make sure the butter is evenly distributed throughout the flour mixture.

2. Pour in the buttermilk and stir gently with either a wooden spoon or my instrument of choice, a silicone spatula. If mixture seems dry, add additional buttermilk until a cohesive dough forms. The dough should be slightly wet and sticky, but not overly so.

3. On a floured countertop, press dough into a rough 12 X 6 inch rectangle and follow shaping instructions above. Fold in raspberries, then fold into thirds, letter-style. Press into 12 X 6 rectange again and fold letter-style again. Press again into a 12 X 6 rectangle and cut into 16 triangles. Place scones on a lined baking sheet. The scones can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 24 hours.

4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Carefully brush each wedge with buttermilk or cream and sprinkle sugar over the top. Bake at 400 for at least 15 minutes. They may need a bit more time, depending on your oven, convection, etc. Scones are ready when they are golden brown on top and bounce back when touched lightly in the center.

If this is more scones than you want to bake (all that butter!), check out my half-recipe.

Text and images copyright 2011, Lucy Mercer.

1 comment:

Lucy said...

I love scones and raspberries -- perfect combination and those look delicious!