Monday, February 27, 2012

Rattlebridge Farm's Berry Scones


A dazzle of morning sun fills my kitchen this morning.
The coffee pot is burbling, and the air smells sweetly of vanilla beans.
I can't wait to make a batch of berry scones. 


I didn't develop scone madness until I was 40 years old. I was traveling in England, and I stopped at a charming market in Stow-on-the-Wold. I bought a cranberry scone and scarfed it down
without a drop of clotted cream. I came home to Tennessee with five extra pounds
and ten more pounds of British cookbooks.

Today I am missing the green, rolling hills of England. I don't know if I will ever return. But that's fine, because food is an excellent tool for armchair travellers. Whenever I make scones, 
I am transported back to the Cotswolds.


Rattlebridge Farm's Berry Scones

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into tiny pieces
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried berries
Baileys Irish Cream
Egg wash (with a pinch of salt)
...
Place dried berries into a bowl. Pour Baileys Irish Cream over berries and set aside. Preheat oven to 375-400 degrees (depending on your oven's temperament). Sift dry ingredients. Use a pastry blender to work in the butter. When the mixture is crumbly, add buttermilk and egg. Blend.
Drain berries and work them into the dough. Knead gently. The dough will be sticky, and you might want to spray Pam onto your hands. Turn the dough onto a floured board. Run a rolling pin over the dough (you'll want the dough to be about 2" high). Cut out the scones. I use a small mug. Place scones on a greased baking pan. Brush tops with egg wash.
Bake in a pre-heated oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.




I love this recipe because it's forgiving to a slob like myself. The result is like a biscuit on steroids--cakey, dense, and faintly sweet. The scone lends itself to variations: you can add nuts, herbs, chocolate, lemon or orange zest, and berries.


In return, the scone asks one thing: don't overwork the dough.
And it's tempting--because scone dough is sticky. I always have to remind myself to use a light touch.

Sometimes I'm in the mood for a bite-sized, round scone. Other times I will shape the dough into a fat circle, roughly the size of a small, one-layer cake, and serve it in wedges.  


The "dressing" of a scone is a serious matter across the pond. Check out Baking for Britain for a primer on how folks in the West Country position their cream and jam.
I'll take mine hot or cold, with or without cream, any time of the day: breakfast, afternoon tea, or a midnight snack. 


A Metamorphosis Monday contribution.








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14 comments:

  1. The scones sound great! Love soaking the berries in Baileys:@)

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  2. I think I've been to that same shop in Stow when we lived in the Cotswolds last Spring -- our cottage wasn't far from there. The shop was a favorite stop of ours as well. And I, too, simply adore scones -- although the Brits seem to make theirs round -- we, Americans, prefer the triangles!

    Ah, for some cream and jam and a scone with my morning cup of tea (sigh) -- you've made me hungry for scones -- those I can do but, alas, there is no cream here in my little town in the prairie -- so I must add that to my list of "must gets" when I go to the city!

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  3. Sending a sweet hello from Frog Hollow Farm! Your scones look wonderful - and the memories of eating one in a market in England make them so much more delicious! Overworking the dough is always one of my major problems, with any dough. Thanks for sharing and have a great day! Ciao, Bella! xxoo

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  4. I love scones. I used to read about them in Harlequin novels. When I finally saw them in a bakery I couldn't wait to buy them, rush home and get out the jam. Yours look delicious.

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  5. I love anything using buttermilk, buttermilk makes everything taste amazing. I will definitely try this recipe. Always have buttermilk in the fridge and will add the berries to my grocery list. Thanks for sharing and the berries soaked in liquour, brilliant.

    Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

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  6. Yummy! My dream is to go to the Cotswolds!

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  7. Oh my goodness. I love your blog. Great weekly planning. I'm looking forward to your new book. Today I read your blog and I felt I was in your kitchen sitting on a stool watching you cook and waiting for a warm scone to pop out of the oven. I love England too. I just visited England and Scotland in 2011. I had the most fabulous scone in Oben, Scotland while waiting for the ferry to Iona. We are so blessed to have traveled to far-away places and experienced the food of another country. I will be back tomorrow.
    Betty @ My Cozy Corner

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  8. Oh my goodness. I love your blog. Great weekly planning. I'm looking forward to your new book. Today I read your blog and I felt I was in your kitchen sitting on a stool watching you cook and waiting for a warm scone to pop out of the oven. I love England too. I just visited England and Scotland in 2011. I had the most fabulous scone in Oben, Scotland while waiting for the ferry to Iona. We are so blessed to have traveled to far-away places and experienced the food of another country. I will be back tomorrow.
    Betty @ My Cozy Corner

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  9. These look great and I happen to have some buttermilk left in the fridge!

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  10. Buttermilk- I love scones with buttermilk in them! Will try these for sure! Pinning now!

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  11. Food does evoke time and place, doesn't it? Just sitting here reading - I am transported across the big pond and happy there's not jet lag. I am saving these for berry season - but first I must figure out the proper position for jam and clotted cream!

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