Today I’m wishing early happy birthday to my lovely mother! Since it’s almost your birthday this post is for you!
I always seem to write about my mother and the profound influence she has had on my short and wondrous cooking career. I’ve occasionally been told that I’m a good cook, but the reality is that once you eat in my mother’s kitchen it’s clear that I pale in comparison. She’s not the type of cook to spend hours doing something crazy like making macaroons (remember that?) but she is extremely gifted at looking at a fridge with disparate items and making an amazing dinner. She’s the queen of lemonade and citrus marmalade and makes what I think is the world’s best red sauce. She taught me to never be afraid to cook and also how to chop and dice in correct, equal sized pieces (another story here: One time my friend and I were making shrimp etouffee with her and we chopped everything too big, she then forced us to go back and cut everything down to the right size. I’m talking cups and cups of onions, carrots, celery and pepper.. that will teach you to be precise). She’s the one who always reads my blog posts and tell me where I’ve done something wrong, so now this one’s for her.
You’ll notice that TKC has very few baking recipes because, well, I don’t really bake (though if you said this to some friends who I made killer brownies for this weekend they’d roll their eyes). This is partially because I’m too lazy to keep baking ingredients (baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract – you get the point). But when I’m home, all bets are off. Scones are one of those things our family makes only during this time of year when the weather is starting to get cold and we are all home together. I hope you can enjoy this recipe that my family enjoys so very much. I’ll admit it’s not the easiest recipe in the world since making dough can be hard, but I am by no means a talented baker and I was able to do it on my own.
What do you always make or bake when you get to spend time with your family?
Time: 30 minutes prep, 15 minutes baking Serves: Makes 2 dozen
- 1 egg
- 1 ¼ cup buttermilk
- 4 cups flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp almond extract
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 ½ sticks butter
- 1 ½ tsp dried orange peel
- ¾ cup dried blueberries
- 1 cup toasted sliced almonds
- We used dried buttermilk from a can and added water to make our buttermilk. You can also do another homemade substitute for buttermilk: Take a little more than one tbsp of lemon juice and add it to your measuring cup. Then fill the measuring cup up with milk to the 1 ¼ cups line mark. Mix and let sit for at least 5 minutes and voila, homemade buttermilk substitute.
- If you don’t have orange peel, dried blueberries and/or almonds use anything else you like: raisins, cranberries, chocolate chips, currants, nuts. According to my mother you should use 1-2 cups of dry flavoring. Use whatever you have and whatever sounds best.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees
Whisk together egg, buttermilk and almond extract.
In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, soda, salt and sugar and orange peel.
Prepare your add-ins to the scones. We used dried blueberries and slivered almonds. Put the almonds in the oven on a baking sheet around 400 for just a few minutes until they are lightly toasted.
Make sure that your butter is extremely cold. We like to cut the butter into chunks and then stick it into the fridge or freezer for a few minutes. When you are ready to take it out cut it up into smaller pieces.
Then, add the butter to the dry mix. Mix it in, then use two knives to cut up the butter some more. Make sure your hands are clean and then crumble the dough some more with your fingers. If you are really fancy you can do this in the food processor. Ultimately it should resemble a coarse meal. You don’t want any large chunks, the butter should be blended in but not melted. Add the blueberries and almonds to the dry mix.
Add the liquid ingredients. Mix very gently just so that the dough starts to form, you do not want to over mix.
On a clean countertop add about 1 tbsp flour and place dough on top. Knead the dough a few times, very gently. This is not like kneading bread, you just want to lightly fold it over itself so that layers form. Keep flouring your hands if the dough is too sticky to work with.
Cut the dough into fourths. Take each fourth and form into a ball. Place two of the balls on a greased baking sheet and pat down gently.
Cut each round into sixths. Don’t worry about cutting them all the way through. Brush a little milk over the top of the scones. You can sprinkle a little sugar on the tops, we like to use cookie sugar (sprinkles, basically).
Place into the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. Enjoy them while they’re warm.