It’s strawberry season in California and I have been obsessed. I feel the urge to buy local strawberries whenever I see them at farmer’s markets and produce stands. I bought so many this week that I couldn’t keep up with eating them them before they went bad. And, when I realized more strawberries would be coming my way in my Eatwell box this week, I knew I had to do something.
I had flagged this scone recipe from Confessions of a Tart in my blog reader recently, as it looked so easy and so delicious. I made the batter the night before and it really just took a few minutes. The next morning, I baked it and yum, yum. I definitely recommend it to satisfy your strawberry baked good fix. Or any fruit baked good fix, really.
1 cup strawberries (or other fruit)
3 tablespoons sugar – I used vanilla sugar (threw a scraped out vanilla bean pod in a container of sugar, let it sit indefinitely)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, in cubes, slightly softened
2/3 cup half-and-half or cream or cold buttermilk
1 tablespoon sugar (again, I used vanilla sugar)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet or cover it in parchment. Don’t skip this step. I did and wound up with burnt strawberry bits encrusted on my sheet.
If using larger fruit, cut into bite-sized pieces. At least quartered, more if needed. Sprinkle fruit with 1/2 tablespoon sugar; set aside. Be sure to make the pieces small, or they tend to fall out of the dough. They’ll still be plenty prominent in your finished scones.
Combine remaining sugar with flour, baking powder and salt. Add butter, using a pastry cutter or your fingers to evenly mix the butter into flour. Stir in fruit; then add cream/half-and-half/buttermilk all at once. Gently stir dough until it holds together.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to incorporate dry ingredients. Be gentle so you don’t break up the berries and don’t overwork the dough. Sprinkle dough with flour if it gets sticky.
Pat the dough into a circle 3/4 inch thick. If any berries peek out, push them into dough. At this point, I wrapped it up in plastic wrap and stuck it in the fridge to bake in the morning. Scone dough can sit for a couple days in the fridge since it doesn’t have any eggs in it. But if you want to power through and bake it right away, no need to refridgerate.
Cut circle into 6-8 wedges, then transfer wedges to the cookie sheet, leaving at least 1/2 inch of space between them. Bake 15 minutes.
Sprinkle with sugar and bake 5-10 more minutes or until the tops are beginning to brown and spring back when you push them. (The sprinkling of sugar over the top for the last few minutes of baking creates a simple, sparkly topping.