So, I’ve decided to add a new feature to my blog, because while books are very important, you can’t live on them alone! (I know, shocking thought, right??) I was inspired to do this by my book club – we read Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson (a lovely little story set in England), and I made some scones to help set the mood for the review. I mean, come on, scones and British literature go hand-in-hand, don’t they? So, since I love to cook and bake almost as much as I love to read, I thought it might not be a bad idea to share some of my favorite nummies for you to enjoy while you read.
When I first decided that I wanted to make something for the book club meeting, I had no idea what I’d bring. I searched Pinterest (which I am addicted to!) for a recipe to inspire me. I stumbled across a recipe for “London Fog Shortbread” cookies (they sound divine – you should look them up, seriously!), but didn’t have all of the ingredients I needed. So, I dug around in my pantry and flipped through my favorite recipes and decided that I had just what I needed to make some scones flavored with Earl Grey tea and blackberries. Yummmmmm!
I gathered up the basics – flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, and mixed them up. Then I grabbed five bags of Earl Grey tea and ground them with my mortal & pestle (you could also use a spice grinder – it would probably be easier, I’m just not that gadgety).
I mixed the ground tea right into the flour mixture.
Next, I cut in a stick of butter. Now, if you’re like me, you’ve read recipes that say something like, “Cut in butter until it forms small peas” or some such nonsense. That made no sense to me when I started baking. I was taking it way too literally and was trying desperately to get my dough to have perfect little pea shapes of butter evenly spread throughout mixture. After years of baking, I’ve finally found that it’s not nearly as important as recipes make it out to be. Basically, I just use my favorite cheap pastry cutter and push the butter (which I usually cut into “pats” as I drop it in) into the flour mixture the butter is broken up and fairly well distributed around the bowl. Make sense?
After that, I mixed up my liquid ingredients – heavy cream and eggs – and my berries – fresh blackberries and some no-sugar-added blackberry preserves – and dropped them into the flour mixture.
I mixed that all together – but not too much – just till it comes together. The more you mix, the tougher your final product will be.
So then, I turned it out onto the lightly-floured counter and kneaded it a few times. Then I formed it into a kind-of-rectangle (I wasn’t a geometry major – don’t laugh at my rectangle!).
I cut the scone dough into sixteen pieces (think of it like cutting two asterisks or eight-pointed stars side-by-side) and placed them on my baking stone (you could also use a cookie sheet lined with parchment or lightly sprayed).
I dusted them with sugar and popped them in the oven at 400° for about 15 minutes.
When they came out, I resisted as long as I could, then I made a cup of tea, grabbed my book and a scone, and settled in for a yummy read.
Here’s the recipe:
Earl Grey & Blackberry Scones
2-3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
5 bags Earl Grey tea, ground
1/2 c. butter, chilled
1/2 c. fresh blackberries
1/4 c. no-sugar-added blackberry preserves
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. heavy cream
Granulated sugar for sprinkling
Mix dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, tea). Cut in butter till crumbly. Set aside.
Combine blackberries and preserves. Blend together beaten eggs and heavy cream. Pour berry mix and egg mix into flour mixture. Stir until just combined.
Turn out onto lightly-floured surface. Knead a few times, form into rectangle (for 16 scones) or circle (for eight scones) and cut. Place on baking stone (or on parchment-lined or lightly sprayed cookie sheet). Sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 400° for about 15 minutes or until golden. Let cool and enjoy!
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him. -Psalm 34:8