Saturday, June 23, 2012

Scrumptious Scones with Fresh Local Strawberries

One of my favourite times of the year is here - fresh Ontario strawberries are in season!

There is nothing like a freshly picked, ripe strawberry - so red, sweet and juicy!  I have such memories of picking strawberries in the fields when I was a kid - burning hot sun, mosquito bites and toads hiding under the plants (to which I have a ridiculous phobia of).  But on the bright side, there was an endless supply of fresh berries to pop in your mouth as you worked.

Strawberry season was one of my grandpa's favourite times of the year as well.  He loved those fresh berries.  He appreciated every day of the season as he devoured bowl after bowl.  It helped that his wife, my grandma, was an excellent baker and found a way to put strawberries into just about everything.  Her strawberry pie was to die for!

I want to share with you my new favourite way to enjoy fresh local stawberries - on top of warm scones with homemade strawberry jam and whipped cream!
I make these scones quite often.  My family LOVES them!  I don't know their true origin.  Many years ago, we had friends over for brunch and one friend brought them with her.  They were delicious and I had to have the recipe immediately.  Thankfully, she passed it along.  They are perfect with a cup of tea, for breakfast or an afternoon treat!  I make the cheese variation throughout the winter to have with our vegetarian chili and soups.  Yum yum!

Scones with Currants
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup currants
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten

In large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Using pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in currants.
- add buttermilk all at once, stirring with fork to make soft, slightly sticky dough.
- with lightly floured hands, press dough into ball.  On lightly floured surface, knead gently 10 times.
- pat out dough in 3/4 inch thick round.
- cut into 8 equal triangles or use a round cutter and cut into circles.  Place on ungreased baking sheet.
- Brush tops of scones with egg.  Bake in 425 F (220 C) oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. 

Dried Fruit and Lemon Scones: Substitue 1/2 cup raisins, dried blueberries, dried cranberries, chopped dried cherries, apricots or prunes for currants.  Add 2 tsp grated lemon rind to dry mixture.
Cheese Scones: Omit sugar and currants.  Add 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper to flour mixture.  Add 1 cup shredded old Cheddar cheese after butter has been cut in.
Cutting the butter in
Leave those lovely chunks of butter
Add your currants
Add the buttermilk
Mix with a fork
After kneading, pat into a round
See the bubbling butter?  Such a good thing!

My husband and I load our scones up with everything - our homemade jam, whipped cream and fresh berries.  Sometimes we have them with lemon curd, instead of jam.

Little L's preference - only whipped cream!

Little V's preference - only jam!

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