Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cornmeal-Blueberry Scones

If you ask my husband why I needed to be in the USA right now, he’ll tell you in a heartbeat. Aside from the usual seeing of the friends and family, there was the small matter of ...the berries. Let me explain.

Every time I'd go to the supermarket at home in Singapore and see little punnets (are they called that because they are so puny?) of berries selling for around $8.00 it would make me feel so sad. These little tiny bits of berries had to come such a ways to get to Singapore, and it was no wonder that sometimes they didn't make it in the best shape. But I love berries! Love them in muffins, and cereal and yes, heaped and half mushed with bananas, nuts (walnuts if it's for usual and maybe macadamias if we're feeling like being really indulgent) and warm maple syrup on a pile of buttermilk pancakes. So I'd mention that I was really hoping to be in the USA during the summer, so I could pick berries to my heart's content. Well, it actually happened! My second day home, my parents and I drive off to a small organic farm in upstate New York and pick 14 POUNDS of blueberries!!! This is what that looks like.

There was something so marvelous about having a warm berry right off the branch. Like tasting a bit of the sun. I knew I would like the berry picking, but what surprised me was how much my parents loved it! I kid you not, we went out the very next day for raspberries!

And when we went to Washington DC, instead of going to museums and monuments, we went to an orchard for fresh peaches and blackberry picking. Instead of eating a peach that was picked hard and green and shipped half-way across the world, we tasted peaches that had just been picked ripe just that morning. I have a feeling they are going to be out there doing the U-Pick every year from now on. Anyway, I still have thirteen pounds or so of blueberries in the freezer, and I happened to find this recipe for cornmeal-blueberry scones in my magazine. It was a prize winning recipe by Lesley Pew, and I thought it would be just the thing to make for tea today.

These were different from your usual scone in that they had the nubbyness factor from the cornmeal. I’m a big fan of cornmeal, especially in muffins, so it really appealed to me. I added a bit of freshly grated nutmeg since it’s one of my favorite spices, and then drizzled the lime icing and chopped almonds when they were warm out of the oven. Go ahead, add two cups of blueberries if you feel like it! I sure did, as you can tell from all the berry juice oozing out all over the place. The thing about scones is you want to keep the butter really cold (in fact Cooks Illustrated suggests using frozen butter that has been shredded with a grater) in order to have maximum flakiness. The other thing is to mix it the bare minimum, to ensure tenderness. While the recipe said to make 12 small mounds of scones, I made a large circle of dough about 10 inches across and cut it into 8 wedges. They still baked to a golden finish in about 15 minutes.

So, what else to do with the leftover berries? Send me your ideas and I'll bake them up!


♥peachkins♥ said...

looks delicious..nice photos!

Sefali said...

Thanks! I'm so excited to see your comment - i just started blogging and it's really thrilling to know when others have visited.

akaJezebel said...

WHOA!!!! I didn't know you had this blog!! COOL!! I'll add it to my list of blogs I frequent.