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Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Unprentious Scone

Oh, how I love a day with nothing on the agenda. Trust me. This is a very rare occurrence in our household. Between family obligations, birthday parties, baseball games, other scheduled activities and other commitments a day off is few and far between. Today is one of those days. Nothing. I don’t even care if it stopped raining and it is sunny outside and I should go to the pool. I have a whole day to myself with my family to catch up on things at home.

Sleeping until 8:30 am was a great way to start off the morning. Even better was my kids were still sleeping. I can’t even begin to tell you how I treasure that window of time that I am up in the morning catching up on email or Facebook with my cup of coffee before the chaos sets in.

With days like this, the whole day looming ahead I think about things I can cook or bake. I really did not want to invest a lot of time with a hot oven while it’s record breaking heat out there, so It would have to be something that needed a small amount of bake time. Peering in my refrigerator I spot a pint of blueberries and a quart of open buttermilk and my thoughts turned to scones.

My husband loves scones. It is his usual "go to" pastry at Starbucks along with this coffee. However, this man is picky about his scones. He does not like them too sweet, does not want them too crumbly and they should have some denseness to them. I had the perfect recipe tucked away that is quick and easy and gets a seal of approval from him. These scones are from Tyler Florence, of Food Network fame. What I love about them is my choice of using buttermilk or heavy cream during the prep. Don’t get me started on the cream. Oh boy, does that make them good. Today, I had buttermilk in my fridge and since I am trying to eat more low fat this was the source of dairy today. Also, these scones aren’t prepped and shaped like traditional scones. They are not rolled out, cut with a cutter in traditional triangular scone shapes. Once the batter is combined the dough is a sticky mess that is just scooped out in large spoonfuls on cookie sheets to bake for 15 or 20 minutes. Presenting the more rustic, casual scone. No heirs about this breakfast biscuit.

For fast prep, I combine all the dry ingredients in my food processor. I keep my butter in the freezer, cut in little pieces and pulse it through the dry ingredients until it resembles damp sand. I then beat the egg with the buttermilk and ran that through the food tube until the dough is just combined. You could make them the traditional way that is stated in the recipe below. Personally I like to take shortcuts when I can.

The orange glaze is completely optional. I personally like it. I like my pastries to have a sweet side, and the glaze gives the not so sweet scones a little something extra. The orange complements the blueberries beautifully. My husband asked to leave the glaze off a few. He is purist and thinks the glaze was not needed. I obliged, but after he sampled it both ways, he ended up with the way Tyler meant them to be.

Orange Glazed Blueberry Scones (recipe by Tyler Florence)

Makes 6 enormous scones

• 2 cups unbleached flour, plus more for rolling berries
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut in chunks
• 3/4 cup buttermilk or cream
• 1 egg
• 1 pint fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar; mix thoroughly. Cut in butter using 2 forks or a pastry blender. The butter pieces should be coated with flour and resemble crumbs.

In another bowl, mix buttermilk and egg together, and then add to the flour mixture.

Mix just to incorporate, do no overwork the dough.

Roll blueberries in flour to coat, this will help prevent the fruit from sinking to the bottom of the scone when baked. Fold the blueberries into batter, being careful not to bruise. Drop large tablespoons of batter on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until brown. Cool before applying orange glaze.

Orange Glaze:

• 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
• 3 tablespoons of orange juice

To prepare Orange Glaze:
Combine powdered sugar and orange juice in the a small bowl. Whisk until the mixture forms a glaze.

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